Why Diversity In Early Childhood Environments?
As a child I saw the beautiful colours of hair, eyes, and skin and I thought, well it probably did not stop there. I soon found out I was right! At the age of thirteen I found out that I was born with Turner syndrome and everything I thought that was going to happen in my life and my very identity as a Catholic was going to have be adjusted just a little. Knowing that I could not have children of my own did not shake my confidence in my body, but rather reaffirmed the diverse beauty I saw in nature. As an adult, I have been able to see the complexity of identity and develop my own voice.
By sharing my story I hope that it gives a little glimpse into what I was thinking and what I hope to accomplish as a registered early childhood educator. This experience will be enriched with your contribution. Your stories and ideas are the source to create materials that should be included in early childhood environments.
Parents and Educators:
Every child has a right to feel they belong! It is your depth and breadth of experiences with children that inspires ideas for materials that show the uniqueness of every child. As we focus on building self-identity and including diversity we can see how play and exploration are central to integrating and developing all domains of children’s knowledge. I look forward to sharing children’s stories, puppets, indigenous materials and activities that reflect and celebrate the spectrum of humanity. I ask, how can we make them better? What can we say and do to stretch and expand the conversation?</em>
As active participants, approaching children’s knowledge needs to be holistic and integrate relationships with learning. Further, children need to develop their own sense of self and personal being by exploring possibilities and boundaries. Ucar (2013) suggests children need facilitators that offer an array of experiences and “</em><em>social pedagogy can help, advise, guide, and support them in processes of empowerment” (p.4).
Ucar, X. (2013). Exploring different perspectives of Social Pedagogy: towards a complex and integrated approach. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 21(36).