Cultural Communities

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Rogoff (2003) argues that human are biologically cultural: “people develop as participants in cultural communities. Their development can be understood only in light of the cultural practices and circumstances of their communities- which also changes” (p. 3-4). According to Gonzalez- Mena (2003) understanding cultural differences can be confusing and no one can possibly know all about the culture of every family who might come into early childhood centres so does that allows the educators to throw their hand and give up. She suggested that the answer is to seek to understand cultural difference by exploring broad themes and organising concepts. As an early childhood teacher our role is to become conscious of how our attitudes and action are culturally- based so that we can work together effectively with families to keep children embedded in their culture. Everyone’s activities are from their “universal social-ecological community. Their social relationships, political influences, historical events, movements, economic situation and cultural background affect their activities” (Prout, 2005, p. 25). By deeply understanding the reasons behind their activities is more important than lightly watching their surface of activities. By understanding the reasons for their activities, one would get more knowledge about other ethnic’s context and would not misunderstand the ethnic’s life meaning. Whether the activity is an everyday chore or people’s performance depends in large part on the circumstances that are routine in their community and on their cultural practices they are used to. An example in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a 11 months old baby can skilfully cut a fruit with a machete under the watchful eyes of a relative (Ro... ... middle of paper ... ...pment. However this theory varies from culture to culture. In Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education [MoE], 1996) under Communication strand: the languages and symbols of their own and other cultures are promoted and protected. The curriculum goal states “children experience an environment where: they experience the stories and symbols of their own and other cultures” (p. 16). Families and early childhood education services are jointly involved in the socialisation, care, and learning of children. Early childhood education services are committed to ensuring that learning opportunities are not restricted by gender, locality, or economic constraints. There is a growing understanding of the links between culture, language, and learning, and an increasing commitment to addressing the issues faced by children growing up in a society with more than one cultural heritage.
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