Cultural Perspectives, Amita Gupta

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    • 00:10


    • 00:17

      NARRATOR: Should we simply accept our Western perspectiveon child development?A new nursery in Birmingham is operating very successfullythrough adopting values associatedwith eastern culture.At the 2010 European Early Childhood Education ResearchAssociation Conference, EECERA, Dr. Amita Gupta,

    • 00:41

      NARRATOR [continued]: an associate professor in education from City College NewYork, explored the possible benefitsof widening our cultural perspectiveson how to learn with children and how to use their voice.

    • 00:54

      DR. AMITA GUPTA: There is a tension between knowledge baseand well being based cultures.There are practitioners that are compelledto think that the knowledge based approachis what is needed for children in schools these days.And suddenly, a lot of policy that's coming downis the supporting that argument.But unless a child is happy, and has a sense of well being,

    • 01:15

      DR. AMITA GUPTA [continued]: and is emotionally and socially comfortable,that knowledge is not going to be taken in.

    • 01:34

      RANJIT SINGH DHANDA: During the early years,they need to experience and receive love and caringwithin a community setting.And the ideal way of doing that is in an extended family, wherethere's lots of adults around.And unfortunately, that doesn't happen very often.So in the nursery, we want to recreate the extended family.

    • 01:57

      RANJIT SINGH DHANDA [continued]: We want to bring in adults who in front of children,are practicing what they do outside.

    • 02:05

      DR. AMITA GUPTA: And you've got pictures of your family?Yes.There's definitely differences in the non-Western cultures,in terms of the family being a part of the child's educationin a much more organic way.In Asian countries, you may not necessarilysee specific focus on socio-emotional development,

    • 02:27

      DR. AMITA GUPTA [continued]: and you might see a lot of very rigorous academic workin a curriculum.But it's the hidden curriculum, where the wellbeing is being nurtured.The more we measure outcomes, and the more we wantto quantify children's learning, the more we begin to overlookthe things that cannot be quantified.And that is what happens, a sense of happiness,

    • 02:49

      DR. AMITA GUPTA [continued]: and a sense of well being, and a sense of comfort,and a sense of peace.These are things you can't quantify.How much math do you know, and how much language do you know,and how much reading can you do?These are things that you quantify.So if assessment systems begin to expect quantification,and numbers, and numerical evidence of children'slearning, then it's going to push aside

    • 03:10

      DR. AMITA GUPTA [continued]: the non-tangible aspects of children's learningthat we can measure.

    • 03:19

      SPEAKER 5: This.

    • 03:27

      RANJIT SINGH DHANDA: For children to have confidenceis an amazing achievement.And we find that when children become independent,they seem to be much happier in themselves.And they grow.And I think for a very young age,it's important that children have a go on their ownwithout being instructed, and being independent, and seeing

    • 03:49

      RANJIT SINGH DHANDA [continued]: actually what happens.And through that, they realize that theyare capable of a lot of things.[NON-ENGLISH SINGING]

    • 04:05

      DR. AMITA GUPTA: I think maybe some language that you don'tuse very often in the West could come in,in terms of the child's inner happiness, the child'sinner sense of well being.We tend to stay away from those kinds of phrases.But if we can use that, it might bring a stronger emphasison the child's well being.That's what the child's well-being is.

    • 04:30

      DR. AMITA GUPTA [continued]: Perhaps it might be more useful that instead of focusingon standardizing teaching strategies, curricularapproaches, and assessment systems,we shift our focus more toward the end goal of the child'swell being, acknowledging that children might reachthat state of well being in different waysand through different experiences,depending on the larger cultures that they are living within.

    • 04:54

      DR. AMITA GUPTA [continued]: [APPLAUSE]

Cultural Perspectives, Amita Gupta

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Professor Amita Gupta suggests that success in early childhood development will not always be measurable.

Cultural Perspectives, Amita Gupta

Professor Amita Gupta suggests that success in early childhood development will not always be measurable.

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