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Course Description

This course expands educators' professional toolkit by introducing professionals to culturally relevant theory, research, and practice. This course addresses topics designed to help maximize children's potential, foster an equitable classroom environment, and develop meaningful relationships with children and their families. The intention of this course is to introduce a broad range of topics that will complicate participants' understanding of the issues, and help participants examine ways to improve outcomes on a policy, school and classroom level. A recurring and central question of the course is: How can I transform the atmosphere and curriculum of my classroom and school to promote powerful, effective, and socially-­just learning communities? Topics covered in this course include:

  • Building Brilliance in Black and Brown Children
  • Dis/ability as an Equity Issue in Early Childhood Settings
  • Trauma Informed Care for Young Children
  • Socioeconomic Status and Class
  • Attracting More Males to Early Childhood Education
  • Indigenizing Education
  • Creating LGBTQ and Gender Inclusive Schools
  • Media Culture and the Over-Sexualized Childhood

Learner Outcomes

Students who complete this course successfully will be able to:

  1. Understand how identity, ability, trauma, social class, colonization, gender identity, and other aspects of social development may impact a child's participation and ability to thrive in school.
  2. Validate students' cultural experiences, expressions, and practices in curriculum and pedagogy.
  3. Redesign curriculum and classroom environments to honor and reflect the background of children in the room, and in the world.
  4. Co-construct places of learning, working with colleagues and families to develop and deliver culturally relevant curriculum in shared learning communities.
  5. Facilitate conversation on sensitive topics in developmentally appropriate ways.
  6. Integrate culturally responsive strategies in developing policies, building relationships with colleagues and customers, and managing classrooms and schools.
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