As we begin a new year, we all reminisce about the years before. If the past two have taught us anything, it’s that no matter who we are, where we are, the colour of our skin, our religion etc., community is what gets us through hard times. It doesn’t matter whether we’re living in different countries and speak completely different languages, a sense of comradery and support knows no bounds.
In an increasingly diverse and multicultural society, it is up to us as teachers, school, and education leaders to ensure cultural differences are taken into consideration and explored during a child’s development. To this end a culturally responsive curriculum best serves the needs of providing awareness and promoting multicultural learning both in the classroom and outside of it.
1. Creative Projects
We all want our students to be future ready, socially conscious and motivated to positively contribute within a local and global context. You can do this by introducing creative projects that help explore other cultures. For example, as a whole group produce a presentation introducing your class to other school children in other classes around the world. You could include: What makes our class internationally minded? What makes our school unique? These types of questions will encourage your class to think about what makes each country different.
It may seem fairly obvious but having conversations surrounding each child’s religion, beliefs and family customs can not only give that child a sense of ease in the classroom but can also educate others. A group discussion allowing your students to share and talk openly about such a big part of their lives create a culturally aware environment and will encourage learning and understanding.
3. Freedom and Flexibility
With a curriculum, subjects and core information comes a need to plan and implement an efficient schedule to make sure the children are learning to the best of their ability. However, a chance for freedom and flexibility to explore within your lesson can create wonders. For example, set up a role-play area for children to explore the theme of homes. You could then introduce different items that relate to different religions and cultures around the world.
4. Multicultural Resources
In today’s world students know just as much as teachers about the news and events happening all over the world. To ensure we help them explore the world from an educational setting, allowing them to explore first hand rather than through social media, introduce a range of diverse resources to learn from. For example, in groups ask your students to create a game with the theme of beliefs. There are many interesting and unique traditions people around the global believe in, allow them to research and understand for themselves what these are.
5. A Culturally Inclusive Curriculum
Finally, what helps the most is having all the materials, learning structures, and unit planning at your fingertips, all implemented with cultural awareness and global competence in mind. Through the International Early Years, Primary and Middle Years Curriculum this can all be included with even more depth and thought.
Find out more