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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Realizing 'quality' in Indigenous early childhood development Mashon, Danielle Nichole


This study used the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society’s (BCACCS) Draft Quality Statement on Aboriginal Child Care (quality statement) as a starting point to identify Indigenous values for early childhood programming and describe how Aboriginal early childhood practitioners implement these values in Indigenous early childhood practice. Building on the view that in early childhood education, we must move ‘beyond quality to meaning-making,’ (Dahlberg, Moss & Pence, 1999), this study explored a working definition of ‘Indigenous quality care,’ comprised of five values reflected in the quality statement and supported by Indigenous early childhood education literature: Indigenous knowledge, self-determination, a holistic view of child development, family and community involvement, and Indigenous language. Using an Indigenous research methodology, I conducted audio-recorded telephone interviews with ten Aboriginal early childhood practitioners in British Columbia to identify how they operationalize the five values in practice. Findings from this study describe the successes and challenges Aboriginal early childhood practitioners face implementing programs that reflect Indigenous values for early childhood development. This study contributes to the ‘reconceptualist movement for quality care’ (Pence & Pacini-Ketchabaw, 2008) by further identifying how Indigenous notions of ‘quality’ differ from their mainstream counterparts, and sharing how mainstream notions of quality care continue to pervade the field and create challenges for Indigenous early childhood practice. Findings from this study also contribute to Indigenous early childhood education literature by sharing concrete strategies the Aboriginal early childhood practitioners in this study used to implement Indigenous values for early childhood education and care.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported