We carry our cultures with us in everything we do. They’re all around us—in the activities we give our time to, the roles we ascribe to, the language we speak, the food we eat. When children see their families’ culture represented in their education, they are significantly more likely to develop positive identities, engage fully in their education, and, ultimately, succeed. Yet, young children who attend our schools and programs each come from a home culture that may be different from our own. So how do we make space for and invite these cultures into our nature-based early childhood classrooms and programs? By celebrating the diversity of our families and community every day, in everything we do!
Following are six tips for affirming and celebrating multicultural experiences in nature-based early learning. The first three focus on cultivating your own cultural empathy, while the last three will help you bring a multicultural lens to your teaching practices.