Multicultural perspective and diversity

Why is understanding culture important if we are community builders? What kind of cultural community can you envision for yourself? As community builders, understanding culture is our business. No matter where you live, you are working with and establishing relationships with people--people who all have cultures.

Multicultural perspective and diversity

Teaching with a Multicultural Perspective. Teaching with a multicultural perspective encourages appreciation and understanding of other cultures as well as one's own. Teaching with this perspective promotes the child's sense of the uniqueness of his own culture as a positive characteristic and enables the child to accept the uniqueness of the cultures of others.

Infants can recognize differences in those around them, and young children can easily absorb negative stereotypes. Children are easily influenced by the culture, opinions, and attitudes of their caregivers. Caregivers' perceptions of ethnic and racial groups can affect the child's attitudes toward those minority groups.

Early childhood educators can influence the development of positive attitudes in young children by learning about and promoting the various cultures represented among the children they teach.

Young children can develop stereotypic viewpoints of cultures different from their own when similarities among all individuals are not emphasized.

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Teachers can help eliminate stereotypes by presenting material and activities that enable children to learn the similarities of all individuals. Circle time is particularly helpful in this respect, as it provides children with a feeling of group identity and introduces them to the variety of cultures represented in the class Dixon and Fraser, A multicultural program should not focus on other cultures to the exclusion of the cultures represented in the class.

Multicultural perspective and diversity

Children from different cultures often have to make major behavioral adjustments to meet the expectations of the school. Teachers should take whatever measures are necessary to see that children do not interpret these adjustments as evidence of cultural stereotypes.

The emphasis on so-called exotic differences will often accentuate a "we" versus "they" polarity. Children who are not able to identify with another culture because of exotic differences will often feel superior or inferior to the culture.

A multicultural program can focus on the presentation of other cultures, but at the same time allow children to be aware of the nature and uniqueness of their own culture. Children can learn about their class as an example of a common culture.

Teachers can emphasize how other classes can be similar and yet different. Recent studies suggest that, all other things being equal, higher degrees of bilingualism are associated with higher levels of cognitive attainment.

Our world is multicultural, and children need to experience the diversity outside their immediate environment. If children are to know about minority groups, they must be taught about them in the same way they are taught about majority groups.

Otherwise, children can grow to adulthood unaware of, and insensitive to, the experiences of other cultural groups.

This myth conflicts with the purpose of providing relevant and meaningful education to children from all cultural backgrounds. Since we have a multitude of cultures in our world, it is impractical, perhaps impossible, to teach about all of them.

Goals and curriculum will, therefore, differ considerably from class to class. It is important for early childhood teachers and parents to acknowledge that everyone has a culture, not just those who appear to be different.

Children who are taught to appreciate and understand their own culture learn to understand others' cultures in the process. The appropriate curriculum for understanding America's diverse cultures is a multicultural curriculum taught within a developmental framework.

It promotes recognition, understanding, and acceptance of cultural diversity and individual uniqueness. This curriculum is based in concepts such as cultural pluralism, intergroup understanding, and human relations.

It is not restrictive or limited to a specific course, set of skills, or time of year. All activities should be accompanied by commentaries that explain their cultural context.

Activities should always be chosen on the basis of developmental appropriateness. Teachers must consider children's cultural identities and be aware of their own biases. It is tempting to deny our prejudices and claim that we find all children equally appealing.

Teachers and parents need to acknowledge the fact that we, like our children, are inevitably influenced by the stereotypes and one-sided view of society that exists in our schools and the media.

Not only must we recognize those biases, but we must change the attitude they represent by accepting all children as we receive them. One problem with the current thrust in multicultural education is that it pays little or no attention to teaching people how to recognize when culturally and racially different groups are being victimized by the racist or biased attitudes of the larger society.

In order to change people's oppressive ways, we must learn about oppression.Understanding Diversity: A Multicultural Perspective 64 | Page about how the multiple forms are structured and how they relate to one another.

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The idea of multiculturalism in contemporary political discourse and in political philosophy is about how to understand and respond to the challenges associated with cultural and religious diversity. An appreciation of cultural diversity goes hand-in-hand with a just and equitable society.

For example, research has shown that when students' cultures are understood and appreciated by teachers, the students do better in school. Frida Alvear, Haddush Fassaha, Lian Pasimio, & Abebe Yosef Multicultural Perspectives and Diversity Issues Part I Introduction Define Key Terms.

Multiculturalism and Diversity focuses on the ways in which history and identity inform each other, and examines the politics of culture as well as the politics of cultural identities within the U.S..

Illustrates the basic proposition that each of us is a unique multicultural human being and that culture affects individual self-definition, experience, behavior, and social interaction. Perspectives on Diversity. Perspectives on Diversity The United States today is a society struggling with its own have been and still are many perspectives on how we as a society should come together and interact with others of different races, cultures and ethnic groups.

The Anglo Conformity Perspective views the values, norms and standards of the United States as an extension.

Teaching with a Multicultural Perspective. ERIC Digest.