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Respecting All Celebrations
December 13, 2019
Think with awe on the slow and quiet power of time.
-Friedrich von Schiller

In the popular book, You Can’t Celebrate That! (part of the Reimagining Our Work collection from Exchange Press), author Nadia Jaboneta writes about her personal year of reflection about race, religion and young children, sparked by a negative comment from one child to another about a religious celebration. She writes: “I now understand it’s important to be pro-active in sparking conversations about race and religion – with both children and adults – rather than waiting for something hurtful to happen as a provocation for me to act.”

An Australian online resource, “Celebrating Cultural Diversity in Early Childhood Services,” (which actually could work for early childhood programs in any part of the world), provides the following “things to remember”:

“It is important to remember that every family is individual. They are not a culture. In contemporary Australia there are many cultural variations. We need to respect the diversity of families and communities and the aspirations they hold for their children. We need to uphold all children’s rights to have their culture, identities, abilities and strengths acknowledged and valued. We need to be particularly careful not to group cultures according to where they come from, or use stereotypes. Most cultural groups have many different languages, dialects, sub-cultures and practices within each group. The Early Years Learning Framework talks a lot about diversity of culture and emphasises the importance of cultural competency to support the development of every child’s sense of ‘belonging, being and becoming’. Educators need to always be looking to learn more about other cultural practices and develop skills for communication, and interactions across cultures.”


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The Reimagining Our Work (ROW) collection is a series of stories written by early childhood educators that illuminate the pedagogical approach described in the foundational text From Teaching to Thinking.

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