Ecocultural classroom interview: the development of a measure to gather information on preschool teachers' daily practices

This project describes the development and piloting of the Ecocultural Classroom Interview (ECI). The goal of the ECI is to gather data on teachers' daily classroom practices from their perspectives, to better understand what teachers do and why. An understanding of classroom practices from the teachers' perspectives allows for two important outcomes to occur: 1) quality initiatives can consider individual centers' and communities' needs as explained from the perspective of the teacher; and 2) initiatives can be designed which complement teachers' existing routines. Three main areas of research and practice in Early Childhood Education (ECE) were focused on during the interview design: 1) Cultural Discussions and Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP); 2) Quality Initiatives; and 3) Qualitative Interviewing. The existing Ecocultural Family Interview (Bernheimer & Weisner, 2007) was initially used as a guide for the first set of interview questions. From that foundation, a cyclical process of design, review, piloting, and revision was used to design the interview tool with input from an experienced team of ECE mentors.