Early childhood education has been shown to help children become responsible adults and gain success in life. But, the truth is we live in complicated times and educators need to tread carefully when dealing with multicultural groups and beliefs. It’s essential that all early childhood educators develop a culturally responsible attitude. The best establishments, such as this Liverpool childcare center, are known to promote cultural responsibility.
What Are Cultural Responsive Attitudes?
Cultural responsive attitudes are based on acknowledging that some children have been disadvantaged in the past because of their heritage. Minority groups, such as black children and poor children generally receive a lower standard of education thanks to the belief that they are not as capable or entitled to the education system. This attitude is often backed up by local cultures which are generally afraid of change.
But, the only way that humanity can move past this and see every individual as a person in their own right is to start teaching culturally responsive attitudes to children as early as possible.
How This Approach Can Be Developed
The first step is to recognize that every child has a different cultural background. This isn’t actually based on the color of their skin. Every child has their own story, they may have Australian parents, European, African, or split parentage. The style they have been raised in will vary according to their parent’s beliefs.
Teachers need to encourage children to accept that every one of them is unique, there is no one group or general definition, other than the fact they are all children.
This will then encourage the children to use their cultural experiences and background to help them understand texts they are reading or games they are playing.
Of course, in early childhood education the more diverse the class the better. This is when children learn to play and interact together and they are not aware of the cultural differences. Teachers should encourage this play and get the children to consider what different exercises mean to different cultures.
The aim is for children to accept that it’s normal to have many different cultures and for these cultures all to have benefits when dealing with issues. Most importantly, being able to see what effect certain events have on different cultures will help children to understand the impact of their actions.
The best part is that much of the above can be taught by simply playing with the young children as they learn basic skills.
Another useful tactic that early childhood educators can use is to rearrange the classroom. Traditional schooling and career paths are changing, there are many more options. That means children don’t need to be taught in the same way. Instead, allow them to embrace the classroom and make sure the classroom reflects all the different cultures within it. The children can help with this by creating artwork for the walls.
Teachers can then encourage discussion, ensuring children accept other cultures from a young age. It will take generations but early education could be the key to overcoming much of the cultural hatred in the world.