My research has allowed me to learn a multitude of information about how the classroom should revolve around diversity and how to facilitate cultural inclusion in a lesson plan. Ultimately, it’s never too early for school aged children to learn about the importance of diversity within the classroom. People often underestimate the intelligence of children, and the influence that literature can have on their perception of others.
It is imperative that children are able to see a representative of themselves in the literature that they read. Literature also has the power to transform children’s perception of the world. The importance of a child being able to relate to the positive characters in a book can facilitate strong self-esteem, decrease bullying, and help children be okay with those who may be different than them. Unfortunately, a lot of children’s literature is not equally represented amongst all races.
My research analyzes how teachers and parents are probably the most responsible for teaching children about the importance of having non-stereotypical depictions within literature. Additionally, when teachers are conscious of their own biases or stereotypical views, they are able to make the proper adjustments to their curriculum in order to effectively include all children and their cultures in their lessons.
When all cultures are included, it teaches children that there is not a difference in value of one over the other. Additionally, when children are taught from an early age about diversity, they will not have to question the inclusion of others or why some races may feel as though there are negative biases towards them, because they will already have an understanding of the topic. Overall, my paper is a call to action for all types of educators to really make a difference in the way diversity is brought into the classroom. Literature is highly influential on a child’s development, and I advocate for educators to utilize literature to discourage stereotypes and biases that may be harmful.