Taking the discussion about cultural diversity beyond the usual topics of anti-racism and inclusion but without overlooking these issues, Understanding Cultural Diversity in the Early Years considers current debates around the alleged failure of multiculturalism, and encourages practitioners to utilize their own cultural backgrounds and experiences as a way of developing their teaching.

With an optimistic outlook, and focusing on the advantages for learning that cultural diversity can offer, the book discusses the concepts of culture, multi-culturalism and inter-cultural competence, and describes the principles that underpin good practice. It is packed full of case studies from a variety of early years settings, with ideas to try out and interactive exercises to aid reflection.

Issues covered in the book include:

addressing cultural diversity in staff meetings, and on short training courses; planning a critical audit of your setting; working with parents from a variety of cultural backgrounds; how to explain diversity to young children; the overwhelmingly white British setting; settings where white British children are in the minority; curriculum developments in different parts of the UK, post-devolution

Written for all early childhood students and early years practitioners, it is relevant to anyone interested in inclusion, society and global citizenship.

Multiculturalism and its Alleged Failure

Multiculturalism and its alleged failure

This Chapter:

  • Describes the way that multiculturalism, far from being a matter of universal agreement, is the subject of sometimes bitter dispute
  • Outlines the variety of arguments made against promoting cultural diversity and some of the ways in which these can be countered
  • Suggests some principles on which it may be possible to agree

At the start of this book I spoke of the ways in which marking and celebrating cultural diversity are now established aspects of the way that early years settings operate.

The view that this is essential to good practice may be more or less agreed within the profession. In the world outside things are a little different. There the view is often expressed that ...

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