Teaching children about differences between people can be a tricky thing – it’s why the Government of Australia has elected to begin this process very early on in a child’s life, as early as their days spent in childcare. Teaching children about equality and the diversity that exists between humans is a really important lesson for children to learn early on, so that they may carry on and out into the world with the wholesome and correct view that all humans are created equal and are to be treated with respect and dignity.
The anti-bias approach to childcare education is all about this mantra of equality. It teaches children that mantra on a basic level, in a way that they can understand, without (necessarily) all of the minutiae that would just fly over their heads.
Here are some steps that early-childhood educators are taking to teach children about biases in an effective manner and how it can help your child to develop their brain about the differences between them and their peers.
Give Children a Sense of Identity
One of the main objectives of anti-bias education in childcare is to give children a sense of identity – both their own identity and what that means and how they view themselves, and the identity of other people and how they can relate to them. The goal of giving children a sense of identity is to encourage them to feel proud of who they are, who their family is and what they look like, and to see the same in others. Developing a personal identity and a sense of individualism within the communal setting is a fundamental point of any child’s life.
Help Children Understand Diversity Positively
The main goal of teaching children based on anti-bias principles is to explore the concepts of diversity and equality and help children adopt a worldview that is accepting of others, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, or what language they might otherwise speak. Helping children to understand that diversity is a good thing and should be encouraged and nurtured is another key goal of anti-bias training. Enforcing the idea that everyone has something to offer and that their diversity of thought and ideas and how they can make a difference in the world matters far more than any of the differences between them in immutable terms.
Teaching Children Responsibility & Activism
One of the best things about anti-bias education is that it teaches a child that they are responsible for their own actions, but that they can equally play a role in the actions of others. Teaching a child to stand up for themselves and others when they are being bullied or wronged instils a sense of communal responsibility within the child and helps them build bridges with other children who are different to them in some way. This empowers children to take action when injustice is occurring and to recognize what that looks like.
Encourage Children to Have Open Conversation About Differences
One of the best ways to help a child learn is to let them talk about what they’re feeling about how they might be different to their peers. Rather than shutting down communication on subjects of differences, provide an open platform for children to share their experiences. This will allow other kids to see that it’s okay to be different and it is beneficial to talk about it. This open communication will allow for easier development of personal relationships between children, as they feel as though they now know their classmates better and are able to communicate with them on otherwise complicated matters of personal identity.
The Anti-Bias approach in childcare has been adopted across Australia as a method for teaching children about the differences between people. If you’re looking for a childcare centre in Dural, or anywhere else in Australia, do your research and you’ll find a great centre to suit.