Diversity is a term which has as diverse meanings as its name. In this research "diversity means the variety of differences among inhabitants that we need to take into account if we are to work with people" from every walk of life. In short here we are treating diversity as a dynamic social force in society which tries to bring people closer to each other no matter what or who they are (Aguirre, 2003). But if the topic is closely analyzed a question which comes to one's mind is that what is the relation of diversification and early childhood, as mostly it is seen that diversification in human beings become prominent when they are adults.
The impeding question is that why it is important to incorporate diversification in to early childhood programs when it is believed to be inculcated automatically when the up bringing of the child begins. One of the articles which would be referred will be article "Valuing Diversity" written by Maritza MacDonald (2002), in that article one of the examples that is given is that for every child, family has a different meaning. For some it means a single parent catering to the child needs, for others it means having a lot of older brothers and sisters etc. so when even the meaning of a family can be so diversified for a child who is not even aware of the fact what diversification is, then it can be imagined that how much affect diversification can have upon a child's rearing. Another consideration will be given to the practicality of inculcating diversification into early childhood education programs. "Multicultural Education: Issues and Perspectives" written by Banks & Banks (1989) and "The care and education of young children" by Comer (1989) proposed that early intervention programs for children mostly deal with the issues like how do different children learn through various types of education methods. This literature would be beneficial to first of all address any issue that might surface due to lack of proper communication between children belonging to different ethnic groups. It will also help in elucidating the aspects as to how can parents up bring their children in the diverse world? And what is the meaning of being a young one who is growing up in to this varied world? (Gonzalez-Mena & Pulido-Tobiassen, 1999). This diversity issue is important to be addressed in the early childhood because foundations for hatred and racial discrimination could be developed between the ages of 3 to 5, so it very critical to give diversity and anti bias training to children when they are young (Stephan & Vogt, 2004).
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Racism and hatred for each other are two things which if not nipped in the bud can cause problems like extremism and terrorism. No parent can see his child going towards destructive path, therefore to see what changes can be brought in to child's behavior and to observe how these changes can help us in the long run to irradiate problems like racism, and extremism incorporating diversity in early education programs might be helpful.
In general, what is the aim of your research project?
Is your aim clear, understandable and concise?
Is your aim relevant to the topic and identified literature?
Any research on a particular topic is done when there is a lot of potential to gain different solutions to that problem. Diversity and early childhood has been discussed various times in the past.
In this study the researcher will analyze the concept of diversity and its theoretical underpinnings.
Discuss the communication techniques that are used in schools together with the intervention of new educational methods that could have a practical approach for the concept's growth.
Assessment of these research findings in early childhood education will be sought through vital informative principles having an impact on the quality of the curriculum and its wide scale implementation in schools.
In the end it would be concluded that whether there exists a need for further research of diversity in early childhood setting.
What research questions do you want answered by your research?
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Are you research questions manageable?
Will your research questions enable you to meet your research aim?
As many American and European countries face migration of people from different cultures and walks of life. So it is bound to happen that in an American or a European class room children belonging from several different cultures are present at the same time. As education is an important part of any society it is very important to construct a curriculum which can be thought in a diverse classroom and can be taught by experienced teachers. The questions which this research will address will be as follows
How to encourage active impartiality and value for diversity in education focusing on early childhood?
What are the steps needed to be taken so that inclusion of diversity could be done in early childhood education?
How do children react if the element of diversity is included in the teaching methods?
What are the teaching methods which are used to help the addition of diversity into early childhood education programmes?
These questions will help to determine what are the prime factors affecting diversity in the classrooms and what changes in the curriculum and the teaching methods could be brought so that diversity can be taught more effectively to young children. Also by these question it can be determined that if the quality of the education is getting better or not?
Who and how many participants will participate in your project?
How will you select them, if you are not inviting them all?
Have you described your participants?
When concerned with early childhood and the issue of incorporating diversity into it, it is very important to identify what would be the research process and how would it be conducted. As a vital part of the research is going to be focused on schools so at least four schools and four early childhood centers will be needed to carry out this study. Also parents of the children who are being observed would be asked to participate. At least 5 different types of cultures whether segregated by religion, color, communities and ethnicity will be observed in each school. Various schools would be invited to participate and consent of the parents would be needed for observing their children in classroom setting. Also the parents to be included in the research process will mostly be immigrants meeting the following criteria
Being immigrant to new Zealand with in the last 6 years
Having a child in the age group from 4 to 8 years
Country of origin could be Asians ( Indian, Chinese, Indonesian etc), American (both north and south Americans) and Europeans (English, Germans, French etc)
At least 50 teachers who work in early childhood centers will also be included in this study.
Location of research
Where will the study be conducted?
Have you described the type of centre involved and the number of children the centre is licensed for?
In general, have you described the ethnicities in the centre and the decile rating of the school zone in which the centre is located?
Have you kept the location anonymous?
The location of the schools has to be anonymous as several primary schools would be approached and those who are willing to participate would be randomly selected for the study.
Method and its procedure: Describe how you will go about conducting your research with data collecting instrument
What procedures are involved in collecting the data?
Will someone else be able to follow the same procedure from your descriptions?
What measures are you going to use to collect your data (for example, questionnaires)? Have you adequately described them?
Have you included your survey/interview/observation schedule in the Appendices and made reference to them?
There methodologies which would be used to conduct this research are as follows.
Participant observation which involves going to the schools and observing children of different ethnicities and races, and religion between the ages of 4 to 8 years.
For primary data collection, interview session will be carried out with both teachers and parents to gain better insight into the chosen topic of research.
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Semi structured questionnaire survey with respondents will help to make generalized conclusions.
Secondary data collection will include reviewing relevant literature to understand the concept of diversity in early childhood education as portrayed by previous researchers.
How will participants receive questionnaires etcetera?
How will participants return questionnaires (for example, by a return-stamped envelope, collection box at centre etcetera.)?
Have you described your questionnaire?
What processes are involved with the interviews (for example, place, how long, audio-recorded)?
Will interviews be taking place at a convenient time?
Have you described type of the interview, schedule and questions?
What processes are involved (for example, place, how long, audio-recorded)?
Will interviews be taking place at a convenient time?
Have you described process of focus group, schedule and questions?
What exactly will you be observing?
What type of observation will be used?
When will observations take place, and who will be involved?
Have you constructed an observation schedule to record your observations in a structured and accurate manner? (show observation schedule in Appendix)
Have you described your observation technique and recording of data?
If utilizing other methodology, what procedures are involved?
The participants mainly teachers and parents would receive the questionnaires in the schools and childhood centers where they can fill the questionnaires. With it a return stamp would be given so that all the participants can return the questionnaire by mail. The interview session will be audio recorded and most probably the length of the interview will be not more than thirty minutes. The interview would be one on one so that the information could be kept discreet.
Is your data quantitative (numerical), qualitative (words) or a combination of both?
How will you analyse the data that you collect from your participants (for example, for quantitative data graphs, tables and percentages, and for qualitative data themes, categories and examples to illustrate the results)?
Both qualitative and quantitative data would be used and quantitative data will be analyzed wit the help of graphical representation that are easier to comprehend by the readers.
Ethics - General
Have you read Research Ethics Guidelines?
Have you selected a topic that is not going to cause harm to any of the parties involved?
What are the ongoing implications of your study?
Anonymity and/or confidentiality
Is participation in your study anonymous?
How will participants' confidentiality be maintained?
Is your study targeting a particular cultural group?
If yes, have you embedded your study in the relevant cultural perspective?
Have you considered the correct cultural protocols to obtain permission to conduct the study?
Will you respect cultural beliefs and values of your participants?
Treaty of Waitangi
How is your research relevant to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi?
If focusing on MÄori participants, have you considered commitments under the Treaty of Waitangi?
Have you consulted with relevant cultural advisors, for example MÄori leaders or Kaumatua?
Does your research contribute to bi-culturalism? If yes, in what way?
Have you made connections between your research and the principles of the Treaty?
Storage and destruction of data
Who apart from you will have access to the data?
Where will the data be stored securely?
Will data be destroyed upon completion of the study?
Publication of results
Will findings from the study be made available to participants?
None of the ethnicities which are involved would harm in anyway. Mostly the information would be kept secret so that confidentiality of the parents is not hampered. The findings of the studies would be only available to the schools and childhood centers if they need to change their curriculum according to the findings of the research. This research would mostly be helpful in implication of good teaching methods including diversity in childhood settings.
Have you broken down the research components into a manageable and realistic time frame?
Have you allowed sufficient time to write up the research project?
The minimum time to do all this research would be at least three weeks so that interviews and questionnaires could be easily collected and analyzed.