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Young Learners, Diverse Children

Celebrating Diversity in Early Childhood
By: Virginia Gonzalez

Foreword by Eugene E. García

This field-tested teaching model merges cognition, language, and culture and demonstrates how integrating children’s backgrounds with instruction can boost learning for diverse and low SES students.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12, Elementary
  • ISBN: 9781412968140
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2009
  • Page Count: 248
  • Publication date: December 10, 2012

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
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"This is the first resource I have seen on this up-and-coming issue. The book takes a detailed, research-based look at a diverse population of children across the country and can be used effectively by classroom teachers, school divisions, and colleges."
—Katina Keener, Second-Grade Teacher
T. C. Walker Elementary School, Gloucester, VA

Nurture young children's self-esteem and boost learning by integrating family culture with instruction!

For the increasing number of diverse young learners, academic and social success can hinge on a teacher's ability to bridge home and school by making emotional connections with students and their families. This book demonstrates how combining teaching methods with an authentic appreciation of children's backgrounds builds the confidence they need to succeed.

Young Learners, Diverse Children offers a research-based instructional model that merges cognition, language, and culture to foster a supportive learning environment for diverse and low socioeconomic status (SES) students. Drawing on her direct experience in establishing a successful laboratory school for diverse preschoolers, Virginia Gonzalez presents examples of best teaching practices and provides lesson plans and alternative assessment tools to help readers:

  • Improve literacy skills through storytelling that reflects students' everyday lives
  • Collaborate with parents to increase student achievement
  • Correlate curriculum with TESOL standards for young children
  • Integrate academic standards across developmental levels and content areas

Using this practical handbook, early childhood educators can create richer, more positive learning experiences and help alleviate the real-life challenges of cultural adaptation for newly immigrated or low SES students and their families.



Virginia Gonzalez photo

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez has an interdisciplinary professional and academic background (BA in psychology, 1986, from the Catholic University of Lima-Perú; MA in bilingual special education, 1988, and PhD in educational psychology, 1991, both graduate degrees from The University of Texas at Austin). One of Gonzalez's major areas of expertise is the development of multidisciplinary models explaining sociocultural and linguistic factors influencing alternative assessment, learning and developmental processes, and instructional programs in bilingual/ English-as-a-second-language (ESL), low socioeconomic status, Hispanic children. Gonzalez has conducted multiple research studies that have been published in the form of books and journal articles, have been disseminated at national/international conferences, and have been applied for the assessment and instruction of diverse learners in the public school setting, and of international ESL students in higher education. These studies have generated alternative models and research methodologies, with important educational applications for the assessment and instruction of ethnic minorities.

In light of this scholarly work, Gonzalez has been recognized as an outstanding and prolific scholar by major professional organizations in the interdisciplinary fields of second language learning, bilingual education, and cognitive and language development. Among the many recent recognitions that Gonzalez has received for her scholarly and service work are: she was elected to serve as a member of the Executive Special Interest Group (SIG) Committee, and the Program Committee for the American Educational Research Association (AERA) for a three-year term (2007-2010); she was presented with a Service Award by the AERA Bilingual Education Research SIG in April 2007; she served as a chair and discussant for an Invited Presidential Symposium, entitled "Socio-Historical Factors Affecting ESL US Immigrant Public Schools Students' Academic Achievement," presented at AERA 2008 Annual Meeting in New York City; and she was selected by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) as a recipient for a Fulbright Senior Specialist Grant with the University of Costa Rica, December 2008.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Lists of Figures and Tables

Foreword by Eugene E. Garcia

Preface: A Letter to the Reader


About the Author

Part I. Ethnic-Educator Philosophical and Theoretical Framework

1. The Ethnic-Educator Philosophy

Examples of Principle 1

Examples of Principle 2

Examples of Principle 3

Examples of Principle 4

2. The Ethnic-Educator Pedagogical Model

How Teachers' Personalities Affect Their Assessment and Instructional Decisions

A Socioconstructivistic Pedagogical Model Supporting the Ethnic-Educator Approach

The Four Pedagogical Principles for Learning and Academic Achievement

Part II. Educational Applications of the Ethnic-Educator Approach

3. Teaching Strategies

Strategies Supporting the Ethnic-Educator Approach

First Cluster of Pedagogical Strategies: Thematic Curriculums

First Cluster of Pedagogical Strategies: Holistic Developmental Curriculums

Second Cluster of Pedagogical Strategies: Stimulating Critical-Thinking Skills

Second and Third Clusters of Pedagogical Strategies: A Pluralistic Pedagogy Stimulating Connections to Prior Sociocultural Knowledge and Real-life Experiences

Fourth Cluster of Pedagogical Strategies: An Advocacy Position for Teachers

Suggestions for Applying the Strategies

4. Linking the Teaching Strategies With Academic Content Standards

Linking Assessment to Instruction Through Classroom-Based Observations

Instructional Purposes of Assessment

Integration of Teaching Principles With TESOL Academic Content Standards in the Curriculum

Linking Assessment to Instruction Through Classroom-Based Observations

5. Developmental Tasks for Linking Assessment to Instruction

Case Study Introducing Individual Developmental Tasks

Discussion of Paula's Overall Performance Across Developmental Tasks

6. Storytelling

Research-Based Knowledge Supporting Storytelling as an Alternative Assessment

Storytelling as an Assessment Method of First- and Second-Language and Cognitive Development

Developmental Stages of Narrative and Semantic Development in Children

Socioconstructivist Perspective for Language Development

Sociocultural Perspective for Language Development

Application of Research-Based Knowledge to Actual Assessment Strategies

Recommended Strategies for Clustering Coding of Responses

Four Recommended Strategies for Interpreting Evaluation Results


7. Alternative Reading Instruction


Theoretical Framework Supporting Reading Instruction in Young, Diverse Children

Guided-Reading Approach for Developing Reading-Comprehension Skills

Application of the Guided-Reading Approach

Application of the Schema Theory

Repetition and Practice Make Perfect

Activities for Increasing Reading Abilities

Family Involvement for Increasing Reading Skills

Bridging the Gap Between School and Home Cultures Through Parental Participation


8. Conclusions and Recommendations for Educating Diverse Young Children

Introduction: The BPDC as a Learning Context

Interviews With Teachers Participating in the BPDC Project

Interviews With Diverse and Mainstream Parents Participating in the BPDC Project

Overall Conclusions

Appendix A. Alignment of Philosophical and Pedagogical Principles and Pedagogical Strategies Endorsed by the Ethnic-Educator Approach for Young, Diverse Children





Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.