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This paper examines the practical use of intercultural and multicultural books in Early Years settings in the Irish context. Questionnaires were sent to seventy early years’ settings in the Dublin region, focusing on the criteria they used for selecting such books. These responses indicated that staff viewed inclusion, the story, age appropriateness, illustrations and the language of the books as being important. The practitioners’ responses are compared with the views of authors on diversity issues and similarities and differences identified. Overall there was a greater emphasis on children in the practitioners’ survey while the authors focused on issues. A list of books recommended by practitioners is also included. Practitioners also reported the parents’ views on their use of intercultural books and positive responses were reported by those who consulted the parents. Key issues arising from the study indicate that in-service training needs to build on practitioners’ views and experience, insights gained from international research and experience will continue to be helpful and settings would benefit from involving parents in the selection, reading and discussion of intercultural books.
Mhic Mhathuna, M. and Hill, U.: Intercultural Books in Practice in Vision into Practice, Proceedings of Centre for Early CDevelopment and Education Conference, Dublin Castle, CECDE, February 2007, pp, 180-187.