Early childhood education plays an implicit role in the development of the young children’s physical, mental, and cognitive faculties in preparation for latter stages of their biological maturity and societal adaptation. However I recognized that childhood education is not simply about mediating learning processes but it is more than that. In the subsequent paper, we analyzed the case of Sanjay taking into consideration the appropriate ‘learning’ environment for the young learner and the role of their educators and parents as participators in the classroom ecology.
However, in view of the several complications in the society which has effect on educational transmission like ethnocentricity and cultural diversity, we try to avoid ‘reducing’ her early childhood education as merely a biophysio- and psychological necessity. I tried to implicate considerations like the bigger societal structure that is continuous with her learning process. I evaluated her case as affected by multivariate factors and in particular, cross-cultural examination/considerations which takes precedent over the case. II. Case Study: Sanjay’s Development in Talooma Child Center
Sanjay is a 3-month-old child of Indian parents. His big brother Kieran is 4. 9 years old. Sanjay’s family immigrated to Australia two years ago. His mother, Jacinta, is a medical doctor. His father, Sirion, is a University science lecturer. Sanjay and Kieran attend Talooma Child Care Centre five days a week. Jacinta and Sirion have stated previously they were very pleased with the care Kieran had received. After a few weeks of Sanjay starting in care Jacinta approaches Marteen, the Director of the centr Sanjay is a 3-month-old child of Indian parents. His big brother Kieran is 4. 9 years old.
Sanjay’s family immigrated to Australia two years ago. His mother, Jacinta, is a medical doctor. His father, Sirion, is a University science lecturer. Sanjay and Kieran attend Talooma Child Care Centre five days a week. Jacinta and Sirion have stated previously they were very pleased with the care Kieran had received. After a few weeks of Sanjay starting in care Jacinta approaches Marteen, the Director of the centre. She states she is concerned by Sanjay’s lack of significant weight gain. She explains to Marteen that in India plump babies are a sign of good parenting and one’s ability to provide for the child.
Jacinta says she believes Talooma’s staff is not feeding Sanjay enough. She requests that he be force fed if he rejects the full quantity of milk that she provides each day. Jacinta tells the staff that she is a doctor and feels her requests are medically reasonable. She expects her child rearing practices to be upheld by Talooma’s staff e. She states she is concerned by Sanjay’s lack of significant weight gain. She explains to Marteen that in India plump babies are a sign of good parenting and one’s ability to provide for the child.
Jacinta says she believes Talooma’s staff are not feeding Sanjay enough. She requests that he be force fed if he rejects the full quantity of milk that she provides each day. Jacinta tells the staff that she is a doctor and feels her requests are medically reasonable. She expects her child rearing practices to be upheld by Talooma’s staff. I want to create a realistic Utopia for the daycare ecology and so I proposed that all enrollees for the daycare be seen not as a whole entity but rather an ‘each child’ approach which focuses on the specificity of needs of each young learner.
Inclusions do not simply mean those favoring the disabled young learners but rather address educators to implement programs that are satisfying to each child. Multiculturality and educational complexities are realistic facts (Mayer, 2003; York, 1991) in the classroom ecology and the educators must acknowledge their existence and must find a resolution to it. Within this era of globalization, educational systems must strive for interdependence of its component units (Mayer, 2003); that is going beyond the spatial into the temporal with the primary objective of creating cohesion with the diverse ecology.
Of major import is the presence of cultural biases which are prevalent in a multicultural society (e. g. Australia) and that of which is complicated by the preferential acknowledgement of the dominant cultures (e. g. Anglo-Saxons) and hegemonic treatment of the smaller cultures (e. g. aborigines). Such cases are difficult to eradicate since we lived in a non-homogenous cultures and there is a deeply ingrained ethnocentric qualities ingrained in each individuals as a product of developing identities and curving out belongingness.
However such complications tend to prevent classroom cohesion and in the end, develop inequality and implant insecurity and non-belongingness to the child. How do we address such issues? I take into consideration the implication of the term ‘service’ and the egalitarian concept associated with it. Regardless of the background or the deformity of the child or the social status of the family the child, it is implicit that we must cater to the needs of each child first and of course, to consider his/her well-being. That is several factors which may directly affect that of the well being of each child, in this instance, Sanjay, be considered.
I recognized that there should be parent-staff cohesion so that [realistic Utopia] would be considered. How would I build the rapport between these important persons when they have complete distrust of each other’s capacities? It is also noted that because of the high exposure of time between baby Sanjay and the daycare staff, then it is also implicit to find out if that exposed staff has sufficient knowledge and expertise to perform quality care/service to Sanjay. Proper training should be given to those who are ‘inexperienced’ in baby rearing. Finally, let us consider the physiological needs of the child.
Sanjay, is after all, a three month old baby and her needs and wants merited a proper care for a three-month old. V. Sanjay and Her Needs Sanjay is a 3 month old baby and I analyzed that we should consider her physiological needs as that of a three-year old. At this age, she has no concept of what is right or wrong or the racist attitudes of the world. Babies either want or do not want; as in they cry or do not cry. Sanjay can now start to recognize the differences between people and her families. Sanjay starts to develop socially and emotionally at such an early stage (USDA, 2002).
It is thus important that Sanjay’s parents and the staff should contribute to supplying her physiological, social and emotional needs. See appendix 1 for summary reaction mechanism for infants. Childhood professionals/educators being the major perpetuators or transmitters of knowledge for the young learners should take into consideration the major aspects of development of the child. The AECA Code of Ethics stipulated that involvement should centralize on base practice on sound knowledge, research and theories while at the same time recognizing the limitations and uncertainties of these (Stonehouse, 1998).
The provision of curricula and good planning management is the major role of the childhood teacher; that is the appropriation of resources and equipments that would benefit the well being of the child and the transmission of good values and providing opportunities that would spark interest and innate exploration within the child. Sanjay have more waking hours compared to as before and such waking hours are entirely dedicated to ‘play’ and feed. I think that play is an extension of Sanjay’s social, cognitive and emotional development.
Because the parent’s are away during the day, I posit that it is up to the staff to overseer the needs of Sanjay during the day. The staff should not just feed Sanjay but they should also ‘play’ with Sanjay. How else would they assure that Sanjay is happy if they are not playing with her? As I’ve said before babies have emotions too and it is important that the staff to show basic emotions like happiness through body language and supplicant of language. Staff should also learn how to read through Sanjay; when she is hungry; when she is tired from playing; when she has/had enough to eat or when she just wants a nap.
Let Sanjay learn things by exploring and touching things and conversing with her (Appendix 2). Also, let Sanjay play with her brother (under extreme guidance). Weight is an indicator of the physical fitness of Sanjay and for her case, it was observed that she has not been gaining weight. It is always a standard procedure to check if Sanjay’s weight is approaching or near the ideal for her age—5. 7±0. 3 kgs. I recommend that her patterns for feeding should also be observed and be directly related to a third-party health expert; that is a pediatrician who is in not anyway connected to Sanjay’s family.
This is extremely important when we note that perhaps Sanjay’s mother who is a doctor, must perhaps be clouded with worry over the health Sanjay and her judgment must perhaps be too presumptuous. When she recommends that the baby be force-feed. Is her weight within the recommended limits? What is Sanjay’s pattern for feeding? Let us first consider the latter sentence. Is Sanjay not waking when feeding time? Is she not eating when she is awake? When she takes in milk even at small amounts before she clumps her gums, then it may mean that she is just undergoing through a growth spurt.
In case, when we noticed that her soft spot is sinking in, or if Sanjay has dry lips, experiences lethargy and has droopy skin below the eye then such symptoms denote dehydration and Sanjay should be brought to the nearest hospital/clinic for consultation (Grulee, 1997). However, how should we confer to the parents regarding this decision? This is extremely difficult when we consider that Sanjay’s mommy is a medical doctor. VI. Conflict Resolution between Staffs and Parents Parent-staff collaboration is a necessary tool for promoting childhood education because they both provide models and ecologies for the learning process.
The home is not a separate entity for learning but it is a continuous phase and the teachers should learn to recognize this fact. The family is the most significant influence on child development and well-being; consequently, working with a child means working with the family and nurturing strong parent-child relationships (Stonehouse, 1991). To prevent conflict that can stem from non-parallel assumptions between the teacher and the parents, parents and staff should share information about the child.
There is no ideal model for parent-teacher partnership but rather there are characteristics/traits which are an absolute necessity—-unified goal, sensitivity to the perspective of others, open communication and shared decision making. Significant to this is the application of anti-bias methods; when anti-bias approach is taken at the ‘family’ perspective then perhaps there is a greater chance of overcoming cultural biases in education. It should be remembered that each family is different and their child-rearing approach is different too (Stonehouse,1991).
Staffs should not make assumptions without sufficient evidence; there should be an attempt to avoid stereotyping and/or pointing out differences between various families and their cultural and social background. The anti-bias approach is directed towards negotiating and accepting the preferences of the parents. The parents should be made comfortable about their differences such that they garner sufficient self-esteem which would make them receptive for response and cooperation towards their child’s education. The staff should emphasize that the parents are the most important beings in the Sanjay’s life.
Teachers and/or staff should not presume to dictate methods for rearing the Sanjay but rather they should assist in a manner that it demonstrates respect and belief that the parents is doing what is best for their child given the resources and pressures in their lives (McKim, 1993). Communication is a two-way process; the families should impart their knowledge on the child to the teachers and at the same time, the teachers should share their knowledge of the child to their parents. Shared decision making is encouraged and respect should be given to the decisions of the parents.
Existing strengths and competencies for each family should be made as a basis for supporting them in their tasks of nurturing their child (Stonehouse, 1991). For Sanjay, I analyzed that the problem would be how to create compromise between the parents and the staff. The staff should learn how to break-in when merited; while it is true that Sanjay’s mother is a medical doctor, they should also recognized that they have sufficient knowledge and expertise with infant rearing. How should they break in the information that Sanjay’s parents cannot be force-fed without offending the ego of the parents?
How should they break in to them without offending their sensibilities and/or capabilities and without making them think that the reason why the staff did not believe the parents was due to the color of their skin? The staff should talk gently to the parents relaying information on patterns of growth, weight, and activities of Sanjay. It would also be good if they cite sample like Child A was not gaining weight for a week but is only undergoing normative responses to growth but after a week or so, she returns to her normal feeding habits.
They should also capitalize that ‘Force-feeding’ is not necessary for Sanjay’s case unless she is dehydrated. Staffs must absolutely break-it in gently without dictating the parents. More so, they should also suggest other things that would benefit the growth of the child. Another important thing to remember is that staff and parents should never argue in front of Sanjay because it may upset her. I included a sample conversation between parents and staff on feeding below in Appendix 3. Post-evaluating such breaking-in method is difficult to solicit.
Perhaps the most obvious results is that if the parents continually communicate with the staff and do not form any heated argument with them are the best positive behavioral indicators. Surveys on their daycare service and their perception on force-feeding are perhaps the easiest method of post-evaluation. Included at Appendix 4 is a sample form of evaluation sheet to determine possible changes in perspectives and perhaps parent cooperation. VII. Conclusion The paper investigates the case of Sanjay in the daycare setting.
I considered that although Sanjay’s mom is a medical doctor it is not appropriate to ‘force-feed’ a child. Breaking-in the information gently is considered especially considering Sanjay’s cultural and educational background. Bibliography Grulee, C. G. Infant Feeding, WB Saunders, 1997. Mayer, M. (2003), ‘Living at the border: Between multiculturality, complexity and action research’, Educational Action Research, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 213-231 McKim, M. (1993). Quality child care: What does it mean to individual infants, parents and caregivers? Early Childhood Development and Care, 88, 23-30.
Pence, A. , & Moss, P. (1994). Towards an inclusionary approach in defining quality. In P. Moss & A. Pence (Eds. ), Stonehouse, A. (1991), Opening the Doors, Australian Early Childhood Education, Canberra. Stonehouse, A. (1998), Our Code of Practice at Work, Research in Practice series. Vol. 5. No. 4. Australian Early Childhood Education, Canberra. US Dept of Agri. Health Start. Grow Smart Your Three Month Old. DA and DOH project, 19p. York, S. (1991), Roots and wings: Affirming culture in early childhood programs. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press.
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