In our work we studied the process of working alongside Afghan women who are refugees living in Colorado, and women living in two refugee camps in Palestine. By design, our work centers the participants as the key producers of knowledge. We set out to collectively discover, define, and understand parenting, child development, and family dynamics. Participants were invited to explore how their dreams for their children relate to early childhood education. Informed by participant input, we designed courses with culturally responsive and sustainable curriculums to increase the quality of care for young children. Our investigation sheds light on how parents reconcile different cultural experiences and prioritize their child’s development while trying to navigate novel contexts of childcare, preschool, or public school. In addition, the courses women took provided a pathway to enter the workforce in early childhood care, development, and education (ECCDE). This chapter describes our participatory action research process and the introspection and growth of resilient women transforming their parenting and their lives.
Part of the book: Parenting