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July 15, 2011


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Men approach moral issues looking at individual rights and considering what is just and fair. Women approach them with caring and compassion and constantly consider relationship. It is obviously difficult to say which is more ethical, but a combination of both tends to give more creative solutions and is generating more useful results over the long-term in organizations.

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Very good post. Made me realize I was totally wrong about this issue. I figure that one learns something new everyday.

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Hi Stella I don't know what it's like in Europe but in Aust. the childcare liseicnng bods are very strict on diversity teaching; even if (as in my Centre's case) the area is primarily monocultural, it is mandatory to have, use, display and teach multicultural materials. If your Centre has this mandate check their Policies and Procedures to be sure then your child's teachers will have a written duty (sometimes the obvious moral one is not enough, sadly) to ensure that discrimination on any grounds does not occur. And (hopefully) some established/agreed constructive or long-term ways to approach the problem rather than simply dismissing it as bad manners (my experience is that if you tell any child (particularly a preschool boy!) that something is bad manners/offensive, it becomes a reason to do it again, because it's funny to get a reaction from the hurt person). If the Centre does not have an established framework for this issue, then take an active stance talk to a teacher at the Centre you trust about ways to educate this child (and the group as a whole) which won't single out your kid. (If your Centre is anything like ours they'll jump at any active parental involvement it's a boon to any individual programming schedule, whatever the issue)For example, at my Centre we (the PST teachers) would address this behaviour with (whole-group, small-group and individual) exposure to multicultural materials, discussions of difference/uniqueness(speciality) on every level (finding examples in-room (staff and pupil) of ethnic background/heritage, people having same-sex parents, varied socioec, even things like vegetarianism etc etc), trying to present this one issue (colour) as one of many ways in which a child may be different but importantly, where different =something positive and to be celebrated, in all cases.We'd try and organise things that involved people or objects or stories from home , so it would hopefully involve parents as well (can be useful, particularly if the unwelcome influences the offending child receives are systemic/from home.)Involving your child's teacher (especially if she herself is unused to dealing with the base issues, or exacerbating them by omission) is also a diplomatic way of indicating either that the Centre's game needs lifting, or showing that you trust them to step up. Duty of care toward an attendee *must* (and if your regime is like Aust, does explicitly) include all realms phys, soc, safety, AND psych/emo.I hope that makes sense I know things and people aren't always as receptive as my experience here (fortunately!) has been hopefully your Centre will recognise this as a learning/teaching opportunity as well as a social justice issue.

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