CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION: INTERACTION AMONG CHILDREN FROM CROSS-ETHNIC GROUPS IN A MULTI-ETHNIC PRE-SCHOOL
Keywords:culturally responsive, pre-school education, cross-ethnic groups, multi-ethnic pre-school
The primary aim of this study was to better understand how children from three different ethnic groups relate to each other in a pre-school by investigating the children’s relationships across three cultures. The study involved 25 children from one PERPADUAN Pre-school which comprised children from different ethnicities and is situated in an urban area. Naturalistic observations of the children based on classroom activities and free play were conducted over 12 weeks and were recorded through field notes and digital camera to gain understanding of the children’s behaviour. The children were interviewed based on observations and photographs conducted earlier. The findings in this study revealed friendships and peer networks occurring among the ethnic groups. Children from different ethnic groups shared common objects among themselves especially during the learning period. There was obviously developed reciprocity and interrelations between them. Children related to each other through play activities and the use of language; they learned Malay because the social relationship were being developed across language groups using a language familiar to all. Based on the evidences, a model of multi-ethnic pre-school children's friendship networks was developed from the data of this study.