How Do You Teach About Diversity? - A Guest Post

I wanted to share with you an interesting article by Dan Gilbert, of Primrose Schools. I find it comes at a pertinent time of year as we approach the holiday season. Plus, I have been taking an ELL endorsement class and our topic for these 10 weeks is diversity and culture. I'd love to know your thoughts and how some of you teach diversity. 

Teach Children to Celebrate Diversity
Submitted by Dan Gilbert

Older children and adults naturally realize the world is a big complicated place. We experience cultural differences in practically every aspect of our lives from school, to work, to patronizing businesses throughout the United States. The concept of diversity across the population of the world is becoming more and more important to understand and accept. Explaining this concept to your preschooler may seem like a complex lesson, but Primrose Schools suggestions will help make the lesson natural and fun.

A preschool aged child’s perception of the world is often limited to his or her own little corner of the world. The world as seen through the eyes of a young child is basically encompassed within their home, their school, their neighborhood and maybe their town or city. If families experience and welcome cultural differences, the young children will learn to embrace and appreciate the diversity of humankind.
 You will help spark your child’s understanding of the vast size and rich texture of our global community.

“We live in a diverse world. By teaching children to appreciate other cultures from an early age, you will help them develop compassion and seek out shared values,” said Dr. Mary Zurn, vice president of education for Primrose Schools. It is important for parents to teach young children a core set of family values because doing so emphatically builds lifelong character qualities. Young children learn best when having fun and the lesson is taught in a positive manner. A real appreciation of different cultures and other people is one very significant lesson for a child to acquire.

How to Teach a Child to Respect and Celebrate Cultural Diversity:

· Start by sharing family stories. A preschooler enjoys photographs and hearing tales about when Mommy and Daddy were little people. Talk to your children about the extended family members they see in photos, and share favorite memories. Show and tell children about family traditions. These activities help to make a child mindful of their own family history.

· Preschool aged children enjoy music, and they especially like songs. If you have a particular musical background, play music and sing with your children. Explain the origin of favorite instruments, and share distinctive music that is meaningful. You can also explore music from various cultures or music venues to help children learn to appreciate diversity.

· Reading to children is a delightful way to familiarize them with the diversity found in people around the world. Find books to enjoy together that bring to life different cultures, customs, artwork, or life adventures. Young children can identify with other children they learn about from books. Free to Be...You and Me is a wonderful old favorite that was a collaborative effort led by actress, author, and activist, Marlo Thomas.

· Find fun cultural events to attend with your children, such as special holiday festivals or parades. Take children to museums and cultural centers to explore different lifestyles. As a family, visit ethnic restaurants to sample the variety in cultural foods and recipes. If you seek opportunities to know families with a background unlike your own, the children will naturally learn to appreciate a friend’s distinct life and cultural differences.

Teaching children to celebrate diversity among their friends, schools, neighborhoods, and the world is a good thing. It may one day help create an ultimate society that better tolerates and embraces all the unique aspects of the cultures around the world. Another old favorite that started as an advertising jingle is the song recorded by The Seekers in 1971, ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing’ (in Perfect Harmony). It has as much meaning today as it did then and is a fun song to teach the children.

“Encourage a celebration of cultures near and far, including your own, to help your child grow to be an accepting, compassionate adult, who values the differences in others.”- Dr. Zurn


  1. What a great article! I especially appreciate it because my family is multicultural. Thanks for sharing.
    2B Honey Bunch

  2. Great article!

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    Happy Holidays!

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    A Teacher's Treasure


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