ERIC Number: ED403048
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Children, Culture and Education.
Today, the majority of countries are characterized by multicultural diversity, a factor which has enormous implications for early childhood educators. As we begin to understand the long-term benefits of participation in high quality early childhood care and education, educators must also recognize that their own cultural heritage can and does influence their perspectives on what is considered the best interests of young children. The potential for conflict between teacher, parent, and child arising from differing values and practices can be high unless educators attempt to understand their own beliefs and to change prejudices and behavior. While it is recognized that culture plays an important role in shaping many aspects of child rearing and family interaction, it is not always recognized that culture also shapes the educational opportunities which are provided for young children in any society. Differences exist in the orientation of educational programs (intellectual training versus socio-emotional development), how they are provided (privately-owned or government-operated), and their approach to curriculum (standardized versus individualized). To provide high quality early education programs, educators need to look beyond any favored model or method of provision (for example, developmentally appropriate practice) and begin to define a set of principles which are fundamental to good practice and which can be responsive to and incorporate cultural patterns and values relevant to individual communities. Such principles include articulation of clear aims and objectives, development of broad child-centered curricula, and commitment to equal opportunity and social justice. (Contains 15 references.) (EV)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: "Childhood Education: International Perspectives," see PS 024 960.