No Child Misunderstood: Enhancing Early Childhood Teachers’ Multicultural Responsiveness to the Social Competence of Diverse Children

Document Type


Publication Date



Multicultural responsiveness, Social competence, Teacher education


As a result of rapid demographic changes in our society, more children from diverse racial/cultural backgrounds join our early childhood classrooms. The majority of early childhood teachers, on the other hand, are middle-class and of European-decent. This paper provides early childhood teachers with both theoretical and practical understandings about multicultural responsiveness, in order to understand and promote social competence of young children from diverse backgrounds. To accomplish this end, readers will be guided to consider actual classroom based examples and questions throughout the paper. First, the concept of social competence will be revisited from sociocultural perspectives. Next, we discuss advocacy for social competence of diverse children through the main themes of multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills. Finally, we recommend several strategies to support teachers’ professional growth and development for multicultural responsiveness.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Early Childhood Education Journal, v. 37, p. 469-476

Was this content written or created while at USF?