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Exploring a new culture 

INTERCULTURAL EXPERIENCES AND HOW THEY CAN LEAD TO PARENT-EDUCATOR PARTNERSHIP CHALLENGES

If you are curious, you are in the lead. Anyone who dares to ask things clearly has the edge. In dialogue, discovering similarities and differences helps to reflect behavior patterns and reactions among all those involved. The technique of active listening supports to clarify whether the educator understood everything correctly.

When exploring a new culture in order to get to know a family and a child, educators may possibly inform themselves and one another through speaking with other colleagues and friends or by reading textbooks. Educators should then be sure to clarify information they have received with the families to ensure that everything is accurate.

For families and children, this familiarization can be a first step in recognizing and experiencing this diversity. This can lead to interpersonal conflicts and the need for reflection on one's own culture. For children, it may be that values which are present in the first culture (home culture) are experienced much differently in the second culture (national culture or specifically kindergarten culture).

Information about the family and the child should already be known prior to the first personal interview. In our institution, educators design a questionnaire to be given at registration. This way, it is already available for families to use as preparation of the first interview.