This week in class we have explored the notion:
People are all different, yet inherently the same.
We have pondered this in-depth recently and reflected on resulting questions such as:
- If we are all the same, why do we have the capacity to treat other people so badly?
- Why do discrimination and marginalisation still exist?
- How can we ensure our curriculum is anti-bias?
Children will notice the differences in people; different facial features, different skin tones, differing abilities, different family structures; simply because they are CURIOUS.
It is our role as Educators to acknowledge the differences, explain them where we can (e.g. why some people have darker skin than others) in an effort to move away from any personal bias and to embrace diversity as part of the "norm".
It is also our role to challenge stereotypes and bias, for example, if you hear a child say, "Only boys drive trucks," or "Only girls wear dresses," do you challenge it or let it slide?
It states in the Early Years Learning Framework that, 'Educators think critically about opportunities and dilemmas that can arise from diversity and take action to redress unfairness.'
We have also explored the many possibilities to create inclusive environments. Here are just a few of our ideas:
- Books, posters, photos depicting diversity of all kinds (family structure, ability levels, culture, race, languages, job roles etc.)
- Dolls of various genders, facial features and skin tones
- A language-rich environment, including sign language
- Music, dance and instruments from around the world
- Traditional costumes and celebrations
- Exploring the diverse foods across the globe
The inclusive practices of educators, and the partnerships they form with each child and their families, have a significant effect on each child's access, participation and success in learning. Educators' attitudes, beliefs and values about inclusion are key factors for successful inclusion. Children thrive when families, educators, local schools and the wider community work together in partnership to support their access, inclusion and participation." NQS Element 6.2.2
Something for you to think about, "Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one and other's uniqueness." - Ola Joseph