Why teach diversity? Exposure to a multicultural curriculum facilitates positive core values for children throughout their developmental stages. A child learns that individuality is valuable and self-actualizing. Through these festivals, children discover that there are many ways to express themselves, approach daily tasks, and enjoy success. Not everyone reaches the summit by the same path. Understanding and experiencing that we are part of a bigger world and a larger community is an essential part of what happens in the classroom. Our students learn to trust adults and the social functions of the larger community, therefore promoting flexible thinking, adaptability, and their ability to adjust to many other people beyond the scope of their nuclear family and their classroom teachers.
The understanding of cultural diversity promotes tolerance and the recognition of humanity. It breeds acceptance of a child’s essential individuality. This acceptance leads to higher levels of self-confidence and self-esteem. Awareness of diversity creates a more adaptive, resourceful, and independent child with a higher capacity for teamwork and empathy.