Teaching Diversity

Diversity: The art of thinking independently together– Malcolm Forbes

The question that we must ponder upon is how can we best prepare children to meet the challenges and reap the benefits of the increasingly diverse world they will inherit? We can do so by raising children to celebrate and value diversity, be proud of themselves and respect and value people regardless of the colour of their skin, their physical abilities, or the language they speak. 

So the ways through which we can helping children understand a diverse world are-

Be a gentle guide

The best response as children make their way through the complicated social world is to assume the role of a gentle and consistent guide and avoid responses that heighten any tensions or confusions. We should help them to understand and have respect for others different than themselvesrather than show shock as children express socially awkward or inappropriate comments. We can mould them by conversing or sharing with them books that teach compassion and diversity.

 Be a good role model

Once the children out grow their preschool years, they begin to reflect the views and behaviours of the people who mean the most to them i.e. their family, teachers, coaches, and the views expressed in the media as they are they are exposed to consistently thus stereotyping, jokes at the expense of others, subtle and not-so-subtle remarks of displeasure or disdain can shape children’s views. Most importantly, the absence of positive expression or images matter as well.

Provide an open environment.

At home or at child care, it is our responsibility is to provide children with an environment that is open and bias free. Even the very youngest children should not be left behind. If the children are prepared to grow and flourish in multicultural communities and a global society, then they most certainly need our active and thoughtful support as guides to a world where prejudice and racism have no place.

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