cstravato's Pre-k World

The life of a Teacher / Student / Mother

Start Seeing Diversity

3 Comments

Diversity comes in all shapes and sizes just like us. Promoting positive diversity in our early childhood classrooms may be the first experience for some children as a challenge to their cycle of socialization (Harro, 2010). They only know of what they have been exposed to up to this point in their lives and it is perceived as “normal”. Early school experiences are often the first opportunities for children to expand their interactions and knowledge beyond their family and immediate community. The only way to breakout of the continuous cycle or repeated thoughts and actions from generation to generation is to be challenged with another way of thinking that causes you to want to change your thinking (Harro, 2010).

Books and materials depicting homosexual relationships and staff member that may be homosexual can be difficult for people. Some people have very strong personal and religious connections to this “ism”, which makes the topic so much more difficult for schools to respond. I think it is important for everyone to remember exposing children to different types of people and practices is not about how you personally live or your personal beliefs. It is about making children aware of differences in our world and that it is ok to be different and treat others with kindness and respect regardless of their difference. Taking the approach that we are all different to someone in someway may help break some out of their cycle of socialization.

Over my years as a child and as an adult I have hear many gender and sexual orientation phrases used in an insulting manner toward children by children and by adults. They often become so “normal” in our lives that we do not even see them as harmful. To refer to a boy who as a “sissy”, “baby”, “a girl”, or to refer to a girl as a “tomboy”, “lesbo”, or “such a girl” has an impact on that child and on other children who witness. The boy may learn that boys are not allowed to show emotions, boys are not allowed to be sad, if you do these things you are like a girl, which is not good. A girl may learn girls are emotional, girls are not as tough as boys, girls should not do the same things as boys, being a girl is not a good thing. Then as adults, we wonder why some men can be insensitive and more aggressive, and why are some women so emotional and unwilling to take risks. The cycle of socialization from generation to generation has taught us to be this way and yet we still wonder why men and women act the way they do. If we never break these cycles of socialization there will be no real change.

 

Reference

Harro, B. (2010). The cycle of socialization. In M. Adams, W. Blumenfeld, C. Castaneda, H. W.

 

 

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Author: cstravato

I am a wife of 14 years and have two boys, one is 10 and an the other is 8. They are busy and keep us hopping. I have been a pre-school teacher for 9 years with a break in the middle to teach kindergarten in FL for three years, and I had the luxury of staying home with my two boys for a few years. I enjoy teaching pre-school age children it gives me great pride to help set a generation up to succeed in their school careers and life. I am currently going back to school to complete my masters degree in early childhood education at Walden University.

3 thoughts on “Start Seeing Diversity

  1. Christina–
    You are absolutely right about the diversity of our world not being a one size fits all aspect. We are all uniquely different and that is what makes our world so fabulous! And I couldn’t agree more with the idea of teaching our youngsters about the differences they may encounter throughout life. It is so important to teach them that differences are not a bad thing, but instead a very positive facet of life. It is okay to be proud of who we are as long as we can be respectful of others as well–what a great lesson to learn early on in life! Great post!!
    Heidi Law

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  2. Christina,
    I chose to speak on the same question about books in classroom pertaining individuals of homosexuality. I really disagree with those who feel that such should not be exposed. I myself, am not a homosexual, but I have respect for the preferences of those that are . Being against those that are against such preferences is simply plain display of bias and prejudice. As adults, we are supposed to practice diversity. Thank you for your post.

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  3. Hi,

    I love the term not one size fits all in terms of diversity. this is a very true statement and in regards to gay and lesbian being exposed to children in books and such, I get it that a lot of people are uncomfortable with it and especially when it is being exposed to children. People have their own religious reasons why they do not want this to be exposed to children or it may be something that they do not agree with entirely. But it is a definite reality that gay and lesbian individuals exist in this world and it should not be hidden from anyone even children.

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