Understanding Differences in Perspectives on the Care and Education of Infants and Toddlers
Step 1: Interview Setup
Identify an adult who you would like to interview based on the following criteria:
· He or she is a parent of or family member who lives with a child age three or under. (Note: Although the suggested interview questions are written for parents, you may modify the wording to be appropriate for another family member who has a close relationship with the child.)
· His or her cultural framework appears to be similar to yours. (To determine this, take time to consider your own cultural background and the insights you gained from the Application in Week 1.)
Then, contact the person you would like to interview and inform him or her that you are working on a course on cultural and family studies for infant/toddler professionals and would like to learn about his or her perspectives on the care and education of an infant or toddler in his or her family.
Schedule the interview, which should take approximately 30 minutes or longer.
Step 2: Pre-Interview Writing
Before the interview, write a paragraph describing your interviewee and explaining why you believe his or her cultural framework might be similar to yours.
Step 3: Interview
Conduct the interview. While you may be accustomed to casual two-way conversation with your interviewee, be sure to keep the focus of this interview on learning about your interviewee’s perspectives. You will have an opportunity to reflect on your own views after the interview concludes.
During the interview:
· Focus on creating a sense of trust.
· Ask open-ended questions and allow plenty of time for your interviewee to think about his or her response.
· Listen deeply to what is said (or not said), without judgment.
· Observe the person’s demeanor. Notice any verbal and nonverbal cues that may indicate that he or she feels uncomfortable.
The following questions are provided as a reference and reflect the content you will be exploring throughout this course. You may wish to amend these questions or add new ones based on this week’s Learning Resources.
Before you begin asking questions, take a little time to talk about how you have begun to conceptualize culture, as well as what your own identity means to you. Then, naturally segue into the first interview question.
1. How would you describe yourself in terms of your culture? How do you think your culture influenced your family upbringing? How do you think your culture and family upbringing have influenced your identity?
2. How would you describe your child, including his or her cultural background?
3. What language(s) do you speak with your infant/toddler? What language(s) do other people in his or her life speak?
4. Could you tell me about how you approach schedules in your child’s everyday life? Do you believe that an infant/toddler should have a regular schedule for feeding or eat when he or she is hungry? How about for sleeping?
5. Could you tell me about feeding your infant/toddler? (Note: You may expand upon this question to ask about nursing/bottle feeding, interactions during feeding, specifics about who is involved in feeding, what the child eats, where and when feeding takes place, etc.)
6. Where does your infant/toddler sleep? Does he or she sleep alone or with you or another family member? Does this vary depending on whether it is day or night?
7. Is it difficult for you or your infant/toddler when you are separated? Why or why not? If it is, what do you do to help ease the separation?
8. What do you most want your child to learn at this age? Why? How do you teach him or her those things that are most important to you? Could you provide some examples?
9. Is play an important part of your infant/toddler’s life? Why or why not?
Step 4: Reflection
As you reflect on the interview, consider the following questions:
· How was your interviewee’s description of him- or herself similar to or different from how you described him or her?
· In what ways are your values, beliefs, and expectations for the care of infants and toddlers similar to and different from your interviewee’s?
· What parts of the interview, if any, felt uncomfortable to you? Why?
· What insights did this experience give you with regard to stereotyping, generalizing, or making assumptions when working with infants/toddlers and their families?
· Did you have any assumptions that were dispelled through this interview? If so, what were they?
· What additional insights did you gain through the interview? How do these insights relate to ideas presented in the Learning Resources?
For this assignment, write at least 2 pages that include the following:
· Initial paragraph (Pre-Interview Writing) describing your interviewee
· Summary of the interview, including how your interviewee described him- or herself
· Reflection: Respond to three or more of the Reflection questions indicated above, and be sure to include references to the Learning Resources