Culture is the traditions we learn from our family and it makes up the way of life that we have. The meaning of designing and putting together a culturally responsive curriculum is to come up with a way of teaching that involves all the different cultures that may be present in the classroom that you are teaching.
A curriculum that is rich in the creative arts support a culturally responsive curriculum by how you will be able to teach the students about a certain culture using things that are appealing to them such as; having them build a structure that is associated with that culture, having them cook something, or having them pretend play something from a certain culture. According to Cohen, “Play is sociocultural in nature and an important part of a child’s learning and development” (Cohen 72).
With that being said, play is definitely one of the best creative outlets that would help children learn about different cultures. There will be a strong impact for children and families when teachers design a curriculum that is diverse because children and their families will be comfortable that they won’t be losing their culture and they will be building a stronger one. Magruder stated, “When teachers and families connect early on and in person, they establish a common goal to support the child both at home and in school” (Magruder 11).
Offering children opportunities to interact with heritages that are different from theirs, allows the children to develop a better understanding of the many differences among cultures, including holidays (Cohen 74). My experience of the Family Artifact Project contributed to my understanding by how I learned that many of the girls in the class that are from the Caribbean, were raised by their grandparents. This showed me that everyone is raised differently. In the Caribbean culture being raised by the grandparents is normal, as for others it isn’t.
I also got to hear a little Italian, which is always nice to hear another language that you aren’t really familiar with, as well as getting an Italian recipe. If our class was an ECE class and I was the teacher, the follow-up series of learning experiences I would design that builds from the Family Artifact Project is that I would have each child tell us a little more about their background. I would ask them to ask them to have their parents come in as well and share with the class about how they were brought and I would ask the class to compare how they were brought up versus how their parents were brought up.
I will try to design a culturally responsive curriculum by ensuring that all the children in my class will be able to feel comfortable in their own skin by getting to know them and their culture. Each month, I would have the class study a culture that they aren’t familiar with so they can be able to see that not everyone is the same, but it’s okay that we’re not all the same. I will design a curriculum that allows the children to be respectful and tolerant to those who are different from them.