Appreciating Diversity

I was browsing in a toy store at the Dubai Mall looking for some educational type gifts for my nephew and I stumbled upon this…

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At first I laughed, took a picture, and sent it to my family.  I was actually really impressed with what I saw and annoyed with myself that I laughed.  For many families living in the GCC this is their reality even if they don’t come from a gulf (Khaleej) family.  This traditional dress is what all expat and local kids see in their communities daily.  In Dubai, local women traditionally wear a black abaya and men wear a white kandura (dishdasha).

As I reflected on upon my initial reaction, I realized that growing up in the USA, I never saw these toys in the toy store.  I never saw a toy or doll that looked like me or my family.

A little more poking around led me to this:

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I was very impressed with these toys, and looked them up and found that they are made by a company based in the UK called elc.  I would love to see these types of toys in a center in an early learning classroom.

“Another way to ensure diversity in children’s lives is to choose toys, books and media that reflect all types of people (e.g., include images of people with a variety of backgrounds, ages, abilities, characters that break stereotypes about men and women, art supplies in a wide range of skin, eye and hair colors). “

(Bias-Free Foundations: Early Childhood Activities for Families, 2001)

How are you ensuring diverse experiences and materials for your students or children?  Comments welcome.

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Virtual Book Club v2

KDSL and EDspired are teaming up to host our second virtual book club beginning June 18, 2012.  We will be reading:  The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future (Multicultural Education) by Linda Darling-Hammond.

If you would like to join us, comment below or join the event on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/156208597840835/

You can also join directly here https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups#!forum/edspired-and-kdsl-virtual-book-club-v2

For more information about the book check out: http://store.tcpress.com/0807749621.shtml

Calling All Third Culture Kids!

Are you a Third Culture Kid?

image from http://www.interactionintl.org/

“A third culture kid is an individual who, having spent a significant part of their developmental years in a culture other than their parents’ home culture, develops a sense of relationship to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Elements from each culture are incorporated into the life experience, but the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar experience.”1

If you are a Third Culture Kid or know someone who is, please fill out the following survey.  Results will be shared when the poll is closed.  Thanks for your help! 

Reference: 1Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds by David C. Pollock and Ruth Van Reken. (Boston, MA. Nicholas Brealey, 2001, p. 19).

Check out this video about TCK’s!  http://vimeo.com/41264088