Child, Family, and Community Family-Centered Early Care and Education

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Child, Family, and Community Family-Centered Early Care and Education

Seventh Edition

Janet Gonzalez-Mena

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Vice President and Editorial Director: Jeffery W. Johnston Executive Editor: Julie Peters Editorial Assistant: Pamela DiBerardino Developmnet Editor: Jon Theiss Executive Product Marketing Manager: Chris Barry Executive Field Marketing Manager: Krista Clark

Program Manager: Megan Moffo Production Project Manager: Janet Domingo Full-Service Project Management: Lumina Datamatics Composition: Lumina Datamatics

Credits and acknowledgments for material borrowed from other sources and reproduced, with permission, in this textbook appear on the appropriate page within the text.

Every effort has been made to provide accurate and current Internet information in this book. However, the Internet and information posted on it are constantly changing, so it is inevitable that some of the Internet addresses listed in this text- book will change.

Copyright © 2017, 2013, 2009, 2006, 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Manufactured in the United States of America. This publication is protected by Copyright, and permission should be obtained from the publisher prior to any prohibited reproduction, storage in a retrieval system, or transmission in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or likewise. To obtain permission(s) to use material from this work, please submit a written request to Pearson Education, Inc., Permissions Department, One Lake Street, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458, or you may fax your request to 201-236-3290.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Gonzalez-Mena, Janet, author.

Child, family, and community : family-centered early care and education / Janet Gonzalez-Mena. — Seventh edition. pages cm

Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-13-404227-5 (alk. paper) 1. Socialization. 2. Child rearing. 3. Families. I. Title. HQ783.G59 2017 649’.1—dc23


10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

ISBN 10: 0-13-404227-1 ISBN 13: 978-0-13-404227-5

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To Shaquam Kimberly Edwards, contributor to this edition. Shaquam took on what I consider the hardest part of this revision—

making it into an e-book. She stepped in willingly and capably to meet the creative challenges of bringing the book to life digitally. I’m

forever grateful for her contributions! I wrote the first edition of this book on a typewriter. Putting later editions on the computer was a big step forward for me. Shaquam took me into the e-book era, gracefully

and enthusiastically, for which I’m thankful.

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A seminal report published by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) was released just as this revision was about to go to press, titled “Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Founda- tion.” One of the themes of the report relates to making higher education programs for professionals more effective with a goal of supporting consistent quality. This report couldn’t be more timely coming out as it did at the same time as the 7th revision of Child, Family, and Community. We are ready for change as a nation. We are ready to be sure that those who work with young children get an excellent education to prepare them for further study, for being a contributing part of the community, and for all-round mature development. Right in line with transforming the workforce comes the transformation of this Child, Family, and Community textbook. The 7th edi- tion, now in an e-text format, is startlingly different from the many revisions that preceded it.

This revision, as others in the past, focuses on contexts—the contexts in which children are reared and educated. It’s not about “the child” or even “children” because those words have no meaning by themselves. Each child is born and raised in mul- tiple social contexts. This text is about the influences of all those contexts. Nurturing and protection of each child must be viewed in terms, not only of the family, but also of the community—its neighborhoods, people, cultures, and institutions—both local and national. Care-and-education institutions are part of this context.

As in earlier editions, the major theories around which this book is based in- volve the community being the context in which child rearing takes place, no matter what shape or form the families take. This book still focuses on families, but also on the people and agencies outside the family. Some of those people who are using this text are now, or will become, those professionals who work with families and their children.

New to this editioN E-Text Format Anyone used to the black and white paperback book will see a world of difference when they take their first look at the new e-text format. There is no comparison. Not that both the e-text and the paper book aren’t greatly updated with the latest information and research, but the new format as an e-text has a number of engaging new features. Note that the Pearson e-text format contains the following digital components: video links, interactive section quizzes called “Check Your Understanding,” and end-of-chapter quizzes; other e-text formats do not currently contain these interactive digital elements.

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vi Preface

Videos Links to video in every chapter of the e-text augment the written word. As students read from the screen, they know that with one click, video appears with further information that comes in a variety of ways. Sometimes the informa- tion comes from the mouths of the researchers whose work is mentioned in the chapter. Certainly when students hear from academics who have contributed so much to the field of child development and early childhood education, everything becomes more personal and meaningful. Sometimes students see video clips that demonstrate what the researchers talk about. We look into live classrooms to see examples of various approaches of working with groups of children—or with individuals—or with family members. Footage of actual teachers in classroom scenes show examples of what is discussed in writing. Child development infor- mation is portrayed by children themselves in families and in classrooms and more. Community resources come alive as users talk about their experiences. Sometimes the focus is on the environment, which offers inspiration for those students who work in programs that lack rich, or even adequate, developmentally appropriate settings. Often we see and hear people who represent the community resources found in neighborhoods. We also have a chance to see examples of children’s behaviors at different developmental levels.

The many videos, three to four in each chapter, bring information beyond the words in the text and bring it in living color with sound and movement. Further, the videos have reflection questions in the text to promote thought or classroom discus- sion. What could be more meaningful for the generations that are media savvy and know how to use it to their advantage!

A New Interactive Assessment Feature Called “Check Your Understanding.” This new feature, which has been added at the end of each major section in each chapter, is a multiple-choice assessment that aligns with, and asks questions about, each Learning Outcome. The correct answer is noted and feedback is provided. Students can then see what they have learned from reading each section. This makes good sense and is quite effective. They can immediately determine what they for- got or misunderstood, which allows them to go back and reread so they retain the information.

Interactive End-of-Chapter Quizzes At the end of each chapter there are short-answer format quizzes, with feedback, to assess student understanding—and reinforce learning—of chapter content.

Color Photos Of course there are also still photographs as always—pictures that give visual em- phasis to the concepts written about. In the e-text the photographs are in living color—quite a contrast to black and white photos with “yesteryear” invisibly stamped on them.

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Preface vii

other chaNges aNd additioNs Reorganization of Each Chapter Helping students grasp and retain what they read is important in any textbook. To that end, every chapter has been more clearly organized with an average of three major Learning Outcomes, with corresponding headings, followed by three to five topic headings that relate to the subject(s) in each major heading. This organization makes it easier for students to follow and remember the information.

Examples of New Topics and Expanded Previous Ones ◆ Gender roles. Discussion and research about young children developing gender

roles has been greatly updated and expanded. ◆ Mindset. Carol Dweck’s theory on how to help children move beyond a “fixed

mindset” that leads them to give up in the face of even a minor failure. Informa- tion and examples are included of how to encourage an open mindset. Children with an “open mindset” keep going even when failure occurs or seems inevitable. An open mindset leads to exploration and growth.

◆ Grit. Angela Duckworthy and others explore how what they call “grit” helps people stick to challenges, persist, and achieve success.

◆ Self-esteem. Not a new subject but an important one. The topic of self-esteem has been reworked and expanded in this edition.

A Change in the Order of the Chapters Chapter 2, “The Societal Influences on Families” (including racism), was too emo- tionally laden to come so early in the term according to users. That chapter is now Chapter 6, which works better after students have gotten to know each other.

Updated “Further Readings” Twenty to thirty percent of the list at the end of each chapter under “Further Read- ings” has been replaced with updated resources.

Highlighted Major Points A new marginal feature of key brief points from the author are added for interest and emphasis.

fouNdatioNal ideas suPPortiNg this Book ◆ Theory is presented in easy to understand language. The book rests on a

base of solid academics, constructivist theory, developmental research, anthro- pological studies, and the personal experience of the author.

◆ The chapters place an emphasis on the ecological theory of human devel- opment. Every chapter shows how professionals and families can partner to

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viii Preface

support healthy growth and development so that the child functions fully as a competent community member.

◆ The book emphasizes cultural contexts. Valuing diversity, plus acknowledging and understanding cultural contexts, has always been an important foundation of this book. The new edition puts even more emphasis on perceiving and appre- ciating cultural differences in order to embrace them. The attitude of acceptance that develops challenges the students to expand their definitions of “develop- mentally appropriate practice.”

◆ Reflection on personal experience is encouraged. Readers are asked to bring their own ideas, experiences, and insights to their reading—in accordance with Jean Piaget’s ideas about learners attaching new knowledge to existing knowl- edge. In other words, readers are encouraged to reach into their own experiences to make sense of new information in terms of what they already know. They are encouraged to see how that same approach works equally well when relating to families and conveying information to them. Whether a student, a teacher, or a parent, respect for one’s own background, experiences, knowledge, ideas, and insights is important. Because whatever we read always filters through our own subjective experiences, this text acknowledges that fact and capitalizes on it. Thus students can feel at home and find their own voices. They are asked to do the same for the children and families they work with.

◆ Anecdotes and examples are provided throughout. Each chapter contains stories and examples designed to take the subject out of the realm of theory and into the real world of practice. Examples are designed to appeal to both tradi- tional and non-traditional students, reflecting the changing demographics of the United States.

◆ Advocacy is emphasized. The “Advocacy in Action” feature appeals to those students who want to “do something!” about improving the lives of children, families, the education systems, and society in general. This feature gives stu- dents ideas about ways of being public and personal advocates.

iNstructor suPPlemeNts to this text All ancillary resources for instructors are available for download by adopting profes- sors via in the Instructor Resource Center.

Instructor’s Resource Manual: This manual contains chapter overviews, activity ideas for both in and out of class, and ways to integrate the digital content into your course.

Online Test Bank: The test bank includes a variety of test items in various formats.

Pearson TestGen: This test-generation software is available in various learning management system formats. Download and use as is or create your own exams with provided items and your own items. Test items included are the same items in the Online Test Bank.

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Preface ix

Online PowerPoint Slides: PowerPoint slides highlight key concepts and strategies in each chapter. They can be used to enhance lectures and discussions, or can be posted on your learning management system as an additional study resource for your students.

ackNowledgmeNts Special thanks to the reviewers of this edition: Vernell D. Larkin, Hopkinsville Community College; Tonia Pa- drick, Cape Fear Community College; Tasha Smith, Solano Community College; and Shaquam Urquhart Ed- wards, College of Marin.

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Brief Contents

Chapter 1 The Child in Context of Family and Community 2

Chapter 2 Supporting Families around Issues of Attachment and Trust 22

Chapter 3 Supporting Families with Autonomy-Seeking Youngsters 44

Chapter 4 Sharing Views of Initiative with Families 72

Chapter 5 Working with Families of School-Age Children 98

Chapter 6 Societal Influences on Children and Families 124

Chapter 7 Understanding Families’ Goals, Values, and Culture 150

Chapter 8 Working with Families on Guidance Issues 172

Chapter 9 Working with Families on Addressing Feelings and Problem Solving 194

Chapter 10 Working with Families to Support Self-Esteem 218

Chapter 11 Working with Families around Gender Issues 242

Chapter 12 Stress and Success in Family Life 262

Chapter 13 Early Care and Education Programs as Community Resources 284

Chapter 14 Supporting Families through Community Resources and Networks 308

Chapter 15 Social Policy Issues 326

References 345

Index 369

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ChaptER 1 the Child in Context of Family and Community 2 Looking at Context through Bioecological Theory 4

Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Model 4 Family-Centered Approaches 6

Family-Centered Defined 7 The Benefits of Family-Centered Programs for Children 7 The Benefits of Family-Centered Education Programs for

Teachers 8 The Benefits of Family-Centered Programs for Families 9 Mutual Benefits 9

History of Family-Centered Care and Education 10 Challenges to Creating Partnerships with Families 13

Multiple Lenses through Which to Look at Family-Centered Approaches 14

The Family Systems Theory Lens 14 The Whole Child Lens 16 Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs 17 Culture as a Lens 19

Summary 20 Quiz 20 For Discussion 20 Websites 20 Further Reading 21

ChaptER 2 Supporting Families around Issues of attachment and trust 22 How Attachment and Trust are Related 23 The Development of Attachment and Trust 25

How Secondary Attachments Occur 28 Attachment Behaviors 29 Signs of Attachment in Infants 30

Obstacles to Attachment 30 Temperament and Attachment 31 Developmental Differences 32 Learning to Cope with Feelings of Loss 33

Varying Attachment Patterns 36 Bowlby and Ainsworth’s Research 36 Questions about Classic Attachment Research 37 Judging Attachment in a Cross-Cultural Situation 38

Effects of Child Care on Attachment 39

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xiv coNteNts

How Caregiver and Parent Roles Differ 40 Attachment in Full-Inclusion Programs 41

Summary 42 Quiz 42 For Discussion 42 Websites 42 Further Reading 43

ChaptER 3 Supporting Families with autonomy-Seeking Youngsters 44 Signs of Developing Autonomy 46

Negativity 46 Exploration 47 Self-Help Skills 49 A Sense of Possession 53

Dealing with Issues of Power and Control 55 Set Up a Developmentally Appropriate Environment 55 Appreciate Play 57 Encourage Self-Help Skills 59 Give Choices 59 Provide Control 60 Set Limits 61

Coping with Loss and Separation 63 Taking Separation in Small Steps 63 Entering Child Care 64

Partnering with Families of Toddlers 66 Working with Families around Issues of Identity Development 66 Broadening Perspectives 68

Summary 69 Quiz 69 For Discussion 69 Websites 69 Further Reading 70

ChaptER 4 Sharing Views of Initiative with Families 72 What Initiative Looks Like in a Four-Year-Old 73

Analyzing Initiative in a Four-Year-Old 74 Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) 75 Developmental Conflicts 77 Imagination and Fantasy 78

The Value of Play for Young Children 79 How the Environment Contributes to a Sense of Initiative 81 Dimensions of Play Environments 82

How Adults Contribute to Children’s Initiative 83 Special Considerations for Children with Disabilities 85 The Shy Child 87 A Look at Aggression 88 Teaching Problem-solving Skills 91 Empowering the Preschool-Age Child 92

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coNteNts xv

Summary 95 Quiz 95 For Discussion 96 Websites 96 Further Reading 96

ChaptER 5 Working with Families of School-age Children 98 School is Different from Preschool 99

A Family-Centered Approach to Kindergarten 100 The School-Age Child and Stages of Development 100 Differences Families Notice between School

and Preschool 103 Finding Out What Families Want for Their Children 105

Teaching Prosocial Skills and Morals 107 Looking at the Decision-Making Process as a Way of

Exploring Morals 108 The Power of Adult Attention 111

Paying Attention to the Behavior You Want to Continue 111 Using Affirmations 113 Children’s Response to Positive Adult Attention 114 Empty Praise versus Encouragement 118 Teaching Morals by Promoting Prosocial Development 120

Summary 122 Quiz 122 For Discussion 122 Websites 123 Further Reading 123

ChaptER 6 Societal Influences on Children and Families 124 Socialization and the Family 126

The Issue of Bias 128 Schools as Socializing Agents 134

Getting into Kindergarten 135 Classroom Behavior 136 Responding to Diversity 138 Inequity and Schools 139

Other Agents of Socialization 139 The Peer Group as an Agent of Socialization 139 Functions of the Peer Group 140 Media and Technology as an Influence on

Socialization 141 Commercial Advertising 143 Violence 144

Summary 148 Quiz 148 For Discussion 148 Websites 149 Further Reading 149

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xvi coNteNts

ChaptER 7 Understanding Families’ Goals, Values, and Culture 150 Cultural Differences in Goals and Values 153

How do the Goals of Independence and Interdependence Differ? 154

Contrasting Cultural Patterns 154 Conflicting Goals and Values 156

What to Do when Conflicts Arise 158 Helping Children Understand and Value Cultural

Pluralism 166 Supporting Home Language 167

Language Loss in Immigrant Children 167 Understanding the Advantages of Bilingualism 168 Language Relationships 169

Summary 170 Quiz 170 For Discussion 170 Websites 171 Further Reading 171

ChaptER 8 Working with Families on Guidance Issues 172 Discipline, Authority, and Cultural Differences 175

Changing the Word Discipline to Guidance 175 Inner Controls versus External Locus of Control 175 Teaching Self-regulation 177 Problems with Using Punishment to Teach 179 General Guidelines for Guiding Young Children 180

Discussing Preventative Measures with Parents 182 Guidance as Responding to Unacceptable Behavior 185 Summary 191 Quiz 191 For Discussion 191 Websites 192 Further Reading 192

ChaptER 9 Working with Families on addressing Feelings and problem Solving 194 Feelings 195

What are Feelings? 199 All Feelings are Useful 199 Learning Feelings 200 Social Referencing 200 Cultural Scripts 201 The Importance of Accepting Feelings 203 Healthy Expressions of Feelings 204

Teaching Children to Cope with Feelings 206 Developing Self-Calming Skills 206 Coping by Playing Pretend 207

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coNteNts xvii

Coping with Simultaneous Feelings 208 Coping with Fear 208 Coping with Anger 209

Problem Solving 211 Using the RERUN Problem-Solving

Process with a Child 211 Problem Solving as a Cultural Issue 212 Problem Solving and Parenting Styles 213 A Deeper Look at the Four Parenting Styles 215

Summary 216 Quiz 216 For Discussion 216 Websites 216 Further Reading 217

ChaptER 10 Working with Families to Support Self-Esteem 218 Exploring Self-Esteem as a Road to Success 219

Culture and Self-Esteem 220 Dimensions of Self-Esteem 222 The Role of Beliefs and Expectations in Self-Esteem 224 Where Does Self-Esteem Come From? 225

Promoting Self-Esteem 226 Give More Honest Feedback and Encouragement Than

Praise 227 Give Children Opportunities to Experience Success 227 Children Learn from Failure 230

Celebrating Differences: An Anti-bias Approach 231 Bias Can Hurt 233 Cultural Differences and Self-Esteem 234 Changing Negative Messages to Positive Ones 237

Summary 239 Quiz 239 For Discussion 239 Websites 240 Further Reading 240

ChaptER 11 Working with Families around Gender Issues 242 Why it is Important to Think About Teaching Gender

Roles 243 Issues around Gender Roles 243 Some History Related to Genderized Clothing 245 Equity Issues and Gender Roles 246 The Women of Today 246

Gender Equity and Parenting 249 Toys and Gender Roles 250 The Power of Language 252 Using Modeling to Teach 253

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xviii coNteNts

Differential Socialization 254 Differential Treatment from Parents 256 Differential Treatment in Preschool 256 Differential Treatment in Elementary School 257 Guidelines for Parents and Educators 258

Summary 260 Quiz 260 For Discussion 261 Websites 261 Further Reading 261

ChaptER 12 Stress and Success in Family Life 262 Varied Images of Families 263

Ways in Which Families Can Vary 263 Families and Stress 264 Giving Legitimacy to Cultural Differences and Lifestyles 265

Successful Families 266 Traits of Successful Families 268 Images of Successful Families 269 Six Families 271

Stress as a Positive Force 278 What We Can Learn from Studies of Resilient Children 279 Helping All Children Become Resilient Children 280

Summary 282 Quiz 282 For Discussion 282 Websites 283 Further Reading 283

ChaptER 13 Early Care and Education programs as Community Resources 284 Defining Types of Ece Programs 285

Exploring the Various Types of ECE Programs 285 Changing Times 288 Early Care and Education Programs as Child-Rearing

Environments 290 The State of Child Care in the United States Today 292

Affordability and Availability 292 Status and Salaries 293 Looking at Quality 294

Partnering with Families 295 Adult-Child Interactions in Child Care and Early Education

Settings 295 Including Everybody: Children with Special Needs 297 Having Concerns about a Child 299 Questions Concerning Continuity between Child Care and

Home 300 Roadblocks to Mutual Appreciation, Respect, and Support 304

Summary 306 Quiz 307

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coNteNts xix

For Discussion 306 Websites 307 Further Reading 307

ChaptER 14 Supporting Families through Community Resources and Networks 308 Social Networks 309

Developing a Broad Base of Support 310 Forms Social Networks May Take 311 Community Institutions That Serve Families 312

Families Using Community Resources 314 Sara’s Family 314 Roberto’s Family 315 Junior’s Family 316 Michael’s Family 317 Courtney’s Family 318 The Jackson Family 319

Connections to the Community 320 A Summary of Community Resources 320 Finding Community Resources 321 Availability of Community Resources 322

Summary 323 Quiz 324 For Discussion 324 Websites 324 Further Reading 324

ChaptER 15 Social policy Issues 326 Who is Responsible for America’s Children? 327

Does Every Child Get an Equal Start? 327 Ready to Learn: A Goal for All of America’s Children 329 Private Citizens Making Changes 330

Benefitting Children and Families through Financial Investments 331

Head Start 332 Child Care 332 Moving Toward Full-Inclusion Programs 336

Advocacy 337 Adequate Health Services and Nutrition for All 338 Taking a Preventive Approach 339 Violence and Its Effect on Children and Families 340

Summary 342 Quiz 343 For Discussion 343 Websites 343 Further Reading 343

References 345

Index 369

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Learning Outcomes In this chapter you will learn to…

• Explain how to look at context through the lens of bioecological theory. • Describe the implications of family-centered approaches, including the

benefits to children, teachers, and parents. • Explain the history of family-centered care and education. • Define multiple lenses through which to look at family-centered

approaches, including family systems theory, whole child perspective, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and culture as a lens.


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The Child in Context of Family and Community 3

Why is the title of this book Child, Family, and Community? Here’s why. Many people go into the profession of teaching in general and into early care and education specifically because they love children. They find they relate well to chil- dren, and they enjoy being with them. When these individuals start taking classes, they find that their studies focus on the development and education of children. The course for which this book is designed also focuses on the child, but with a difference. This book takes the position that children must be looked at in context—meaning that each child must be viewed in the context of his or her family, and each family must be viewed in the context of the community/communities/society to which it be- longs. Taking this larger view of each child will help readers remember to always keep the context in mind, no matter what aspect of child development and/or education they study.

What are the various contexts that families come in? Culture is certainly one overarching context which relates to ethnicity, and is affected by socioeconomic level, family structure, sexual orientation and all the other variables that make this particu- lar family what it is. Immigrant status, if any, is also a context. With immigrant num- bers increasing, language and cultural diversity are becoming more obvious, though ours has always been a diverse country. In one sense we are all immigrants except for people who were on this continent first, those who can be considered indigenous. Their descendants are still here. The rest of the population is made up of immigrants, whether willing or unwilling (Ogbu, 1987). This list of influences on families repre- sents just the tip of the iceberg. It’s a sample of all the ways in which families differ from each other by their contexts. For more information about America’s children and families, see the website for the Kids Count Data Center.

Another huge influence on children is the community. The child and family are always placed in a community context. What community a family is in makes a big difference. My husband’s family moved from Puebla, Mexico, to the San Francisco Bay area in California many years ago—when my husband was 21 years old. They left behind countless relatives. When we visit those relatives and their descendants, we can see the different courses their lives took from those who moved to the United States. Just a few of the influences that have affected the U.S. family and the Mexican family in different ways are the changing international, national, and local political situations; the economies of the two countries and the lo- cal economies; and the changes that occur when one culture bumps up against another one, as is happening in both coun- tries.

Education, development, learning, and socialization al- ways occur in a context, and any specific context is embedded in a web of ever-changing other contexts. There is no such thing as a decontextualized child. To study “the child” without understanding the context is like studying a statue of a cat in

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order to understand its life. This whole book is about the education and socialization of the child in context. Simply put, the book examines the child in the context of de- velopmental theory, which comes in the context of family, which lies in the context of community. All of these contexts can be thought of as environments or settings that hold people, which influence each other and are influenced by culture.

Understanding the bigger picture of how the child becomes a social being in context has been the theme of this book along with a further area of focus and that is on working with the family. Rather than making parent education and involve- ment just one component and dedicating a chapter to them, this book is about family-centered care and education. To understand both the child and the family in context, we need an encompassing theory.

LOOKING AT CONTEXT THROUGH BIOECOLOGICAL THEORY The history and foundations of family-centered care and education go way back. Something I learned as a student in an early childhood class in 1967 stuck in my mind. “Your client is not the child, but the family.” The teacher of that class, Lilian Katz, University of Illinois professor and a pioneer in the field, made that statement. I’ve never forgotten what she said, but it has taken many years for the field as a whole to begin to understand and embrace that concept. This book is dedicated not only to expanding the understanding, but also to giving specific strategies to the reader about how to take that concept out of the theoretical realm and into the early childhood classroom, child care center, or family child care home.

Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Model This particular slant and organization falls in line with the model that Urie Bronfenbrenner first laid out for us in 1979. When he wrote that there are layers of context, he referred to a set of Russian dolls that are nested inside each other, the smallest one at the core. The organization of the book relates to Bronfenbrenner’s layers. Simply put, what Bronfenbrenner called a bioecological model of human development means that every child is at the center of what can be visualized as concentric circles of context set in an overarching system of time, which affects all the contexts and changes them continuously (see Figure 1.1). The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) published a document that referred to Bronfenbrenner as “the man who changed how we see human development.” The document can be found on the NIEER website.

The microsystems layer, the smallest of the contexts in which the child is em- bedded, is made up of the environment where the child lives and moves. The people and institutions the child interacts with in that environment make up the microsys- tems. Examples are immediate family, child care (teachers and peers), and perhaps neighborhood play area, depending on the age of the child; school and religious in- stitutions or spiritual groups may also be part of the system. The younger the child, the smaller the number of microsystems.

The microsystems are set in the mesosystems layer, which relates to the interac- tions the people in the microsystems have with each other—as parents interact with teachers or, in the case of infants, child care providers or early interventionists, for example. The child is not directly involved with all the components of the mesosys- tems but nevertheless is affected by them.

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The Child in Context of Family and Community 5

The exosystems layer is a wider context—and though the child may not have direct contact with it, the systems affect the child’s development and socialization—as do all the systems. Because the people in the child’s life are af- fected by the exosystems and mesosystems, the child is also. The exosystems can be thought of as the broader community, including people, services, and environ- ments. Examples of what is in the exosystems layer are extended family, family networks, mass media, workplaces, neighbors, family friends, community health systems, legal services, and social welfare services. An example of how the exo- systems affect the child shows up when a parent goes to work or gets laid off from work. The changes in the parent’s life have an impact on the child’s life. Another example of an exosystem affecting the microsystems is when a family has to move because their apartment building is scheduled to be torn down to make room for urban renewal.

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Figure 1.1 Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model Source: Based on Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

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The outer layer, called the macrosystems, contains the attitudes and ideolo- gies, values, laws, and customs of a particular culture or subculture. The chrono- system comprises the largest and the most outward layer of the embedded circles. Brofenbrenner used the chronosystem to hold events that occur over a span of time. It could include family transitions such as divorce or relocations as well as socio- historical events such as the terrorist attack on the United States that happened on September 11, 2001.

The point of the bioecological model is that each component interacts with other components, creating a highly complex context in which the child grows up. Another point is that the child isn’t just a passive recipient of what goes on in his or her life. The child at the center of Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model

interacts directly with the people in the microsystems and some in the mesosystems, and the effects of the interaction go both ways. As people affect the child, so the child has an influence on them. Another point is that nothing ever remains static. As a result, the child, systems, and environ- ments are ever changing. Milestones and life events occur as time passes, the child grows, and the contexts change.

FAMILY-CENTERED APPROACHES So understanding the child in context, as per Bronfenbrenner’s theory, brings up some important questions. One such question is this one that relates to the human service sector: How can early interventionists, social workers, teachers, or child care providers work to support a child without working with the family and the community? Obviously they can’t, especially when the family is one that has multiple issues going on, all of which affect the children in the family. One program in California works with children in low-income families in a poverty community to ensure their health and well-being (Bernard & Quiett, 2003). Of course, there is no way to focus on a child, even one in crisis, without addressing the bigger picture. This particular program used home visitors who were qualified social workers and also had to work with the services in the community—a two-pronged approach.

Not only did the program focus on the child, but it also involved the family, plus the human service agencies the family need to interface with.

Another more widely known pro- gram, one that is much larger and hugely funded, is Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City. Canada’s goal has been not only to have every child finish his or her edu- cation by graduating from college but also to improve the community in which children are growing up. The Harlem Children’s Zone has a comprehensive website that highlights their national model for breaking the cycle of poverty: education, family and community pro- grams, and health. Paul Tough (2009)

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Social workers may conduct home visits and connect families with community agencies

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The Child in Context of Family and Community 7

writes the story of what was involved, including parent support, starting with prenatal parenting classes. It became quickly evident that no matter how supportive the program was, there was a good deal of work to be done in the child care and education system and other community services if the children were to succeed in school and in society.

A third example of a family-centered approach is Head Start, which uses a Parent, Family, Community Engagement Framework to work with young chil- dren from low-income families. Head Start has long been a leader in the early childhood field by introducing a major parent, family component from the very beginning. To learn more about the Head Start Community Engagement Frame- work, the PDF document can be downloaded from the Head Start website.

That brings us to educational services. Here’s a big question: Why is it that so many education systems don’t do what the three examples just de- scribed do? Instead many programs expect families to send their children off to child care, preschool, or school and leave the families themselves out of the picture except for enrollment, parent night, and parent/teacher conferences. Since the first edition of this book, that situation has begun to change from programs that called themselves child centered to those that take a family-centered approach. Part of the reason for this movement is increasing re- gard for the greater context the family is in, which includes culture, ethnicity, and economics, among others, all of which influence the family’s physical and social location in the neighborhood, community, and greater society (Bloom, Eisenberg, & Eisenberg, 2003; Epstein, 2001; Fitzgerald, 2004; Gonzalez-Mena, 2009; Keyser, 2006; Lee, 2006; Lee & Seiderman, 1998; McGee-Banks, 2003). Leaders in the move- ment see the importance of including the families in all aspects of their children’s schooling, care, and education.

Family-Centered Defined What is a family-centered approach? A family-centered approach takes the individual child and the group of children out of the spotlight and instead focuses on the chil- dren within their families. In the case of educational programs, that means that parent involvement isn’t something the teacher does in addition to the program for children, but that the program includes the family as an integral, inseparable part of the child’s education and socialization. Families, along with their children, are the program.

What does a family-centered program look like? Family-centered programs offer a variety of services, services in tune with what the parents as individuals and as a group need and want. But more than just services, they offer partnerships between professionals and families. Collaboration is a key word. The point is for professionals to become allies with families and share power. In a partnership, each partner brings a special set of strengths and skills that enhance the group. Through building rela- tionships and ongoing communication the partnership results in mutual learning as both sides share resources and information with each other. Everyone benefits: the early educators, the families, and the children!

The Benefits of Family-Centered Programs for Children When parents and teachers work together they enhance children’s emotional security, which facilitates development and makes it easier for them to develop and learn. The children also benefit when their strengths and needs as individuals are

Watch this video to see Geoffrey Canada speak about the Harlem Children’s Zone. What do you think about the impact of what he refers to as the pipeline that starts at birth? 1H0k2TDZF7o

Watch this video about the comprehensive nature of the Head Start program. What do you think of the teacher preparation requirements that are described?

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understood in their family context. Continuity between home and program can be another benefit as teachers and parents understand each other bet- ter. There’s a better chance for cultural consistency as a result of the parent- professional partnership or at least an understanding of and respect for cul- tural differences. Children’s identity formation is enhanced when children don’t have to experience uncomfort- able feelings around the differences between what they learn at school and what they learn at home.

When children see adults mod- eling healthy, equitable relations in their interactions with each other, they receive a huge benefit. They learn that adults aren’t just polite to each other, but have rich, authentic exchanges and even disagreements.

Children gain by seeing how those adults solve their disagreements without harm- ing their relationships with each other. If those adults deal with their own biases and increase their ability to communicate across differences, children are watching equity in action, which goes beyond trying to teach children to be fair by using an antibias approach (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010).

Because positive relationships are important to development, security, and get- ting along with others, “relationships” is the first item listed in the accreditation standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). (For complete information on the NAEYC Accreditation Standards and Criteria, visit their website.) What better way to encourage relationships than to model them every day as professionals and adults interact and collaborate?

The Benefits of Family-Centered Education Programs for Teachers Teachers and early educators who understand the child within his or her family con- text can do a better job of supporting development and teaching that child as well as working with the group of children. It makes the job more satisfying as teachers watch children gain in trust and self-confidence. Teachers can learn new and effec- tive teaching and guidance strategies as they observe parents and exchange informa- tion with them. There is always a lot to learn about cultural differences, in particular (Cervantes & Hernandez, 2011; Espinosa, 2010).

Since the majority of teachers are European Americans (Ray, Bowman, & Robbins, 2006), most have a good deal to learn about cultures other than their own. As professionals learn more about other cultures they can enlarge their views and gain knowledge and insights on child development, education, desired outcomes, and approaches related to these views. Families add richness to a program and provide resources to professionals.

As parents learn from teachers, they too can gain insights about their children. Sometimes the close contact with families brings teachers attention, acknowledgment,

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The Child in Context of Family and Community 9

and appreciation that they might not receive otherwise. Partnership-type relation- ships can be very rewarding! Through relationships with families teachers can become more a part of the local community, if they aren’t part of it already.

The Benefits of Family-Centered Programs for Families Families today often feel isolated. Gone are the days for many of the old extended family where somebody was home or close by to give support or lend a hand to family members who needed it. A family-centered program can become like an extended family to those who desire such a thing.

When families are not part of their children’s education, they have to just hope that what the program provides for their children is the same as what they want. That can be a big problem. Barbara Rogoff, author of The Cultural Nature of Human Development, said, “The goals of human development—what is regarded as mature or desirable— vary considerably” (2003, p. 18). So if children are to spend big chunks of their lives throughout their childhood in educational programs, it makes sense that the goals of the program match the goals of the families, or at least don’t contradict them. With pressures to conform to outcomes and desired results by policy makers and funding sources, it becomes even more important for parents to be knowledgeable and vocal.

Just as teachers can learn from parents, so can parents learn from teachers who look through a child development framework as they observe the children in the school environment with their peers (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009). This gives parents a broader view than just knowing that child in the context of home and family. Families can gain greater knowledge of resources from the professionals in their children’s program.

Mutual Benefits Family-centered programs can expand everybody’s horizons. One benefit for both teachers and parents is that of self-knowledge about their own culture—the beliefs and values that come from their roots and group membership. This benefit occurs whenever teachers and parents run into practices that seem wrong, or at least uncomfortable, and are able to talk to each other nonjudgmentally about their differences so they can come to understand not only their own but the other person’s views (Im, Parlakian, & Sanchez, 2007). Barbara Rogoff, in her book The Cultural Nature of Human Development, has advice about how to expand awareness of one’s own culture as well as understand the patterns behind the thought and behavior of other cultures. She suggests that when you run into something you don’t understand, it’s best to put aside value judgments at first. Once you can see your own cultural patterns you are in a better position to understand others and determine whether a value judgment is necessary or not.

Families, including their children, and professionals gain from the collaborative relationship in several other ways, including:

◆◆ Enhanced communication as the groups relate to each other around shared power and decision making

◆◆ Supportive relationships leading to networks of mutual support

The community also gains when families and ECE programs work together. These partnerships increase the chances of a better-educated population and a more pluralistic society, one that values the richness diversity brings. As families and professionals work together, another ultimate outcome can be equity and social justice growing from mutual understanding and acceptance.

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If you look back on what you’ve just read, you can see how it fits in with Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model. The child, in his or her microsystem, is

influenced by family, teachers, and peers who are also influenced by the me- sosystems, exosystems, and also macrosystems, which are where cultural differences, values, customs, and ideologies come in. Laws are part of that outward system as well and are influenced by the culture, values, and ideolo- gies of the people who make them. The chronosystem, the outside layer, in turn affects all the other systems.

HISTORY OF FAMILY-CENTERED CARE AND EDUCATION The roots of family-centered care and education go way back. As professionals we’ve always known that families are important to children, whether those children are at home or in early care and education programs. We have research to back us up, some of it from a pioneer, John Bowlby (1969, 1973), a researcher noted for his attachment theory and his study of the harm resulting in separating children in hospitals from their parents. We know now about attachment and hospitalization; we are still learning about attachment and education.

Head Start, mentioned earlier, was born in the Mississippi Freedom Schools and is still going strong today. During the War on Poverty of the mid-1960s it became a federally funded comprehensive preschool and social services program with not only a mandate for parent involvement and education but also built-in devices for parents to have some say in the education of their young children in the preschool years. Several generations now have been through Head Start. Today Head Start teachers are sometimes grown-up Head Start children, as are some of the directors.

Urie Bronfenbrenner, mentioned earlier, was co-founder of Head Start. His Ecology of Human Development had a big influence on creating family-centered programs. He emphasized that the abstract concept of “the child” doesn’t exist ( Bronfenbrenner, 1979, 1994). His ideas not only caught hold in Head Start, but expanded the program downward to include infants and toddlers, the idea being not so much to educate the babies but to work with the families because they are the ones that have the greatest influence on their children’s lives.

Pioneer parent educator Ira J. Gordon (1968, 1976) created a program in Florida back in the 1960s involving parents of infants with the goal of improving child out- comes. He studied parent education and involvement and eventually came up with a hierarchy of types of involvement (Olmsted et al., 1980), moving from parents being recipients of information, to learning new skills, to teaching their own children, and becoming classroom volunteers. The two top kinds of involvement are becoming a paid paraprofessional and, finally, taking on the role of decision maker and policy advisor.

Today you can find elements of these various levels of involvement in many kinds of programs, including Head Start, other kinds of preschools, kindergartens, and grade schools. Some programs involve parents more than other programs.

The special education law PL 94–142, called the Education of All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, mandated parent involvement in planning for the education of the child. Each child identified with a disability or special need must have an Individual Educational Plan (IEP), or if an infant or toddler, an Individualized Fam- ily Service Plan (IFSP). A group of professionals along with the parents create these

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The Child in Context of Family and Community 11

plans. According to the law and the re- authorized Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1990 and 1997, parents must be involved in all aspects of their children’s education. PL 108–446 aligned special education with the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation in 2004 and continued the mandate for parent involvement and power so that families disagreeing with a diagnosis or placement can call a hearing.

The “parent as the child’s first teacher” is a motto now and a widespread notion throughout early care and education. Parent education materials, classes, and videos are available for new parents to see how important they are to their babies. Preschools involve parents in a variety of ways including volunteering in the class- room. One first-grade teacher has parents come in to the classroom twice a week first thing in the morning to read to their children. Most kindergarten and primary teachers encourage parents to help children with their homework. Also those same teachers usually encourage parents to help their children by finding a quiet place to do their homework and take an interest in school and what their children are learning.

That motto of “parents as the child’s first teacher” can also be interpreted in another way in family-centered programs, which emphasize a broad range of parent-support services. Of course parents are welcome to come into the classroom, but they are not mandated to do so. The focus of the support is to help parents with whatever they need rather than telling them how to be involved in their child’s education or that they have to take the role of teacher. Some families find that through the kind of support they gain from the program staff and other families in the program, they are better able to organize their lives so they can support their children emotionally and meet their basic physical needs for nutrition, rest, and exercise. Children whose physical and emotional needs are met have the focus and energy for learning. These are real basics.

Douglas Powell wrote about the family-centered program movement way back in 1986. He talked about how many programs at that time were making a shift toward family-orientation (1986, p. 50). Powell used Head Start as an example when he wrote about the shift from child-focused programs to family-centered ones. Head Start today, in its many forms, still makes the family the client. In 1998, Powell acknowledged that the movement toward family-centered programs wasn’t as widespread as it should be. He illustrated this using a metaphor of programs as a piece of fabric made of three col- ors of thread—one color each for children, staff, and parents. He described the most common pattern as a weaving of the child and staff together; the parents end up in a separate section. Many programs still show this same pattern. The family-centered program would make a different fabric, with the parent threads woven throughout the pattern so that all three colors of thread are integrated. In a family-centered program there is no separate section of the pattern just for parents (Powell, 1998, p. 60).

The Epstein Model, based on Gordon’s roles for parent involvement, was created by Joyce Epstein (2009), who wrote a handbook called School, Family, and Community

Preschools involve parents in a variety of ways including volunteering in the classroom

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Partnerships. The handbook lists the six types of partnerships that reflect Gordon’s hierarchy using a little different language and going one step further to include “collaborating with the community.”

Here is Epstein’s list:

◆◆ Parenting ◆◆ Communicating school-to-home and home-to-school ◆◆ Volunteering ◆◆ Helping students learn at home ◆◆ Decision making (including families as participants in school decisions, gover-

nance, and advocacy through PTA/PTO, school councils, committees, and other parent organizations)

◆◆ Collaborating with the community

As parents move up the “involvement ladder,” they move beyond thinking about just their own children and becoming an advocate for them to looking at advocating for all children, including ways to improve the program, the school, or the system (see Figure 1.2).

Family-centered care and education is a giant step forward from parent involve- ment hierarchies. It involves a much larger vision of families being vital parts of their children’s care and education.

The NAEYC supports family-centered programs saying, “Young children’s learning and development are integrally connected to their families. Consequently, to support and promote children’s optimal learning and development, programs need to recognize the primacy of children’s families, establish relationships with families based on mutual trust and respect, support and involve families in their children’s educational growth, and invite families to fully participate in the program” (NAEYC, 2005, p. 11). The NAEYC also came out with a book, From Parents to Partners: Building a Family-Centered Early Childhood Program (Keyser, 2006), and instituted a proj- ect in 2007 called Strengthening Family-Teacher Partnerships, which started with several “training the trainer” institutes.

The Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) has been and is still aggressively working on linking families to their children’s educational programs. When parent involvement takes the form of family support, there is evidence that it can lower


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Helping students learn at home

Decision making

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Figure 1.2 Six types of parent partnerships that lead parents to move up the involvement ladder, based on the Epstein model

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The Child in Context of Family and Community 13

stress levels in parents and make their lives easier. The HFRP website has links to areas of research and resources.

The Parent Services Project (PSP) was started in the 1980s by Ethel Seiderman in California as a mission to strengthen families by having them take leadership in assuring the well-being of children, families, and commu- nities (Lee, 2006; Lee & Seiderman, 1998). PSP now provides training, tech- nical assistance, and consultation nationally to help programs and schools engage families. Instead of merely involving families, the approach they take is to provide a wide variety of services that reflect the interests and needs of the families enrolled. Instead of predetermining what will be offered, the programs are designed to involve families in deciding, planning, and organiz- ing the activities. As a result, programs trained in the PSP approach find increased parent involvement, leadership, and participation, which strengthens community ties and leads to effective community building (Pope & Seiderman, 2001; Seiderman, 2003). The Parent Services Project website highlights the organization’s mission, values, programs, and events.

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