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 Overwhelmingly White British Setting

The overwhelmingly white British setting

This Chapter:

  • Says something about the uneven distribution of people who are not white British across the country
  • Makes the case for work relating to cultural diversity in settings where the great majority or even all of the staff and children are white British
  • Describes some types of activity with children that may be particularly relevant in those circumstances

By far the greatest part of the population of the UK is white British. The precise percentage is necessarily vague. Many white British people would describe themselves as belonging to one of the nationalities within the UK (especially those who are Scottish, Welsh or Irish). Other people who are happy to describe themselves as British may be conscious ...

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