NACBCS National Conference 14-15 July 2006 Our children - our community. Excluded, invisible, tolerated or embraced: Cultural diversity in early childhood services. Karina Davis. Cultural diversity and ‘multiculturalism’. National and political debates
Excluded, invisible, tolerated or
embraced: Cultural diversity in early
Karina: “Can I ask you which of these dolls looks most like your friend?”
Spot: “That one.”
Karina: “Franca. Franca does?”
Spot : “Yes.”
Karina: “And what about Franca looks like your friend?”
Spot: “… ahh. …Because, ‘cause I think she’s the prettiest.”
Karina: “You think Franca’s the prettiest? What about Franca that makes her look pretty? I’d like to know. ”
Spot: “Ahh, because she has white socks and I like white and she has blue jeans and I like blue and she has a green top and I like green. And she has, and she has white skin and I like white skin. And I like her hair.”
And he (child) said
‘Yes, well he’s got dark skin like William.’
And then (another) boy…said…to me
‘Do you think its rude?’
And I (educator) said
‘I don’t, I don’t think it matters what colour your skin is.’
…when the children talk about things that they might see…they make comments about the colour of skin and stuff like that, and then I just talk about it…Yes and I answer the children’s questions as we go, but I don’t actually have an emphasis or a focus on it.
…with tables of interest, and its normally done on children’s interests and where that is going, so I guess there’s never been an interest by the children.
No, we haven’t actively planned, we actually want to get a performer in, but we are struggling a little how to go about that. So we have done the classic, we haven’t done anything about it.
Oh we did a dance once, a male worker, but I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing or insulting, so I stopped. Because I didn’t know what to do…I don’t know how to do it and I don’t want to do it wrong.
All children should be ‘treated without bias regardless of ability, gender, religion, culture…’
Staff respect children as individuals and provide opportunities for each child to access all learning experiences…
…we looked around the room and we thought, what have we got here and what are we doing. We have Aboriginal art work on the wall and we have spoken to the children about the pictures. They actually copied some of the pictures, the outlines of the pictures, and photocopied them for the children, because there’s a lot of dots and I made them into several, so there was a lot of colouring for the children in the pictures that I drew. So there is art work around the room and there are also some books on the bookshelf. I have some audiotapes with didgeridoos on it and the children know that sound. We have had the music teacher come in and play the didgeridoo, attempt to play the didgeridoo, so the children know the sound of the didgeridoo and what it’s like. Basically that’s about it.