Principles for Advancing Equity in New York City UPKs

This video provides images of what high quality teaching looks like in Universal Pre-Kindergarten classes in New York City public schools and community-based centers that serve high percentages of children from culturally/linguistically diverse backgrounds and who belong to socioeconomic communities designated as “high needs.”  It sheds light on teaching practices, classroom environments, and family engagement practices that are responsive to and sustaining of the language, cultures, and ways of being of children and families from these backgrounds.

Use these guiding questions to help facilitate discussion around this video.

Seven principles are highlighted that combine understandings from three distinct fields of study – the knowledge base of human development and the science of early learning, the knowledge base of culturally responsive/relevant/sustaining teaching, and the knowledge base about multi-lingual learning:

  1. All children can learn
  2. Young children’s learning is varied
  3. Young children are active and multimodal meaning makers
  4. Young children’s language practices are diverse, fluid, and flexible
  5. Young children’s sociocultural contexts are assets and valuable resources for learning
  6. Young children learn and develop within the context of caring and reciprocal relationships
  7. Young children are critical thinkers and inquirers

Taken together, the practices embedded in these seven principles reconceptualize early childhood teaching in ways that that are answerable to minoritized young children and communities who have historically been underserved. They provide pathways for transforming the architecture of early childhood education to center on assets-based pedagogies, honor multilingualism, and thus be emancipatory for all.

Click here to see the full list of the 7 Principles of Culturally and Linguistically Responsive, Developmentally-Appropriate Practice.

Click here to see the full report of the study “Quality UPK Teaching in Diverse Settings” on which this video is based.

This research was supported by The New York City Early Childhood Research Network, a unique partnership of researchers from the city’s higher education institutions who work with the New York City Department of EducationNew York City Administration for Children’s ServicesNew York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity to study the implementation of New York City’s early childhood system.