Document Type

Theses, Masters


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Social work.

Publication Details

Sucessfully submitted for the award of Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) to the Technological University Dublin in March, 2001.


Diversity is increasingly a theme for publ ic discussion in Ireland to-day due to the rapidly changing socia and cultural structure of Irish society. These changes have important implications for providers of early years services particularly as it has been recognised that the rol e of the early years professional is crucial in promoti ng equality. Research highlights the negative attitudes chi ldren can learn at a very young age. However, there is an absence of research both in Ireland and internationally regarding training models for addressing diversity with early years students. This study aims to contribute to the development of training in this field by exploring the views of students and staff regarding diversity training on an earl y childhood education cou rse in the Technological University Dublin (D.I.T). A quali tative case study approach was utilised. The findings reveal that practical experience (e.g. supervised placements) is a vital tool in helping students to understand diversity. However, the model in use at D.I.T has Iimitations in terms of how these experiences and emerging understandings are followed up in college training. This reflective process is vital in the development of good practice. The study also revealed the current model to be limited in that it does not recognise the central importance of exploring students' attitudes towards diversity. It is recommended that the college give greater prom inence to diversity in the philosophy and content of the course. A multi-level approach to diversity training is recommended combining the permeation, separate and other models. Finally, in­ service training for staff should be considered to enhance diversity training.


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