Intercultural Experiences

Building and Sustaining Relationships

Open communication between educators and families is vital when building and sustaining a positive and supportive partnership. It is important that both sides make efforts to show their commitment and interest in the child’s development through expressing cultural concerns, differences, habits, and any other important information in order to succeed.

When your family is entering into a new kindergarten, the child´s educators will begin to learn about your family´s culture at home in order to better help the child and encourage communication with the parents. Educators will also be sure to clarify information they have received with the families to ensure that everything is accurate (Hall, 1967).

For families and children, familiarising yourselves with the new kindergarten can be a first step in recognising and experiencing this diversity. For children, it may be that values, which are present in their home culture, are experienced rather differently in the second culture that may be a national or kindergarten specific culture. Families can find a way to hold on to their own culture, but still help their children to understand that there are patterns, routines and concepts that will be different from what they do at home. You can help with this by preparing your child for what they may encounter in their new kindergarten.

Only a few things about a culture are immediately visible. In fact, only 10% of a culture, the so-called ”surface culture”, is visible. The other 90% is made up of structures that cannot be seen straight away (Hall, 1976). See the chart below for a fuller explanation of how culture affects people.