Bridgette Moss, Director of Healthy Toddlers Care, reflects on her experience of growing up in a culturally diverse neighborhood and it’s continuing impact in her life…
I was raised in North Park (San Diego) in the early ’70s. Families from around the globe lived side-by-side in my community. Playing and interacting with children and adults who had traditions and values different from mine had a lasting impact on my life. I am grateful I had the opportunity to understand the perspectives of individuals from different backgrounds, and learned how to function in a multicultural, multiethnic environment.
Of course, diversity goes beyond nationalities, ethnicity, and cultures. Classic differences include race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. In education, students have diverse ways of learning. Some learn visually, others may learn through aural means, still, others may be primarily kinesthetic. Fostering diversity in the classroom enhances the learning opportunity of the entire class.
Identifying and thinking through concepts of difference and how they affect the classroom allow both students and teachers to see the classroom as an inclusive place. And attending a school with a diverse student body can help prepare our children for citizenship in a multicultural democracy.
I still value the richness that diversity brings to my life. Today, this includes understanding each family’s needs and cultural priorities, as well as learning how a family's practices relate to their goals for their children. At Healthy Toddlers Care, we strive to create a diverse environment where all children feel valued and all children can learn.
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