The Changing Face of the United States: The Influence of Culture on Early Child Development

In this article, Beth Maschinot, PhD, identifies the need to rethink how culture is defined and used in early childhood educational settings.  Although culturally-sensitive and family-focused practices have become a focus in the field, Maschinot reasons that the definition of culture needs to be widened.  Introducing an expansion of the definition of culture in seven distinct ways, the article discusses research findings related to language acquisition, the influence of ethnicity and class on cognitive development, the impact of bilingualism on language development, and the differences found in interdependent versus Individualistic cultures.  Further book and research article resources are provided at the conclusion of the article.