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ERIC Number: EJ968645
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1068-6177
Interculturalism: Addressing Diversity in Early Childhood
Ponciano, Leslie; Shabazian, Ani
Dimensions of Early Childhood, v40 n1 p23-30 2012
Early childhood educators work with children and families from a range of diverse backgrounds. As society becomes increasingly multiracial, multilingual, and multicultural, so too grows the need for educators' abilities to support children's development by instilling in them the tools they need to live together respectfully and stand up to prejudice. Teachers of young children play a pivotal role in laying this foundation, so they must be prepared to develop environments that are inclusive and respectful to all. Early educators have already adopted multiculturalism and anti-bias curriculum frameworks to address issues of culture and diversity. "Interculturalism" adds a new layer for addressing diversity through its attention to the bi-directionality that is needed in an authentic sharing of cultural contexts. With interculturalism, individuals learn from each other and engage in an ongoing exploration of the historical and cultural contexts that influence individual development. Through "intercultural" activities and dialogue, the children and teacher develop a full and rich understanding of how each individual is unique and special and contributes to the diverse fabric of society. The goals of this article are to: (1) demonstrate why there is a critical need for intercultural experiences in the early years; (2) propose important components of teacher preparation programs to provide intercultural tools; and (3) suggest practical ways teachers can apply the intercultural approach in their classrooms.
Southern Early Childhood Association. P.O. Box 55930, Little Rock, AR 72215. Tel: 800-305-7322; Fax: 501-227-5297; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A