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Race and Ethnicity in early childhood settings

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Jessica Mailey

on 18 September 2012

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Transcript of Race and Ethnicity in early childhood settings

Race and Ethnicity Critical issue: Race & Ethnicity There are currently three main approaches to accounting for the development of ethnic prejudice in children, including emotional maladjustment, social reflection, and sociocogntitive development.

Emotional Maladjustment:
This approach links the acquisition of prejudice to the development of a particular personality type, the Authoritarian Personality.

Social Reflection:
In this approach it notes that childrens prejudice is simply considered to reflect the community's attitudes and values. These are typically transmitted by the child's parents.

Sociocognitive Theory:
A child's attitudes to other groups of children depend upon his/her level of development in relation to two overlapping sequences of perceptual cognitive development.

Which approach do you feel is most common in today's society? Scope of Race & Ethnicity * Negative attitudes based on faulty assumptions.
* Children may accept simplified stereotypes about other people.
* Social and emotional tension leading to fear and anxiety.
* Children having an undermined self-esteem and self-confidence, becoming socially withdrawn receiving discriminatory treatment.

* Racism in educational settings has long lasting, negative impacts and is most harmful on racial minority groups.
* Racism and ethnic discrimination effects include negative mental health, academic and social outcomes.
* Impacts on child's self-efficacy ans social-emotional growth.

* Children form minority groups may feel unworthy and unaccepted. They may not feel as if they belong to the early childhood centre.
* These children experiencing difficulties making friends, afraid to attend preschool, unhappiness.
* Further divide as a result of cultural norms.

How would you as an EC educator, promote and support anti-racism within your centre? Implications of Race & Ethnicity Solutions & examples solutions & examples
• Teachers in the early childhood settings have a responsibility to follow the outcomes of the Early Years Learning framework. In relation to race and ethnicity we would be focusing on Outcome 2. This involves Children feeling connected with and contributing to their world.
• Indicators appropriate in this scenario include ‘Children develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities and an understanding of the reciprocal rights and responsibilities necessary for active community participation” and Children “respond to diversity with respect”.
• To overcome prejudice amongst parents or children it is significant that educators form positive relationships with the families
• Educators must acknowledge what the children and their families bring in to the centre.

• Educators should conduct their own research on the diverse backgrounds of the families they are working with. Educators should show a sincere interest about each child’s family, asking parents appropriate questions about traditions, celebrations, politics or languages.
• Understanding that there are different ways of interacting and using language is crucial for successful communication with children
• Educators can also encourage parents to discuss diversity with their children

• Parents should promote sensitivity, empathy, understanding, respect, acceptance, tolerance, equality, fairness, a sense of belonging and openness.
• If a situation of prejudice and discrimination occur instead of ignoring it, it is important for a parent to discuss it with their child, all forms it may come in and how to address it. This will also encourage critical thinking in the child.
• Another is teaching children respect and appreciation for differences, which can be done in their every day activities. Sport teams, bands, school clubs and community programs are all ways in which children are playing and working together and because they will be sharing similar goals they will form positive attitudes towards each other. Similarities of what these children want would be highlighted instead of them focusing on differences. The National Association of School Psychologists. (n.d.). NASP Position Statement: Racism, Prejudice, and Discrimination. Retrieved August 28, 2012, from http://www.nasponline.org/about_nasp/positionpapers/RacismPrejudice.pdf References FOCUS QUESTION: How do you define Race and Ethnicity? Is there a difference? Early Childhood Australia. (2006) Diversity and Inclusion. Retrieved 30 August 2012 from http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/learning_and_teaching/diversity_and_inclusion/diversity_and_difference_1.html Nesdale, D. (2007). Social identity and ethnic prejudice in children. Retrieved from http://www.vtpu.org.au/docs/crc/drewnesdale.pdf Not many people in society can accurately explain the difference between race and ethnicity RACE:
-Race refers to the biological
differences between groups
people e.g. facial differences
hair colour, and skin colour.
-Race is something that cannot
be changed or disguised.
_Race is inherited ETHNICITY:
-Ethnicity refers to shared cultural practices, perspectives, and differences that set apart one group of people from another.
-Ethnicity is a shared cultural heritage distinguished by ones ancestry, language, religion and forms of dress.
-Ethnicity is learned not inherited. "What defines us more
our Race or Ethnicity?" Cliffsnotes.com. race and ehtnicity defined.21 Aug 2012 retrieved from: http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/topicarticled-26957,articleld_26884.html>. Solutions to the feelings of negative perceptions of ones own ethnic race are:

Creating a safe, inclusive, caring and respectful learning environment.
The integration of culturally responsive teaching practices into the classroom.
In culturally responsive classrooms difference is not tolerated its welcomed and celebrated creating an atmosphere of unconditional acceptance of all children.

Get children to explore stories, art, music and dance from other cultures. This will assist students learn to celebrate each students life experiences while also discovering that the things that make them different also makes them special.

Invite Children to bring items to school and talk about their cultures.
Teach children about other cultures in meaningful ways so they learn and retain information and develop acceptance.
Display objects and items from different cultures for the children to interact with.

In the lead up to culturally relevant events such as Chinese New Year and during the celebrations ask the children and families who this event is culturally relevant to them, to talk about the event and share their knowledge.

Including different cultures you include all students making them feel important.

Solutions to the children's attitudes about physical differences are:
Through exploring differences in people portraits, comparing skin colours and other physical differences. Teaching students the ways which people are different and how they are the same. Through an Anti-Bias Curriculum, this challenges prejudices, stereotypes while addressing diversity and is an integral part of developing children's positive attitudes towards physical differences. Purnell, P., Ali, P., Begum., N. & Carter, M. (2007). Windows, bridges and mirrors: Building culturally responsive early childhood classrooms through the integration of literacy and the arts. Early childhood education journal, 34(6). What makes us different also makes us the same.

If we were all the same wouldn't that make a boring life? Any questions? By
Jessica Mailey
Hannah Peachman
Katrina Hann
Jaimee DeBellis
Rhiannon Toomer
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