Claudia Díaz Díaz, Ph.D.


Places that Speak: Diversity and Social Responsibility in Canadian Early Childhood Education.


In the context of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Canadian early childhood education needs to rethink its curriculum and pedagogies. This study examines how young children (3-5 years old) learn about diversity and social responsibility in a childcare centre in East Vancouver. The study demonstrates that critical multicultural pedagogies not only continue to prevent educators and children from learning about the impact of colonialism in Canada but also impose key barriers between children and place. The key barriers are two: adult concerns about children’s safety and an understanding of social responsibility mainly as the child’s ability to self-regulate. Together, these barriers may preclude opportunities for them to engage with Indigeneity and a sense of collective responsibility so much needed in current times. Knowledge of these barriers allows early childhood educators to reconceptualize the notions of diversity and responsibility and fosters meaningful encounters with diversity through children’s relationships with their place.

Supervisor: Mona Gleason (EDST)

Committee Members: Claudia Ruitenberg (EDST) and Gerald Fallon (EDST)