Cultural Identity & Representation  

What is "diversity sensitive" pedagogy?

The word identity describes those characteristics, specific to human beings, that make a person unique, and an unmistakable individual. Identity may consist of both objectively recognizable features and, also of the subjective feelings one may have towards them. Identity develops through experiences in relationships with other people in one's respective social and cultural environment. Identity might be a fluid concept in our experience in a modern world. 

Factors that influence the development of cultural identity
- Experience with significant adults, family members and community in the family of origin
- Role models in other children and adults  
- Belonging to the respective group of children  
- Personal handling of experiences (for example, reflection on foreign and personal actions with parents and educators)
Various events or experiences can disturb the formation of a resilient cultural identity or create uncertainties in one’s own identity:

Identity or create uncertainties in one’s own identity:
- Lack of an appreciative atmosphere in the home
- Experiences of exclusion  
- Sudden changes (such as relocation, birth of a sibling)
- Separation of important caregivers  
- Loss of the familiar group  
- Deviation from social norms  

Signs of uncertainty in a child’s identity can be numerous:  
- Insecurity, loneliness  
- Low self esteem  
- Despondency, listlessness
- Feelings of exclusion
- Feeling uncomfortable in unknown situations
- Aggression, exclusion of others
- Retreating

Uncertainties in one's identity can complicate a child's natural development. Cultural diversity is the result of countless responses from families to the daily challenges of living a decent life. Children construct their cultural or ethnic identity and their way of being in the world first through experiences in their families, then in expanding environments such as in one's neighbourhood, kindergarten, place of worship, and in the media.