Supporting Healthy Social Identity Formation

timer Asked: Nov 20th, 2013

Question description

Discussion #1

Supporting Healthy Social Identity Formation

  • Put yourself in the shoes of the child in this vignette:  

Imagine that you are a child whose family/home practices are not valued in your early childhood center.  Your parents work long hours so you are at the center from 7am to 5pm everyday.   No one in the center shares your home language and you don’t see any familiar items that you would see at home on the shelves of your classroom.

Discuss how you think this center’s approach and environment impact the child described in the vignette. How does the child feel?  What does the child learn about his or her family culture, language and practices when these are not validated or respected? How does this impact the child’s social identity formation? Have you experienced something similar in your own life?

In what ways could this center and its staff support healthy social identity formation through the ways they interact with families and/or prepare our classroom environments?  

Discussion #2

Transforming Our Experience into Skills and Dispositions

Reflect back on a time when you felt:

  • Like an outsider from a group as a child or as an adult.  This could be exclusion for many reasons.  The reason isn’t as important as how you felt and what you thought about yourself and others in the experience.  Write down your thoughts on this reflection.
  • Ignored as a child or as an adult.  How did you feel and what were you thinking?  Write down your thoughts on this reflection.
  • Treated unfairly or misunderstood as a child or as an adult.  How did you feel and what were you thinking?  Write down your thoughts on this reflection.

How do your reflections impact the way that you interact, or will interact with children and their families?

Work together to discuss what skills and dispositions are required to engage families in respectful and inclusive ways. Come up with at least two skills and two dispositions you think are necessary for this to occur.   

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