Mar 19, 2015: Cultural Awareness: Cultural Awareness is the foundation of communication and it involves the ability of standing back from ourselves and becoming aware of our cultural values, beliefs and perceptions. Cultural awareness becomes central when we have to interact with people from other cultures. People see, interpret and evaluate things in a different ways. What is considered an appropriate behavior in one culture is frequently inappropriate in another one. Misunderstandings arise when I use my meanings to make sense of your reality.
Environment that: Promotes self-awareness, Encourages positive caring interactions, Promotes pride in cultural heritage, must outline an appropriate plan. The following schemes can help teachers design an educational atmosphere where each child feels important, accepted, and respected as a contributing member of the class:
(!) Establish and maintain an educational environment that has representative and positive examples of diverse cultures (bulletin boards, learning centers, etc.)
(!) Use literature as a means of beginning a dialogue to identify what stereotypes or misconceptions children have about diverse cultures. Use this information to develop lessons and activities that introduce, review and reinforce diversity.
(!) Under the supervision of a faculty member, undertake a research project on a cultural group different from your own.
(!) Help organize Black, Latina/Latino, Asian, Native American, or Women’s History Month activities at your school
(!) Educate yourself and, then, your peers about hate speech.
(!) Make your school, workplace, or residence hall a violence-free & harassment-free zone.
(!) Prepare thematic units, lessons, activities and projects that incorporate diversity.
(!) Provide numerous and varied educational opportunities that enable young children to experience aspects of diverse cultures (Have parents from various cultures to teach children words, songs, stories, etc. Prepare foods from various cultures. Display clothing and discuss celebrations from various cultures).
(!) Read the alternative press; discover free speech radio news.
(!) Study conflict resolution; teach others; bring strategies for ethnic harmony to the places you live and work.
Young children are responsive and receptive when concepts and skills are presented at the appropriate level. The classroom is an excellent social environment to provide experiences that are a natural and normal part of the academic developmental process to support efforts for learning to live with diversity.