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Brookes Publishing
Skilled Dialogue: Strategies for Responding to Cultural Diversity in Early Childhood / Edition 2

Skilled Dialogue: Strategies for Responding to Cultural Diversity in Early Childhood / Edition 2


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Skilled Dialogue: Strategies for Responding to Cultural Diversity in Early Childhood / Edition 2

How can early childhood practitioners best respond to cultural and linguistic diversity and ensure positive interactions with all children and families? Discover the power of Skilled Dialogue, a unique, effective, and field-tested model for interactions that honor the cultural beliefs and values of everyone involved.

Going far beyond the fundamentals introduced in the first edition of this book, the fully updated second edition incorporates expanded coverage of today's most critical topics and reflects the real-world feedback of seasoned Skilled Dialogue users. With this proven model for respectful, reciprocal, and responsive communication, pre- and inservice educators and interventionists will

  • understand culture as a dynamic that shapes the behaviors and beliefs of all people
  • actively communicate respect for what others believe, think, and value
  • resolve issues creatively by integrating diverse perspectives from all parties
  • strengthen inclusive assessment and instruction
  • reframe differences between practitioners and families as complementary, not contradictory
  • leverage cultural diversity as a strength rather than a "problem" or risk factor
  • avoid stereotypes based on culture and ethnicity
  • gain critical insight into the effects of trauma and how it interacts with culture
  • establish collaborative relationships rather than seeking control over others

To support professionals as they put Skilled Dialogue into practice, this edition includes more explicit guidance, vivid examples, and practical photocopiable forms to aid with assessment, instruction, and organization of key family and child information.

With this comprehensive guide to a positive, highly effective model, early childhood professionals will establish skillful interactions that honor all cultures and perspectives—leading to stronger working relationships and better outcomes for whole families.


  • More on assessment and instruction
  • New forms that support differentiation of assessment and instruction
  • Recent research and changes in early childhood education
  • Revisions and additions that respond to user feedback
  • Updated and expanded chapter on cultural diversity in relation to trauma
  • Revised Self-Assessment and Reflection Guide

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781598571646
Publisher: Brookes Publishing
Publication date: 04/01/2012
Pages: 296
Sales rank: 1,282,770
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Isaura Barrera, Ph.D., is a native of South Texas whose interest in cultural diversity was stimulated at an early age, as she realized that the colorful autumn leaves that she cut out in first grade had no correspondence to any leaves she had actually seen. She has worked for more than 25 years in early childhood special education programs in San Antonio, Texas, and western New York State, as well as in New Mexico. Dr. Barrera holds a bachelor's degree in major communication sciences and a master's degree in speech pathology from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. She holds a doctoral degree in education research and evaluation, with concentrations in early childhood and bilingual special education, from the State University of New York at Buffalo. As an associate professor in the Special Education Department at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, Dr. Barrera coordinates the Early Childhood Special Education concentration within the graduate special education program. She continues to work nationally as a consultant. Her research focus is the Skilled Dialogue approach and its related materials, including a preschool language screening protocol for linguistically diverse preschoolers.

Lucinda Kramer earned her doctoral degree in Special Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of New Mexico. As an associate professor in Special Education at National University in Costa Mesa, CA, she coordinates the credential and graduate programs in Special Education. She has served as Chair of the Multicultural Committee for the Council of Exceptional Children's Division of Early Childhood and has worked with teachers, families, schools, and agencies in Texas, Arizona and California.

Dianne Macpherson, M.S.W., C.I.S.W., C.A.S., is a clinical social worker in private practice in Arizona. She has 25 years of clinical experience in school, mental health, chemical dependency, and clinical practice settings. Her positions have included working as a bilingual education elementary school teacher and acting as a guest lecturer/consultant, teaching undergraduate and graduate special education students to identify and intervene for mental health issues in the classroom. Ms. Macpherson has clinical practice experience in agency settings for forensic mental health, hospital-based chemical dependency programs, and managed behavioral health care. Her private practice work has focused on the psychiatric evaluation and treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with a wide range of mental health and addiction disorders - primarily those individuals with impaired functioning as a result of trauma, abuse, and extreme stress. Ms. Macpherson also has served as a professional trainer/workshop facilitator at local, state, and national conferences related to the sequelae of trauma and abuse. Ms. Macpherson's web site provides information to families as well as to school and mental health professionals on topics related to addressing difficult and complex learning and behavior problems in children and adolescents. The site also provides access to expert consultants in related fields.

Table of Contents

About the Authors vii

Foreword Cynthia L. Paris ix

Acknowledgments xii

Introduction: The Evolution of Skilled Dialogue, 1996-2011 xiii

I Culture and Cultural Linguistic Diversity 1

1 Culture: The Underlying Reality 3

2 Cultural Linguistic Diversity: The Challenges 17

3 Honoring Identity, Voice, and Connection: The Response 37

II Dialogue Across Culturally Linguistically Based Differences 51

4 Skilled Dialogue: The Framework 53

5 Anchored Understanding of Diversity/Choosing Relationship over Control: The Context, Part I 59

6 3rd Space/Setting the Stage for Miracles: The Context, Part II 65

7 Strategies: Then and Now 75

III Collaborative and Culturally Inclusive Assessment and Instruction of Young Children 99

8 Skilled Dialogue and Culturally Linguistically Respectful, Reciprocal, and Responsive Assessment and Instruction 101

9 Planning and Conducting Culturally Linguistically Inclusive Assessments 135

10 Planning and Conducting Culturally Linguistically Inclusive Instruction 165

11 Issues of Culture and Trauma 201

Afterword 223

References 227

Appendix A Photocopiable Materials 237

Appendix B Guidelines for Using an Interpreter/Translator During Test Administration 255

Appendix C Revised Skilled Dialogue Self-Assessment 259

Index 265

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