Diversity can take several different forms and it can be incorporated into your life in many ways. From physical abilities, family structures, gender, culture, and religion, there are many differences that makeup what we are. Most people think that kids will automatically get a positive outlook about the differences between each other even though those differences are not discussed with them. This is false. Studies have shown that exposing children to and advocating for diversity needs active promotion.
Early childhood classrooms are becoming more inclusive and diverse. Early childhood education systems these days try to accommodate everyone, including those kids with invisible and visible disabilities. What exactly, however, does both inclusion and diversity look like in the early childhood educational setup?
An inclusive and diverse classroom is one where students with or without certain differences in learning can all be educated together in one place. Inclusive and diverse education systems help encourage both a supportive and welcoming environment which can, in turn, meet the diverse communication, emotional, social, and academic needs of all the students in the system.
How are inclusion and diversity beneficial?
Research has shown that children of all developmental types can benefit greatly when involved in inclusive learning environments. An inclusive and diverse learning environment will help all the students develop positive social skills and friendships, positive self-images of themselves, respect for others, and improve their problem-solving skills.
Most youngsters haven’t been exposed to the certain stereotypes associated with individuals with invisible and visible disabilities. Inclusive and diverse classrooms, therefore, offer opportunities for kids to practice understanding and acceptance. The kids will be able to learn how their colleagues with different abilities and learning styles are similar, and how they do things differently as well.
Inclusive and diverse education systems also use teaching methods that meet each student’s individual development points, which is greatly beneficial to all the kids in general. These methods help each child learn what’s expected of them as well as how they can effectively navigate through a classroom environment. Most of the time, teachers will want to hold one-on-one sessions or separate the children into smaller groups so they can practice differentiated instruction. This will allow the teacher to design lessons that suit each child’s learning style and offer children the chance to use fidgets or move around for better concentration.
How can parents help?
Teachers should also teach parents some at-home strategies they can use to promote inclusion. When teachers create some form of partnership with the parents and work together, not only will this help encourage inclusion, but it will also help the students realize their developmental potential.
Even though not all classrooms, and schools for that matter, teach diversity and inclusivity, parents can still ensure their kids get to learn and know about inclusion.
Ideas regarding inclusion and diversity in early childhood education have steadily evolved over the last couple of decades, and it continues to progress even further. Hopefully, this article has been able to show you why.