Curriculum

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◀ Curriculum Consumer Report

Infant and Toddler

The curriculum supports cultural responsiveness. Cultural responsiveness is a strengths-based approach to teaching and caregiving rooted in respect and appreciation for the role of culture in children's learning and development. A culturally responsive curriculum prompts teachers to learn about each child's strengths, abilities, experiences, and interests as developed within the child's family and culture. The curriculum provides guidance on how to modify and enhance curriculum plans and materials to build on these strengths, abilities, experiences, and interests with the goal of incorporating each child's culture into the classroom.

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  • Three star rating graphic Moderate Evidence
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Curriculum

Rating

Review

Beautiful Beginnings: A Developmental Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers

Full Review & Ratings
Two star rating graphicMinimal Evidence

Interactions: Beautiful Beginnings includes a brief section on "Taking Culture into Consideration," with very few tips that could be used to build relationships with children and families from diverse cultural backgrounds (e.g., honoring cultural variations, valuing parental choices, respecting cultural differences). Additionally, it does not include guidance on learning how families interact with their child or on how to use this information to engage in culturally responsive interactions.

Learning Experiences: The curriculum includes only two examples of how to provide learning experiences that build on families' cultures. One example describes how gazing in the mirror may not be a valued or appropriate activity in some cultures, and how teachers should make appropriate adaptations. Another example suggests that teachers introduce a wordless book that is in line with a family's tradition of storytelling. Beyond these two examples, the curriculum lacks guidance on how to engage infants and toddlers in learning experiences or caregiving routines that build on families' traditions, cultures, values, and beliefs.

Learning Environment: Beautiful Beginnings offers two suggestions for providing learning materials that reflect diverse cultures. The "Using Materials" section states that materials acquired from other geographic areas lend welcome diversity. In addition, the "Taking Culture into Consideration" section invites teachers to consider books and objects that are within children's and families' cultural backgrounds. However, the curriculum lacks any further guidance on, or examples of how to select and use, learning materials that authentically represent the cultures and ethnicities of children and families in the program.

Frog Street Infant

Full Review & Ratings
Two star rating graphicMinimal Evidence

Interactions: Welcome to Frog Street Infant includes a brief section on "Cultural Sensitivity," with very few tips that could be used to build relationships with children and families from diverse cultural backgrounds (e.g., treating people as individuals rather than stereotypes; modeling respect for others). However, there is no guidance on learning how families interact with their child or how to use this information to engage in culturally responsive interactions.

Learning Experiences: The curriculum lacks guidance on how to engage infants and toddlers in caregiving routines and learning experiences that build on families' traditions, cultures, values, and beliefs.

Learning Environment: In order to provide learning materials that reflect children and families from diverse cultures and ethnicities, the curriculum suggests presenting a variety of foods and using books, photographs, and posters that celebrate a wide variety of ethnic groups. Additionally, the curriculum's Literature Library includes books with photos of children and families from diverse cultures and ethnicities. However, the curriculum lacks any guidance on how to select and use learning materials that authentically represent the cultures and ethnicities of children and families in the program.

Frog Street Toddler

Full Review & Ratings
Two star rating graphicMinimal Evidence

Interactions: Welcome to Frog Street Toddler includes a brief section on "Cultural Sensitivity," with very few tips that could be used to build relationships with children and families from diverse cultural backgrounds (e.g., treating people as individuals rather than stereotypes, focusing on similarities and differences without making judgments, modeling respect for others). The Activity Guides occasionally mention the importance of culturally responsive interactions (e.g., being sensitive to cultures in which children making eye contact with adults is not an acceptable practice, talking with families to build an understanding of how their children's culture differs from the teachers' and attempting to reconcile those differences), but provides no guidance on how to use that information to engage in culturally responsive interactions.

Learning Experiences: The curriculum includes only a couple brief examples of providing learning experiences that build on families' cultures. One activity invites children to share about celebrations in their families, with a note for teachers to be sensitive to cultural differences. In addition, there are a few examples of "Cultural Rhymes" in the Activity Guides that may build on families' traditions and culture if they share that particular cultural background. The curriculum lacks guidance on how to engage toddlers in caregiving routines that build on families' traditions, cultures, values, and beliefs.

Learning Environment: Frog Street Toddler offers two suggestions for providing learning materials that reflect children and families from diverse cultures and ethnicities: present a variety of foods for snack and lunch and use books, photographs, and posters that celebrate a wide variety of ethnic groups. Additionally, the curriculum's Literature Library and Photo Activity Cards include books and photos representing children and families from diverse cultures and ethnicities. However, the curriculum lacks any guidance on how to select and use learning materials that authentically represent the cultures and ethnicities of children and families in the program.

HighScope Infant-Toddler Curriculum

Full Review & Ratings
Three star rating graphicModerate Evidence

Interactions: The curriculum provides general guidance on how to engage in culturally responsive interactions with families. Tender Care and Early Learning describes how teachers often interact with families from diverse backgrounds (e.g., variety of faiths, cultures, home languages, political beliefs) and offers strategies for teachers to overcome any negative impressions or stereotypes, focus on parents' strengths, and use a problem-solving approach to conflicts. It also points out several ways culture can affect communication and interactions, such as personal space, smiling, eye contact, silence, and touch. Lesson Plans for a Strong Start suggests that teachers conduct home visits to learn more about each family's home life and culture. These books also include the "All About You!" and "Developing an Infant Care Plan Based on Parental Input" forms, which the curriculum suggests help teachers find out more about children's home lives to better support them in the program.

Learning Experiences: The curriculum includes minimal guidance on how to engage infants and toddlers in caregiving routines and learning experiences that build on families' traditions, cultures, values, and beliefs. Lesson Plans for a Strong Start provides the "All About You!" questionnaire for teachers to ask parents about how the classroom can support and celebrate families' cultures, but there is no direction on how teachers can integrate this information into classroom routines and experiences. Tender Care and Early Learning provides one specific example about how to respond to families' values about sleep routines and one prompt for teachers to include traditional songs and rhymes from children's cultures. The curriculum lacks further general guidance or specific examples of how to provide routines and learning experiences that build on children's cultures.

Learning Environment: The curriculum offers general guidance on creating an environment that feels familiar, home-like, and connected to children's personal experiences. It makes a few suggestions for adding materials that reflect children and families from diverse cultures, such as baby dolls reflecting children's racial and ethnic identities, materials in the house area reflecting familiar items to children (e.g., a wok, a rice cooker, a tortilla press), and fabric and material from children's cultures. In addition, the Program Quality Assessment includes indicators that suggest learning materials should depict a wide range of non-stereotyped role models and diverse cultures. However, the curriculum lacks more specific guidance embedded throughout its resources on using materials that authentically represent the cultures and ethnicities of children and families.

Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Curriculum

Full Review & Ratings
Two star rating graphicMinimal Evidence

Interactions: Innovations: Infant and Toddler Development discusses the importance of cultural context for child development and child-rearing. It provides general principles to promote family-centered and culturally inclusive classrooms (e.g., respecting families' ideas, acknowledging families' strengths, and sharing in decision-making about their child's education). It also includes examples of how teachers consider cultural differences in specific situations, such as responding to biting and supporting a child who is not talking.

Learning Experiences: The curriculum describes how culture affects the behaviors and perspectives of children, parents, and teachers. As such, culture sets the context for children's caregiving routines and learning experiences. However, the curriculum lacks guidance on how to ensure that caregiving routines and learning experiences build on families' traditions, cultures, beliefs, and values.

Learning Environment: The curriculum includes limited guidance on providing learning materials that portray society's diversity and authentically represent the cultures and ethnicities of children and families. The curriculum activity books briefly mention that pictures and photos should depict diverse family structures and cultures, representing those of children in the group as well as those that are not. They also suggest cultural remembrances, such as clothing or gifts, as ways to validate children's diverse families. Finally, they suggest providing dolls that represent a variety of ethnicities. However, the curriculum does not provide any further guidance or specific examples on how to provide learning materials that reflect children's cultures or society's diversity.

The Creative Curriculum® for Infants, Toddlers & Twos, 3rd Edition

Full Review & Ratings
Three star rating graphicModerate Evidence

Interactions: The curriculum provides guidance on engaging children and families in culturally responsive interactions. Volume 1: The Foundation describes how culture affects children's development as well as families' childrearing practices, beliefs, and goals. It includes general tips (e.g., avoid assigning cultural labels, understand your own belief system) as well as specific strategies, such as observing how families interact with their child and communicating with families to learn about their beliefs, routines, and interactions at home (e.g., "How is discipline handled?" "How do people interact with one another?" "Do they look each other in the eye?"). The "Individual Care Plan—Family Information Form" includes explicit prompts to support teachers in learning how families interact with their child within their home and culture (e.g., "In what language do you speak and sing with your child at home?" "How do you play with your child?"). Volume 3: Objectives for Development & Learning includes a few specific references to acknowledging culture in interactions (e.g., non-verbal communication may have different meanings in different cultures).

Learning Experiences: The curriculum offers some guidance on how to ensure caregiving routines build on families' traditions, cultures, beliefs, and values. However, it lacks adequate guidance on how to provide learning experiences that build on children's cultures. Volume 1: The Foundation includes an "Individual Care Plan—Family Information Form," which encourages teachers to learn about caregiving routines children experience within their home. Volume 2: Routines & Experiences provides some specific examples of how culture may affect daily routines (e.g., cultural preferences related to food, sleeping, and cooking). Volumes 2 and 3 include a few examples of how to provide learning experiences that build on children's cultures, such as encouraging families to share cultural music and songs or recipes for cooking activities to acknowledge children's backgrounds. A limitation is that the Intentional Teaching Cards, which are the curriculum's learning experiences, lack specific guidance on providing culturally responsive learning experiences.

Learning Environment: The curriculum provides some specific guidance on providing learning materials that portray society's diversity and authentically represent the cultures and ethnicities of children and families. Volume 1: The Foundation and Volume 2: Routines & Experiences encourage teachers to choose learning materials that honor diversity, depicting people similar to the children in the class as well as the diversity of society (e.g., books, puzzles, photographs, dolls, music, art supplies). Volume 3: Objectives for Development & Learning suggests teachers provide materials that recognize society's diversity as well as children's home cultures (e.g., various shades of skin tone art utensils; block people and props representing a range of jobs and cultures). Highlights Hello publications include images of children and families that represent society's diversity. A limitation is that the Intentional Teaching Cards provide very minimal guidance on using learning materials that reflect children's cultures.