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.

The Idea of Intercultural Competence

The idea of intercultural competence

This Chapter Describes:

  • Some significant differences in terminology between the UK and other European countries in the debate on cultural diversity
  • The concept of inter-cultural competence
  • The related concept of ‘cultural shock’

There are fundamental problems with the concept of ‘multiculturalism’ as it is employed in the UK and in other English-speaking countries.

  • The word-ending ‘ism’ suggests that multiculturalism is an ideology, a social or political programme, a set of beliefs entailing clear-cut objectives and means. At the same time it is clear that the concept is considerably less developed than this would imply. As a result, ill-considered actions taken in the name of multiculturalism can lead to sweeping rejection of the entire idea.
  • The use of the prefix ...
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