Volume 5, Issue 10
In This Issue
Multiculturalism in the Classroom
Diversity in Early Childhood Programs
Multicultural Activities Throughout the Year
CCEI News: CCEI Announces Course on Autism and Take CCEI640 at No Cost this Month!
Alumni Profile - Amanda Heaberlin
Professional Development - Individual Annual Subscriptions only $99 per year
Certificate Programs - CDA, Director's Certificate, FCCPC and more
Welcome to the ChildCare Education Institute October Newsletter!
This month, CCEI Discusses Multiculturalism in the Classroom.

For at least two decades, educators and advocates have placed increasing emphasis on the importance of multicultural education and/or an anti-bias curriculum. Through the years, however, the core concepts and goals of "multiculturalism" have, in some classrooms, been diluted or misunderstood. This misunderstanding stems, in large part, from the basic fact that the concept of multiculturalism is fairly complex, with many layers and applications.
One of the more common misconceptions is that the objectives of multicultural education can be achieved through use of a so-called "tourist curriculum," in which children are introduced to foods, music, and other exotic tidbits from faraway places. The tourist curriculum is worthwhile in certain ways, but alone it is far from adequate for meeting the goals of multicultural education, including the furtherance of freedom, justice, equity, and human dignity.

Teachers (including all early childhood professionals) should consider the definition of culture as it pertains to the classroom. You can start with the American Heritage Dictionary: "The behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group." Another definition could be "traditions, beliefs, rituals, and values that are shared by a group of people."

But those definitions alone are insufficient, because all people—including young children—experience culture on at least five major levels:

  • Human Culture. Characteristics of all (or nearly all) human communities:
    • Art
    • Spoken language
    • A moral code or system to distinguish good behavior from bad behavior
    • A leadership structure to implement decisions or rules for the community
    • Oral and/or literary tradition (stories passed from generation to generation)
    • System for classifying people based on family relations, age, and gender 
  • National and/or Ethnic Culture: Characteristics associated with a particular ethnic group or national identity, including social customs, language, food, and art.
  • Regional Subculture: If you travel across the United States, you will find distinct subcultures among people in the southeastern, midwestern, western, and northeastern states. There are regional differences in language (accent and dialect), literature, food, music, etc. You can also find all kinds of ethnic subcultures in towns, cities, and individual homes all across the United States, such as Cuban Americans, Somali Americans, or Korean Americans, to name a few.
  • Organizational Culture: Whether you work in a company, serve in the military, or attend a school, each organization has its own culture in which people act according to certain sets of rules, values, and goals. How would you describe the culture in your child care center?
  • Family & Community Culture: Within any group of children—including groups sharing the same race or ethnicity—there are likely to be many differences with regard to family structure (single parent, foster, etc.), religion, childrearing practices, family values, and many other factors.

A teacher needs to take all of these cultural layers into account when making decisions about curriculum, classroom practices, the creation of developmentally appropriate activities and parent communication. This is why the concept of multicultural education must extend far beyond a single unit or theme.

For more information on multicultural education, including practical ideas for the classroom, please see CCEI 640: Creating a Multicultural Environment, along with the related articles in this newsletter.

Diversity in Early Childhood Programs
By: Francis Wardle

Early childhood providers are called upon to do many difficult tasks. One of the most difficult of these is providing our children with diverse, multicultural experiences. Since the beginning of time, young children have been raised by their families, extended families, clans, and communities. Even today, most family child care homes and many early childhood programs tend to be fairly homogeneous and quite similar to the child's home background.


Read Article 

Article Courtesy of Earlychildhood News

Multicultural Activities Throughout the Year
By: Jane D. Saul and Betsy Saul

It is important that early childhood teachers and caregivers provide experiences that implement meaningful multicultural understandings into their curriculum. According to Puckett and Diffily, "We live in a multicultural society and regardless of children's immediate neighborhoods or the ethnic composition of an individual class, today's children are growing up in a world comprised of culturally diverse people" (Teaching Young Children, 1999). Our children should be brought up to treat all races, religions, family backgrounds, and cultures equally with respect and consideration.
Article Courtesy of CBS Business Network
ChildCare Education Institute Announces New Online Professional Development Course, SPN101: Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders

Roughly 1 of every 110 children in the United States is diagnosed with one of several conditions labeled as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Specific ASD conditions include autism, Asperger's syndrome, Rett's syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder. In nearly all cases, symptoms-which range from mild to severe across all developmental domains-appear in early childhood, before the age of three. Therefore, it is imperative that child care professionals learn the basic facts about ASD, as well as common practices for meeting individual children's developmental needs and helping them adapt to the classroom setting.

In October only - Take CCEI640: Creating a Multicultural Environment - at no cost!

During the month of October, child care staff can log in to CCEI's learning management system at www.cceionline.edu and take CCEI640: Creating a Multicultural Environment, at no cost. The skills taught in CCEI640 can help educators plan and implement an effective multicultural, anti-bias curriculum. It is very simple to set up an account if you don't already have one. Click here for details and remember to use promotion code 101910 when prompted.
Amanda Heaberlin
Greenville, SC

Congratulations to Amanda Heaberlin for successfully completing the CCEI Online Self-Study CDA Program!

Amanda began her child care career while in college, after realizing telemarketing was not for her. She found she loves helping the children she cares for during arts and crafts, and allowing them to choose their own play centers. Amanda is motivated by the joy on children's faces when they discover something new, as well as the unconditional love they give her everyday.

Amanda went on to receive her CDA credential, and would love to have her own in-home daycare one day. She is also certified to teach reading. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys scrapbooking, staying involved in her church, exercising, shopping and spending time with her husband. When asked what she would tell current or prospective CCEI students, Amanda said, "Working with children is a great joy and privilege, and I would encourage anyone considering this field to pursue it."

Individual Professional Development Subscriptions for just $99
CCEI offers over 100 online, IACET CEU awarded professional development courses that meet continuing education requirements. CCEI has course offerings in English and Spanish, and courses are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year from any computer with Internet access.

Center-Based Subscriptions
Center-Based Subscriptions are a great way for directors to manage and administer continuing education for staff members. CCEI's Center-Based Subscriptions, available for 20 and 50 users, allow directors to provide training for as little as $20 per teacher for the entire year!
For more information, contact Admissions at 800.499.9907 or click here to enroll online.

Complete CDA Coursework Online with CCEI!
CCEI's Online CDA Certificate programs meet the clock-hour training requirement of The Council for Professional Recognition, which is needed in order to apply for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. CCEI's CDA Certificate programs focus on the six CDA Competency Standards established by The Council and contain the required hours in each of the eight specified content areas. Each hour of completed coursework is awarded 0.1 IACET CEU.
CCEI offers three CDA programs. The CCEI Online Self Study CDA is designed for students who are comfortable with an online learning environment and can successfully complete work independently. The Instructor Supported CDA Certificate, available in English and Spanish, provides students with extra support from a CCEI Education Coach (EC). Each EC is an early childhood specialist with previous experience working in a child care center or school. Students seeking college credit should enroll in the Online College Credit Eligible CDA Certificate program for the opportunity to earn credits at Kendall College.
Online Director's Certificate
CCEI offers an Online Director's Certificate that provides professional development for early childhood professionals seeking to further their skills and knowledge in the management of a child care center. The program is composed of nine instructional units that focus on the core areas of competency required to manage a child care center. Each student in the Online Director's Certificate receives support from an Education Coach.

Click here to enroll online.

Dates to Remember
November 3 - 6, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Annual
                          Conference, Anaheim, CA
- Visit us in booth 1812!

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