Quality Is Culture-Bound.Report as inadecuate

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Presenting a case study of the African nation of Burundi to illustrate the great variation in the environment in which children are raised in developing and developed nations, this paper focuses on the importance of considering the context of a particular culture and society when educators talk about the quality of early childhood services. Burundi is described as a nation in which over 90 percent of children and families live in rural villages and in which the many years of wars and genocide have ruined family and social life. Poverty and disease are common in this population. The primary school enrollment has dropped to under 30 percent. Schooling is very formal, with large classes, and early schooling is seen as a place to keep children off the streets. The paper's discussion focuses on the lack of applicability to Burundi of many findings regarding the quality of early childhood services in the United States. The paper maintains that first steps toward quality must relate to the health and social well-being of children and their caregivers. The paper asserts that it is not appropriate to transplant quality indicators into other nations and cultures without considerable modification, and suggests that for many countries the focus should be on the psychosocial self rather than cognitive development. Possible indicators of quality are suggested. The paper maintains that the 10 quality areas developed by Australia's National Child Care Accreditation Council could form a basis for developing quality indicators that could be adapted to most cultures and situations: (1) relationships with children; (2) respect for children; (3) partnership with families; (4) staff interaction; (5) planning and evaluation; (6) learning and development; (7) protective care; (8) health; (9) safety; and (10) management to support quality. (KB)

Descriptors: Access to Education, Case Studies, Cultural Differences, Cultural Relevance, Developing Nations, Early Childhood Education, Educational Opportunities, Educational Quality, Foreign Countries, Research Problems, Young Children

Author: Ebbeck, Fred

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=6881&id=ED457958

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