Early learning environments that are culturally and developmentally appropriate enhances the educational achievement and success of young children and encourages them to become citizens of the world who respect and affirm the many ways individuals are diverse.
Children, who become citizens of the world, are empathetic to others. They seek to understand and value the diversity of our community and world while maintaining their own sense of cultural pride and values. Children who become citizens of the world learn to think and act with an anti-bias lens. This means a child will
- demonstrate awareness, confidence, family pride and develop positive social identities
- express comfort and joy with human diversity
- develop deep, caring connections with others
- recognize unfairness, have language to describe unfairness, and understand that unfairness hurts
- demonstrate empowerment and the skills to act, with others or alone, against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions
Creating an environment that helps children become citizens of the world starts with creating culturally responsive educational experiences that promote cultural diversity and inclusion. For example, if a visitor was to walk into your early childhood program would they find materials such as books, crayons, and play items that are non-stereotypical and represent affirming and positive images of diverse cultural groups (i.e. a book about a woman firefighter or an educator in a wheel chair)? Would children be speaking their native language and also listening to music or learning another language as well?
As you think about ways you are helping children to become citizens of the world and creating culturally responsive learning visit our website and explore the Cultural Diversity topic area for additional topics and resources.
Dr. Tonia Durden, Extension Specialist | The Learning Child
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