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Fostering belonging through cultural connections: Perspectives from parents

Maria Sammons, Sophia Ali, Leena Noorzai, and Melanie Glover, with Elaine Khoo

This article discusses findings from research investigating ways teachers at one early childhood centre fostered children’s sense of belonging through making cultural connections with children and their families. The research is part of a University of Waikato project, funded by the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI), “Strengthening belonging and identity of refugee and immigrant children through early childhood education”. Findings based on data collected from four case-study children and their families’ experience at the centre highlight the value of cultural/religious artefacts, role play, and relationship building in fostering children’s sense of belonging. The findings have implications for effective practice that values culture and diversity in the early childhood setting.

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