Ethics & Equity in Early Childhood Research

As I ponder everything that I have learned about research in the field of early childhood education I cannot help but think that all validity for this area of study lies in equity and ethics in the research model. Researchers must ensure that they are aware of existing cultural biases that may unduly influence their research as well as recognize potential deficit models, research assuming deficits in non-white, middle-class sectors of society, that may cause their interpretation of the data to be flawed.

Children are a sensitive research topic, yet it is so important for us to know about and understand their growth and development. However, researchers must continue to be sensitive to the fact that children are unable to give fully informed consent and they are at a power disadvantage when acting as the objects of research. Children with linguistic, cultural, or gender differences that are outside the anticipated norm are at an even more distinct disadvantage to potentially be misinformed, mistreated, or misinterpreted during the research process.

I know that it has been a challenge for me to confront and acknowledge my own biases and take the opportunity to consider differing perspectives, but it has been well worth it. My understanding of Head Start programming and existing research models regarding that program have grown significantly over the past few months and I look forward to finding an opportunity to apply that knowledge directly to work that I do.

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~ by vegucationmama on March 1, 2014.

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