Thursday, August 21, 2008

Respect and Caring for One Another = Keys to Diversity

If you are a parent or teacher of young children, you must read Patricia G. Ramsey’s Teaching and Learning in a Diverse World, 3rd Edition (Teachers College Press, 2004). 

Early intervention in helping the human mind grow thoughtfully with compassion and understanding is essential in today’s world.  Ramsey states “In short, caring is a powerful emotion that energizes concern for oneself and others and our willingness to confront and change inequities. Thus, it is an essential component of multicultural education.”

Ramsey looks at the context of learning diversity in the life of preschoolers and early elementary children through race, social class, consumerism, culture, gender, sexual orientation, and abilities and disabilities.

Drawing on the work and sensibilities of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Robert Coles, Ramsey states “To develop connections with each other and with the social and natural world, children must learn to be caring and respectful. They need to make room in [their] mind[s] for others’ — a space for others’ ideas, wishes, and perspectives — and develop a willingness to learn from people with experiences and backgrounds dissimilar to theirs.”

No comments: