Essay on Early Childhood Education: Crafting a Diverse Curriculum for US Citizens

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1732 Words
Date:  2023-08-12


The American early childhood education curriculum has undergone numerous modifications to meet the needs of the diverse American citizens. Given that the United States has people of different cultures whose children converge in one classroom to learn, teachers must adopt a practical curriculum that caters to their social, cultural, economic, and political needs. The Americans of different races have immensely contributed to the development of an early childhood education curriculum. However, this paper mainly focusses on the efforts that have been made by African Americans in shaping the curriculum of early education. The involvement of African Americans in the development of early childhood education curriculum relays an expression of positive self-esteem towards self-actualization, thus, inspiring higher achievement for the black child. In teaching African American subject matter, it is relevant to incorporate the contributions of black people in civics, health, science, technology, art, literature, and arithmetic, including spiritual leaders ingenuity that have made a sizeable indelible imprint on the American culture. Imparting knowledge to children about their heritage would reflect positivity on the black child's identity, which will enhance their interest in higher academic achievement in learning.

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Literature Review

The involvement of African Americans in the development of early childhood education curriculum has undoubtedly positively impacted the engagement of a black child in school activities, and their self-esteem towards self-actualization. Different studies have been carried out to establish the importance of African Americans' involvement in the formulation of the curriculum of early childhood education. As noted by Blaise & Ryan (2019), even though most pre-school teachers respect and honor children, it is tough for on to identify educators who have strong commitment and desire to listening and engaging students of color. These sentiments are also reiterated by Denbo & Beaulieu (2002) who was shocked by the fact that most educators still view children of color via the lens of European American children and either fail to identify their strength and beauty they bring to the classroom and fail to build on this massive untapped power. For some reasons that are not inherent in children, families, or communities and that go beyond this article's scope, African American children are arguably the most in need of government support in the U.S. schools. They rank last behind all ethnic groups in the USA, and as noted by Bacon (n.d.), they have been shortchanged by the curriculum of the American schools that neither covers much of the cultural heritage nor meets some of their essential needs. A primary factor in the continuous existence of such inequities is a pervasive and a wholly ignored perspective that is employed in judging children of color (File & Mueller, 2019). It is refreshing to note that some European American teachers view children of African American descent through Afrocentric lenses. This is attributed to the efforts that have been made by African Americans in redefining the curriculum of early childhood study, which they are engaged in during its formulation.

The challenges that were faced by African American children in classrooms prompted blacks to play a significant role in the designation of the early childhood curriculum. According to Robertson (2020), black children who learn through the Afrocentric curriculum grow up confident and have gross self-awareness. Hence, the contributions made by African Americans during the creation of a curriculum is integral since they help capture the heritage of the blacks in the syllabus. When black children learn about their heritage and culture, they become more aware of themselves and develop a sense of self-respect and motivation to work hard to stand out as the best (Jordan Campbell, 2018). These sentiments were also echoed by Bowman, Comer, and Johns (2018). They noted that the involvement of the African Americans in the creation of the early learning curriculum enables them to infiltrate some of the pertinent social, cultural, and economic issues that blacks face or practice in the study. Through classroom teachings, children learn to embrace the black culture, which builds respect among them irrespective of their race.

Through the different inventions and contributions of African Americans in the early childhood education curriculum, culture has played an essential role in development (Bowman, Comer, & Johns (2018). Currently, early childhood education is turning to be a significant facet of American life since it does not only assist in the school outcomes but also social opportunities, economic stability, health, and career options. School performance limits African Americans' prospects for the future. The reason is that African American children are usually given low scores as compared to the Latino, Whites, and Asians students in a school setting. Therefore, the issue makes them drop out of school at adolescent age, and even the ones who progress do not excel. Therefore, besides the achievement gap affecting African American families, it affects the whole country in terms of the economy.

The efforts that the society has put in place by the community in overcoming discrimination and prejudice in different life aspects, including education, have failed significantly as they are still discriminated against even in the school environment. Through understanding the factors affecting African American teachers have developed and implemented strategies which, might assist in moving from the issue of school failure to success. The problem increases opportunities for more students and makes them successful in their plans. Now, inadequate language regarding the black culture's appreciation establishes a social distance between white Americans and African Americans in the United States of America. Administrators and teachers have had perseverance in ongoing and preparing professional development in understanding the reasons behind the underdevelopment of African Americans in terms of education (Bowman, Comer, & Johns (2018).

According to Bowman, Comer, and Johns (2018), the children of African Americans can achieve similar social and academic development, just like the other kids in school. Therefore, educators should have professional development and preparatory institution programs to understand how academic learning and educational development enhance the learning of kids from different backgrounds. Furthermore, the early childhood education curriculum contributors urge that the capabilities that are developed in the communities and homes might be utilized as the springboards for children in the school learning environment when a teacher fails to recognize the strength of a child.

African American students often do not register the same success as white students from elementary to higher learning institutions. Most schools do not recognize the talents, strengths, and culture of African American students in curriculum design and practice (Jordan Campbell, 2018). As explained by Finlayson (2015), Afrocentricity is the placement of African ideals at the centre of any analysis that entails African culture and behavior. In connection with the creation of an early learning curriculum, African Americans have made a great effort to modify it to cater to the cultural and social needs of black children. They have designed 22 Afrocentric Curriculum, which is not attributable to one race since any school can adopt them, and they not based on any biological determinism. Flowers' position is that Afrocentricity is not a substitute for any current system of education, but it is an additive that hones the objectives of education to meet the needs of the black students (2016). She further noted that within the narrow perspective of the Afrocentric curriculum, it critiques the Eurocentric ideology that poses as a universal standard curriculum of education, and thus, it provides an alternative view in the phenomena. When King (2017) noted that liberation from the Europeans' domination in designing educational curriculum, he challenges educators to systematically replace the European way of thinking, speaking, and thoughts through effective means that focus on the cultural experience of all Americans concerning their cultures and values.

The inclusivity of the American culture when designing a curriculum for early childhood learning will not only be beneficial to black children, but also children of other races and the issue of exclusivity will have been resolved (King, 2017). These sentiments were also reiterated by Flowers (2016) when she noted that the intellectual and psychological assertion by the African Americans is breaking the western domination in the education sector which has over the past subjected black students to inferiority and undermined their ability to compete with other students in a class effectively. Flowers (2016) majorly focus on culture in her quest to explain the essence of modification of the current curriculum, and she defines it as shared views, pre-dispositions, and attitudes that enable people to organize their experiences in specific ways. Bowman, Comer, and Johns (2018) believe that any serious discussion of Afrocentricity must be begun by putting it in the African American studies, which entails languages, literacy, artistic and oratory expressions, and history.

In the past, the curriculum of social studies highly ignored or misinterpreted Black history. For instance, history textbooks portrayed black individuals as lazy, uncivilized, and docile, which was not valid. It is an indication that the whites demeaned the Africans even in the curriculum. It is the civil rights that inspired African-American contributors in the early childhood education curriculum in mainstreaming k-12. According to King (2017), it was during that moment that black history started developing momentum. Moreover, establishing different school districts, programs of black studies, and competing with their resources and textbooks impacted Black history as it made them interact among themselves.

Several contributions made in the curriculum in areas such as history, math, art, and science have agreed that black history is legitimate and can be used in different communities and societies. In the past, some teachers have taught the history relating to blacks by demeaning them (referring to them as slaves), and it even resulted in the firing of some teachers in Washington, D.C. Also, the contributors urged that instead of history, focusing on the experiences that African Americans experienced in the past years, the curriculum should balance the resistance, oppression, victimhood, and perseverance narratives. It can be done by focusing on current issues. It is an indication that African Americans' contributions in the early childhood education curriculum have helped African Americans to have high self-esteem and self-actualization. An example is their contributions in the k-12 black history, which is successful (King, 2017).

The k-12 black history even mentions that there are successful black leaders, and this makes the African Americans students have self-confidence in themselves. One study conducted by Wineburg and Monte-Sano on 'Famous American' indicated that the well-known historical figures include Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr, and Harriet Tubman instead of president. Therefore, the curriculum's contributors urge that teaching should mainly concentrate on how the history of black individuals improves unde...

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