ABI Faculty Development Program Serving the needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander Students at BMCC and Hunter
Serving the needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander Students at BMCC and Hunter

Reflections

Class information

ECE 209 – Infant Care and Development

15 students

This is the 1st course the infant-toddler specialization for students in BMCC’s Early Childhood Education Program who have indicated they want to focus their studies on infant-toddlers and families. The course is limited to students in the major.  We focus on infant development and students’ family/ cultural community’s experience with infants that is intentionally positioned against “evidence-based practice” in US which are based on white, Eurocentric, middle class, ableist, heteronormative, etc. values.  For students to become certified teachers and earn a decent wage, they need to know the “evidence-based practices”; however, we have a bifurcated process of lifting up family/cultural community experiences.

 

Project overview

 

The first assignment of the semester is a low-stakes paper in which students: 1) introduce themselves; 2) share who they are as a learner — what supports their learning in  class/ group settings; 3) reflect on & describe how their family/cultural community respected babies, 4) compare how their family/ heritage tradition of respected babies to “evidence-based practices” from readings; and 5) explain why they chose this career path, program, college, and course section.

 

Why did you select this project? How does it relate to identity and purpose?

 

I revised a paper from a previous assignment to focus on students sharing their identity and purpose. I invite students to introduce themselves, who they are as learners, their culture, practices their family/ cultural community engage in that respect infants, and explore why they selected this learning community to join.

After instituting the assignment this semester, I am thinking making the following changes: 1) inviting students to share the information as a presentation or video recording — so the learning community can see/hear what everyone shares; 2) adding an oral history component for students to identify how babies are respected in their family/cultural tradition; and 3) making the comparison to “evidence-based practice” be a group discussion following the presentation/viewing the recordings.

 

What advice do you have for other faculty who would like to implement a similar project?

 

I think the timing and format of this assignment are crucial; this is a great opportunity for students to get to know each other, which is why I think a presentation/ recording format would be better.  This happens at week 3 of the semester when we are still getting to know everyone, and I worry we are not solidified enough as a community for people to be vulnerable.

 

Related materials

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Attached are the guidelines for the current assignment — as previously noted, I will likely revise this assignment before next semester.

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