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TRANSCULTURAL FRIENDSHIP: OUR POLITICAL FUTURE

Chapter Eight: Middle Childhood

Section 11: International Aspects

 

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Filipinia Dance at Filipina Festival, August 2, 1998, San Jose, California.

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The child's powers of abstraction are not yet developed enough to comprehend "culture" as such. Yet the child is capable of participating in aspects of cultures in greater depth than children are at a younger age. One can go beyond the superficial differences of language, complexion, and clothing to contrast cultural practices. Students will be more able to appreciate and share the games, rituals, foods, clothing styles, holidays, beliefs of each other's cultures.

 

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The traditional practice in better schools of introducing a second language at this point can be maintained and elaborated. The teacher may want to introduce aspects of cultures not represented in the classroom -- but this is a distant second best. If the class is not culturally diverse, some appropriate attitudes can be developed with respect to other differences. Handicapped children and emotionally disturbed children, as examples, offer unique perspectives and opportunities for open-mindedness and compassion. The acquired respect for differences can be later generalized to the cultural realm.

 

 

 

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