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Preschool and Im/migrants in Five Countries

England, France, Germany, Italy and United States of America

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Edited By Joseph Tobin

A significant and growing percentage of the children enrolled in early childhood education and care (ECEC) programs in Europe and the United States are children of recent im/migrants. For most young (3–5 years old) children of parents who have come from other countries, ECEC settings are the first context in which they come face to face with differences between the culture of home and the public culture of their new country. For parents who have recently im/migrated to a new country, enrolling their child in an early childhood program is a key moment where cultural values of their home and adopted culture come into contact and, often, conflict. For countries with high rates of im/migration, ECEC programs are key sites for enacting national goals for social inclusion and the creation of new citizens. And yet the field of early childhood education has conducted too little research on the experience of im/migrant children, their families, and their teachers.

This book tells the story of our study of beliefs about early childhood education of im/migrant parents and of the practitioners who teach and care for their young children. It is simultaneously a study of im/migration seen from the perspective of early childhood education and of early childhood education seen from the perspective of im/migration. The book answers the questions: What do im/migrant parents want for their children in ECEC programs? How are the perspectives of im/migrant parents like and unalike the perspectives of their children’s preschool teachers and of non-immigrant parents? How are England, France, Germany, Italy, and the United States using ECEC settings to incorporate im/migrant children and their families into their new society? What can all five countries do better?

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Chapter 9. Curriculum Perspectives of Turkish Parents in Germany and France

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CHAPTER 9

Curriculum Perspectives of Turkish Parents in Germany and France1

Fikriye KURBAN

Unaffiliated Researcher (United States)

This study, a subset of the larger study, is a comparison of views on early childhood education of Turkish immigrant parents living in Germany and France. This approach has the virtue of holding the immigrant’s country of origin constant, which allows for a focus on the impact of the country of settlement. This study originally also included Turkish immigrants to the US, a group I leave out of this analysis as they tend to come from higher social class and educational backgrounds than the less well educated, more rural, more socially conservative new Turkish immigrants to Germany and France.

France and Germany present very different kinds of receiving communities for Turkish immigrants. France’s official approach to immigration is Republican and assimilationist, Germany’s multicultural and communitarian. Turks are the largest and most visible immigrant community in Germany, in contrast to France, where their numbers and visibility are small compared to immigrants from North and West Africa and to a lesser level from Eastern Europe and Asia.

The method of this study was to show focus groups of Turkish parents in Germany and in France the video we made of a day at a kindergarten in Berlin. I used this video as the central interviewing cue because it includes several provocative scenes of Turkish children code-switching between Turkish and...

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