Increasing diversity is the norm for today’s society. Culture generally refers to the different types of traditions, beliefs, and values within a group of people. Children may live in a household with one culture or numerous integrated cultures. Entering into a daycare environment introduces children to more cultural diverse peers and, caregivers and educators.
Since children are born with a natural curiosity to learn about the world around them, cultural diversity should be part of the daycare curriculum. Introducing cultural diversity may provide children with the idea that everyone is different but still share many common traits. With the right approach, daycare providers have a chance to teach children to value and celebrate the uniqueness of living in a diverse society.
The Importance of Cultural Diversity
By incorporating cultural diversity into daycare routines, children will understand the importance of being a citizen in a multicultural environment. Children as young as two years of age begin to notice physical differences in people. Daycare providers can introduce cultural diversity as a way to improve social behaviors.
- Set an Example: Educators can lead by example. When young children view adults acting positive toward others, children will mimic the actions.
- Answer Questions: Provide truthful, simple answers to cultural diverse questions. Pointing out differences and sharing similarities can help raise self-awareness. As young children begin to learn and ask more questions, the educator has a chance to promote self-esteem within the day care setting.
- Vocabulary: Help children build a positive vocabulary for cultures and society differences. Sharing correctly pronounced words builds a broader vocabulary.
- Integrate Cultural Diverse Activities: Supply numerous types of activities and projects with various types of cultural differences.
- Books: Read books and fill the bookshelf with different cultural stories and backgrounds. Even younger children can look at the pictures and notice the differences.
- Introduce Cultures: Explore different cultures around the world. The simplest lesson or project can introduce the value of being part of a global citizenship.
- Music: Use songs and musical instruments to experience music from around the world. Daycare educators are in the unique position to encourage, support, and highlight cultural differences. By promoting cultural diversity, children become self-aware of the differences within the classroom environment. The positive reinforcement of celebrating differences while recognizing similarities promotes cultural diversity awareness.
Montessori Children’s Center embraces cultural diversity into their curriculum. If you would like more information on the value of a culturally diverse classroom, contact us to set up a tour of the school. Our friendly educators are more than happy to answer all of your questions.