ERIC Number: ED433928
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Mar-7
Cultural Awareness Education in Early Childhood Education.
Anicich, Maggie; Kirk, Rea
A cultural awareness curriculum was implemented in one multicultural kindergarten class in a Los Angeles suburb school. The project, intended to foster ethnic pride and reduce ethnic prejudice, began the first week of school and extended for 2 months. Four behavior patterns were addressed: (1) positive sense of self; (2) positive self-other relationships; (3) positive cultural attitudes; and (4) collaborative relationships between different cultures. Activities that nurtured children's positive sense of self included reading books about different heritages, challenging students to play with other, different-looking students, preparing students' biographies written and illustrated by classmates, and headlining one child as a "Star of the Week." To foster self-other relationships, projects focused on helping students to recognize commonalities as well as differences. Activities included daily journal writing, directed dramatic play, verbalizing conflict resolution methods, reading subject-related books, and measuring and comparing physical differences and similarities in math and science projects. To encourage positive cultural attitudes, teachers used a game of examining the differences and similarities of students' shoes, thus bringing the class to recognize that they are both different and the same. To promote cultural collaboration, teachers invited parents to participate in examining different cultures; parents brought material from home and presented short lessons about themselves and their culture. As a culminating activity, the class prepared a culture quilt, with each student's portrait on a square of felt that each child determined matched his or her skin color. (Contains 12 references.) (DLH)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (54th, San Francisco, CA, March 6-9, 1999).