Saturday, November 27, 2010

Creating a multicultural classroom

"The task for the teacher is to create a context in which children's curiosity, theories and research are legitimated and listened to, a context in which children feel comfortable, and confident, motivated and respected in their existential and cognitive paths and processes". ( Carlina Rinaldi)

There are many ways for educators to create a space that language and culture of children are honored. Each child, educator, and family bring their own culture to our center therefore; we have to work together to make these multicultural environment rich with positive experience for children from different cultures.
We as educators need to create an environment that is welcoming to all children; children feel comfortable and confident.
A Multicultural classroom should acknowledge children's differences and use these differences as foundation for growth and development.
Teachers in multicultural classroom should be open to all difference and put the effort to get to know all the children's culture and to try to do new thing in their classroom; They also have to realize that children from different culture understand and learn in a different path than their own culture and that means that not all children will learn in a same way.
I do believe a teacher who tries to learn only few words of her student's language in the classroom is a way of showing respect to her student's culture furthermore; a teacher who shares those words and use those words in her classroom with other student, create an environment for all children that all children from all cultures are important.
Our classroom should incorporate multiculturalism and diversity all year around to give the children the message that all culture and languages are valuable and important. Multiculturalism should be part of our classroom curriculum everyday.
incorporating multicultural literature and providing books from different languages, cultures in to our library section is very important.
Sharing in our classroom is very important. We can ask children from other culture to share something about their culture, whether something about their traditions, celebrations, or even their food would be very valuable in the classroom. When children share something about their culture, language, or family, they feel proud of themselves and at the same time we send this message to children that all cultures, families, and languages are valuable and important and children's culture are part of our classroom.
Writing Hello in different languages on our entrance door is another way of welcoming all culture to our classroom. Singing Hello song in different language while asking help from children from different countries shows that we respect your language, culture, and we welcome you to our centre.

Some books about diversity, multiculturalism  that would be good to keep in the library of our classrooms are:

  1. Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
  2. Families in Many Cultures by Heather Adamson
  3. It's Ok to be Different by Todd Parr
  4. The Ok Book by Todd Parr
  5. The Family Book by Todd Parr
  6. We Are The Earth by Bobbie Kalman
  7. How are we the Same and Differents? by Bobbie Kalman
  8. All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon
  9. The New Bear at School by Carrie Weston & Tim Warnes
  10. The Crayon Box that Talked by Shane DeRolf

Dahlberg, G. & Moss, P. (2005). Ethics and Politics in Early childhood Edcuation. London and New York : RoutledgeFalmer


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Shima,
    I enjoyed reading your posts on the influence of culture on child development. I feel the same as you since my blog is on the same subject.
    I do believe that it is essential that we honor children and families by creating an environment which shows respect for all cultures. We live in a diverse cultural society and we need to have knowledge and understanding of all cultures; and the best way to go about it is by asking families what we don’t know about their particular culture and belief and also about their priorities and goals for their children; knowing these facts will help us with how children learn and how to promote appropriate activities.
    The type of family to which a child belongs would influence the behavior and learning style of the child.
    Classrooms should become more culturally friendly and inclusive. We need to initiate discussions and activities that would honor culture in the classroom. This might make the children feel more welcome to explore their cultural background not just in the classroom, but at home as well. Using the resources available in our community can be a great place to start. There are also children’s books that deal with cultural diversity and bilingualism. I think integrating materials, food or clothing into the classroom will give children invitations to honor other cultures on a daily basis. it is important to honor all of Canada’s cultures. It is essential to base curriculum around children’s interests as much as possible.

  3. HI Zohre,
    Thanks for your comment. I agree with you that we need to learn about children's culture and their families but at the same time we need to know that no matter how much we learn from their culture still we are in danger of creating single story about children, children's family and their culture. we as educators really need to be careful to not judge or create a single story about the children in our centre since our knowledge is never complete and enough about people.
    Thanks again Zore, and all the best for you.

  4. Hi Shima,

    I enjoyed reading your posts and watching your videos. Thank You for sharing.
    I agree that we need to create a multicultural classroom. We live in a society with many different cultures and diversity. Every child and their families are unique. We need to include and honor all their differences, beliefs and values.
    The list of books you posted are great. I think Todd Parr books are the best! They are very helpful in teaching multiculturalism within a classroom!

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