ECE 405: Children & Families in a Diverse Society
Instructor: Lorianne Lammert-Arndt
Monday, April 16, 2012
The culture I chose to explore is the Hispanic culture. The term “Hispanic came from the United States federal government in the 1970’s to group a large but diverse population to connect the language and culture from a Spanish-speaking country. Hispanic is not a race but an ethnic classification (Understanding the Hispanic Culture, n.d.). The Hispanic culture has a wide ancestry which includes Spanish, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Central and South American regions. Over the past thirty years the Hispanic population has had a tremendous rate of growth in the United States (Clutter, n.d.). The Hispanic culture is often misunderstood or misrepresented as having stressful financial issues or poor education. The important aspect of their culture that is being ignored is the importance of family values, which is a large part of a traditional Hispanic family. The environment of our classrooms can convey a message to children and families. The arrangement can affect children’s behaviors, attitudes, and learning. As early childhood educators we want to convey the message that we are a culturally relevant and anti-bias classroom. One way to convey this message is through bulletin boards and visual displays. Visual displays should match, reinforce, and expand the materials and learning that takes place in each of the interest areas (York, 2009). An example would be cultural works of art in the art center and pictures of different types of houses and environments in the block area. It is best to avoid cartoon figures or animals dressed in ethnic costumes. Photographs of children and their families would be appropriate. Another way to enhance culturally relevant learning is through the use of multicultural children’s books. Literature can be a powerful tool to convey the importance of cultural diversities to the children. Teachers must choose books that meet the goals for a culturally relevant and anti-bias education. Teachers must also consider the importance of heritage of the families in the classrooms. In the Hispanic culture the family unit is larger than in some other cultures; their culture includes the parents, children, and the extended family. Family ties run strong and deep. Individuals within a family have a moral responsibility to aid other members of the family experiencing financial problems, unemployment, poor health conditions, and other life issues (Clutter, n.d.). Hispanic families have great respect and honor within their families. Hispanic families instill in their children the importance of honor, good manners, and respect for authority and the elderly (Clutter, n.d.). Preserving the Spanish language within the family is a common practice in most Hispanic homes (Clutter, n.d.). The Hispanic families value tradition and family, respect, sacrifice and hard work. In most Hispanic households the religion basis is practicing Roman Catholic. The men take the lead of running the household and any concerns or issues for their family. The women are responsible for running the house and raising the children. They are self-sacrificing and religious. Motherhood is a role to take great pride in and a mother is expected to sacrifice for her children and take care of the elderly relatives. The Hispanic culture feels it is disrespectful to break the chain of hierarchy. The Hispanic culture takes great pride in appearance and considers it a sense of honor and dignity. The traditional Hispanic clothing is brightly colored, as well as their homes. Time is something that is considered flexible; it is disrespectful to arrive on time. It is acceptable to arrive at a gathering or celebration thirty minutes late. As teachers we have to keep this in mind when it comes to our...