My overall experience with EDUC 8853: Influences of Family, Culture, and Society in Early Childhood, has been a wonderful learning journey both professionally and personally. I have had a wonderful professor who has motivated us to learn about ourselves and others and the relationships formed between our families, our students, and each other. I am part of an outstanding cohort of early childhood educators that I have learned so much from. They are a great support on this journey.
Some of the course materials I connected with and enjoyed most are Anne Fadiman's book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, and one of our texts, Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves. The Anne Fadiman book is an ethnography chronicling the story of an Hmong family's interactions with the health care system in California and the miscommunication and culture conflict that obstructs her treatment. The overall theme of cultural dissonance was a powerful learning tool for myself to remember to treat all my families with dignity and respect and not forget they are the primary caregivers as experts on their child. Louise Derman-Sparks' text on anti-bias education is a great resource and forced me to dig deeper and be reflective as an educator. Specifically, looking at biases and microaggressions. By applying the four anti-bias educational goals, I will be supporting a learning community for all children.
In researching my challenge area, I also connected with articles and studies as well as with early childhood professionals I interviewed. My challenge area is prenatal risk factors with the subtopic of health. The research for my challenge area is most applicable to my work as an early childhood professional in that I hope to use my research and degree to help the women of my community receive quality prenatal health care and to help the children in my community from age zero to three so that they can have the best foundation for school and for life. In reading the articles and studies, research states cognitive and behavioral problems and school readiness are related to prenatal care and health (Reichman, 2005) and the health status of a child and their education are inextricably linked. A child must be physically and emotionally healthy in order to learn, and a child and the child’s family must be educated in order to stay healthy (Novello, 1992). I believe quality prenatal care and quality education from age zero to three is important for a child to be ready to be successful in school and in life and I hope to help the families of my community be healthy, safe, and successful. Thank you, Cissy
Derman-Sparks, L., & Edwards, J.O. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Fadiman, A. (2012). The spirit catches you and you fall down: A Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
Novello, A. C., DeGraw, C., & Kleinman, D. V. (1992). Healthy children ready to learn: An essential collaboration between health and education. Public Health Reports, 107(1), 3. Retrieved December 7, 2014 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1403595/
Reichman, N.E. (2005). Low birth weight and school readiness. Future of Children, 15(1), 91-116. Retrieved from the Walden University Library databases at http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ795846