Families, Resources, and Community: Illuminating the Structures of Culturally Relevant Education in an Urban Early Childhood Center

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Abstract

In this paper, we examine the enactment of culturally relevant education in an urban early childhood setting in the US. This descriptive case study used a sociocultural framework that emphasizes the relationship between structure and agency. The research question that guided the study was: How does an urban, non-profit early childhood educational center focused on the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students and families enact culturally relevant education? The findings indicated that both tacit and tangible structures supported the agency of all school stakeholders. Tacit structures included multilingual and multimodal communication, continuous, responsive reflection, and a schema of valuing family engagement, which permeated the institution’s culture. Tangible structures included the school’s faculty, administrators, and staff, the students and families who were served by the school, and the financial resources that were creatively leveraged by the staff and administration. The article concludes with implications and recommendations for stakeholders in a variety of schooling contexts who strive to enact authentic, sustained culturally relevant education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEducation and Urban Society
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Urban Studies

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