Wednesday, August 3, 2016

DEL Releases Culturally Responsive Guidelines

Cultural Responsiveness:

The ability to learn from and relate respectfully with people of your own culture as well as those from other cultures.

As mandated by Washington’s Early Start Act (passed in July of 2015), this past week, the Department of Early Learning (DEL) provided recommendations to the Legislature on research-based cultural competency guidelines for early learning professional training.

Because cultural responsiveness is a key priority for DEL’s professional development strategy, DEL organized the Professional Development Cultural Considerations Workgroup. The group was made up of community organizations and experts, who created a set of standards that would provide a framework to strengthen the cultural responsiveness in the training, competencies, and standards for early learning professional development.

The Culturally Responsive Guidelines reflect the importance of diversity in the early learning field and highlight the importance of helping early learning professionals better serve and relate to all children with unique cultures, heritages, languages, beliefs, and circumstances. 

The Guidelines:

  • Serve as a statewide resource for everyone involved in the professional development of early childhood educators.
  • Provide expectations for professional development creation, delivery, and evaluation.
  • Outline essential information to enhance the cultural responsiveness of professional development in Washington State.
  • Provide a lens for continuous quality improvement of the professional development system and professional competencies. 

The Guidelines will be woven into existing documents and training like the Trainer Competencies, Core Competencies, Early Learning Guidelines, and Relationship Based Professional Development Competencies. State Approved trainers and higher education may use the Guidelines as a common reference point when determining culturally responsive policy and practice.

Thank you to the many partners who provided guidance to the creation of the Culturally Responsive Guidelines for Professional Development!

To read the full report, go here:

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