The National Education for Young Children (NAEYC) was also a major contributor to the idea of culturally responsive pedagogy, equity pedagogy, and anti-bias education. In 1991, NAECY published their position statement on cultural and linguistical diversity for effective early childhood education (National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1995). In their position statement NAECY recommended that all high-quality early childhood programs move to change their educational approach and theories regarding children and families of diverse cultures. NAECY (1995), stated that when early childhood children of diverse cultures and languages are reflected in the classroom environment, shown respect for their culture and home language the relationship and partnership between families and school are strengthened. They also stated that an atmosphere that choses to celebrate and respect cultural diversity, the atmosphere “provides increased opportunity for learning because young children feel supported, nurtured, and connected not only to their home communities and families but also to teachers and the educational setting” (p.2). NAECY also recommended that early childhood educators be trained through professional workshops/trainings culturally responsive practices and equity pedagogy so that children in early childhood settings can have a better chance of developing strong cognitive and social-emotional development (National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1995).
Head Start has contributed to anti-bias education, equity pedagogy, and culturally responsive teaching and the war on paverty. Head Start is dear to my heart in many ways. Not only am I a teacher in a New Jersey Head Start school, I am also a former child of the Head Start schools initiative of the 1970’s. The goal of Head Start was to fight poverty in America by providing minority and poor community children and their families a broad range of educational, social, medical and family services equity. Head Start provides these services in one program and the specific services differ widely depending on the need of a particular community. Head Start has even expanded to serve younger populations of children such as infant and toddlers. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), 80 percent of funding for Head Start comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2017). It is evident that Head Start’s goal was and still is to look at the whole child and family by supporting them through social programs that benefit the growth of both the families and the child. Head Start has also later in their history moved to ensuring that Head Start programs provided families with culturally responsive practices, culturally relevant materials, and anti-bias education. “A key tenet of the program established that it be culturally responsive to the communities served, and that the communities have an investment in its success through the contribution of volunteer hours and other donations as nonfederal share” (Office of Head Start, n.d.).
Since 1908, the National Association of Advancement for Colored People has been a pillar in the American society for equal rights for all. The NAACP is the pillar of serving the communities of all people of color so that civil and human rights prevail over racism, prejudice, and hate (NAACP, n.d.). They also work to ensure that the youth of marginalized groups are given education that is equitable and culturally responsive. “The NAACP works to ensure that all disadvantaged students and students of color are on the path to college or a successful career by ensuring access to great teaching, equitable resources, and a challenging curriculum. We are dedicated to eliminating the severe racial inequities that continue to plague our education system. Our ultimate goal is that every student of color receives a quality public education that prepares him or her to be a contributing member of a democracy” (NAACP, n.d.). The NAACP focus on different educational areas: Increasing Resource Equity: Which means that they will target funds to the neediest communities and children. In addition, they are focusing on improving teaching by growing more teachers of color to represent the growing American population of children who are more diverse than the dominant culture. They would like to place more teachers of color in in underserved communities (NAACP, n.d.).
One job available that interest me was one offered for the NAAP that was titled, Education Specialist for Culturally Responsive Teaching. This job entailed knowing anti-bias principles and goals. Culturally responsive pedgogy and practices and the ability to conduct workshops, trainings and professional developments for teachers of color in Baltimore, Maryland. The qualifications were that the perspective employee had a bachelors in education, or teaching and a background in social justice as well. I believe that although I don’t have a background in social justice the master’s I will hold in Early childhood studies with a concentration in Teaching & Diversity would give me enough educational background to qualify for the position.