Article first published as Diversity And Children Series – Part 3 on Technorati
This is a series of four posts. Part one is a general explanation of diversity in the classroom. Part two is the role of the parents in teaching their children diversity, part three the role of the school, and part four the role of the teachers.
Then comes the role of the school and the teachers who also need to be educated about culture competency, especially about the different backgrounds of their students. Leaving the kids in their comfort zone by allowing them not to mix, to make the school’s job easier, is a total injustice to the children who might be missing out on great opportunities to learn from other cultures and become better human beings in the future.
Letting children from the same cultures stick together is subconsciously teaching them that they are better off sticking with their own race/kind. Teachers help educate, communicate, and interact between the children within our culturally diverse schools.
The best approach for the schools is to address the diversity issue early on, and turn the kids’ experiences into positive interaction between each other:
1. Make the children feel confident enough to discuss why the other children are different
2. Encourage the children to meet and play with children of different backgrounds
3. Mix and match the seating arrangements as well as the study groups
4. Use similarities that the children have in common, like all speaking English at school.
5. Expose the children to different international music and songs so they can become familiar with different beats and harmonies
6. Arrange for dances that involve different types of International dances, like Salsa, Meringue, Belly Dancing, Chinese and Japanese dances, Indian dances, Greek dances, Israeli folkloric dances, Flamenco, Polka, Russian dances etc… and explain the differences of origination
7. Let each child show the class a sign or a movement that means something in their culture, as head movement, OK sign, hand movement
8. Organize school excursions to different ethnic museums, and then discuss them in class
9. Teach the children the different holidays and explain what they mean: Christmas, Sukkot, Easter, Passover, Ramadan, Kwanza, The Hindu festival of lights (Diwali), Nairuz the Persian New Year, The Chinese New year, Cinco de Mayo, the African American Heritage month, the Indian American heritage month, Mardi Gras.
10. Have zero tolerance for racial profiling, slurs, and racial comments
Diversity starts at home,
Sahar Consulting, LLC.