"'You've got to be taught before it's too late; Before you are six or seven or eight; To hate all the people your relatives hate; You’ve got to be carefully taught.' In 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote this song for South Pacific, which addresses racial prejudice." So begins an article by Jane Timmons-Mitchell Ph.D. in Psychology Today.
She describes research that "shows that children who grow up with people who don’t look like them develop a rich curiosity about diversity that remains with them throughout life. They are predisposed to explore diverse places and cultures, which enriches them as well as the communities in which they live. Perhaps rather than an Achievement Gap we should be thinking about a Diversity Gap, since as the world becomes more diverse, it will be increasingly important for children to find a way to feel comfortable with new experiences."
Source: "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught," by Jane Timmons-Mitchell Ph.D., Psychology Today, August 10, 2017
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I have just returned from the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Croix) after living there for 10 years and teaching preschool children. St. Croix is an island of many cultures. My children were always asking questions like "Why is my skin this color and your skin that color?" To expand their knowledge on other cultures, I had a Multi-Culture center in my class. Each month we would feature a different culture from around the world. I have traveled to Japan, Belize, Antigua, Mexico and more and always purchased books, musical instruments, traditional clothes etc which became very useful in these centers. We would also try making or tasting different foods from different places. The children enjoyed participating and learning that we all are different but we are also all awesome!