Multicultural Education For Tomorrow's Global Citizens

As children grow and develop they learn many things about themselves and others. They understand that they are similar to everyone else in certain ways and different in many others. As a part of their social development they learn about families, communities and the world around and beyond them.

Multicultural awareness is the appreciation for and the understanding of different cultures and communities, including understanding ones own culture. It is to help children become accustomed to the idea that there are many lifestyles, languages, cultures, and points of view. Integrating a multicultural approach will help children attach positive feelings to multicultural experiences, so that they not only feel included and valued but also will feel respectful and friendly towards people from different cultural groups. An important key to helping young children develop a sense of being citizens of the world lies in their early experiences.

A teacher plays a critical role in integrating multicultural education in early childhood education programs. Some guidelines that an early childhood educator can follow are -
Recognize that all children are unique. They have special talents and abilities. It is important to provide opportunities for children to be different and use their abilities.
Appreciate and respect the cultural backgrounds of children. For instance, Different families can be requested to visit the preschool to share more about their culture and way of life.
Use real life situations to enable understanding of cultural situations. For e.g. Children are welcomed in a classroom by wishing them good morning. The teacher using such situations can teach children how people greet each other in different cultures.
Through activities such as stories, rhymes, role-plays, festive celebrations, children are introduced to the diversity in cultures. For instance while teaching children about people from different states and their traditional dresses, a teacher may conduct a role play and have children dressed in different costumes to represent a state.
At Kidzee, we believe that every child is unique and has unique learning needs. Through Illume, our teaching methodology, we focus on incorporating diversity. Multicultural education is an ever-present thread woven throughout our curriculum areas and throughout each day. Through the sensitive guidance of our caring teachers, children learn in an accepting environment where their feelings, thoughts and ideas are valued. Children learn to value diversity both through the study of other cultures and from the attitudes and behaviors of the people that they interact with each day.

The coming months bring along different festivals, navratri, dussera, durga pooja followed by diwali. It is an important time where children will learn how people celebrate these festivals across different religions. This festive season, let us share our similarities and celebrate differences.