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 Setting that is Not Primarily White British

The setting that is not primarily white British

This Chapter:

  • Points to the fact that there is an increasing number of settings where the majority of practitioners and families are not white British
  • Asks how this should affect their responses to the issue of cultural diversity
  • Asks in particular whether there are any steps such a setting needs to take to familiarize its children with white British culture
  • Considers the situation of white British children when they are in the minority in a setting

Books and articles about approaches to cultural diversity in early years settings often start from the unspoken assumption that the setting will have a majority of both practitioners and families that are white British. This ...

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