Friday, January 3, 2014

Culture, Power and Impact on Child Development

Children from dominant cultural practices are influenced by the beliefs and practices of grandparents. Child development depends on how they treat the children at home? What they belief about the child? How educators can minimize the gaps of child development in a positive and constructive way in that culture.
Some of the culture gives more importance to adults as a mean of respect. They believe children are empty vessels and they will learn gradually when they go to school. Therefore, the more emphasis remains on the physical development of the children so they can grow up faster, go to school and learn new things. These beliefs and respect in these kinds of cultures make the adults, particularly, grandparents powerful. Therefore, changing their beliefs becomes a big challenge for interventionists. However, one strategy from one of the interventions worked very conveniently for us. For instance, when the field staff visited homes and demonstrated teaching young children (birth to three years), it became an interesting experience. Grandparents learned those vocabularies from English language and reinforced them later with those children (grandchildren) at home. Most of the grandparents were able to recognize the illustrations and match their names such as name of surroundings, animals, vegetables, fruits etc.
It taught us if we involve grandparents in the learning process of children, we need to understand the cultural beliefs, norms and work with the influential factors such as grandparents so they can use their authority in a positive and productive manner to develop their grandchildren in a meaningful and constructive way.