The purpose of this study was to assess and develop intercultural competence among early childhood educators. Intercultural competence is an integral part of creating a welcoming environment for all students in a classroom. It is not only the acknowledgment of individual differences but the acceptance and celebration of what makes each person an individual and member of a cultural group. This project assessed the intercultural competence of 24 early childhood educators and staff at a child development center in the mid-south. Participants completed the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) as pre- and post-assessments. In between assessments, our team conducted a cultural competence training workshop to advance the educators’ intercultural development skills. Based on the training and conversations with the educators, diversity books and toys were purchased and implemented into the classroom. On average, intercultural competence increased significantly over time. Overall, most educators scored in the Minimization orientation, which is the most common orientation among adults. In order to advance beyond the Minimization orientation to the Acceptance orientation, educators need additional educational opportunities, which may aid them in understanding concepts regarding power and privilege, as well as other crucial differences between cultures.
Fanous, S. M., Wiersma-Mosley, J. D., Herold, L., Timby, D., McNally, S., & Flack, B. (2020). Intercultural competence among early childhood educators. Discovery, The Student Journal of Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, 21(1), 38-42. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/discoverymag/vol21/iss1/10