Paper Title
Teachers Who are Multiculturally Competent Also use More Developmentally Appropriate Practices: A Study of Hong Kong Kindergartens

An educational reform proposal in 2000 emphasized the need to upgrade the professional teaching competence of Hong Kong educators at all levels, with one area of focus being multiculturalism. In the current study we test a conceptual model in which teachers’ knowledge and skills of multiculturalism and teaching relationship (cultural harmony) are associated with developmentally appropriate and inappropriate beliefs and practices in the classroom. Participants were 347 preschool teachers from 12 preschools including342 women (98.6 %) and 5 men (1.4%) ages from 24 to 45 located across all five districts of Hong Kong. The hypothesized model of multicultural teaching competency as a predictor of developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices, is confirmed in the present study. Multicultural teaching knowledge can enhance developmentally appropriate teaching beliefs and practices, and reduce developmentally inappropriate practices. It is highly recommended that multicultural education be embedded in early childhood education programs for both in-service and pre-service teachers. In addition, it is suggested that researchers further study teachers’ attitudes toward multicultural education in terms of teaching beliefs and practices with a series of implicit attitude tests. Future research should also focus on environmental influences on multicultural teaching, such as school bureaucracy. Keywords - Developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices, Multicultural teaching