Developing diversity competency
Respond immediately. If educators see discriminatory behaviour towards Raffa, they should intervene immediately. Children will have a better understanding if the response is given straight away. Educators should never ignore a comment that seems prejudicial or discriminatory. They should address and explain the inappropriate action.
Enable a conversation. Educators are asked to speak clearly and honestly and try not to use complicated language. Instead, they should use honest answers and correct information and ask children how they would feel. They also should ensure they are engaging with all children involved rather than giving lectures.
Act responsible. Educators should model inclusive behaviour. Children learn through observing adults’ behaviour. They should be conscious of their own words and actions when they interact with others. They should never just silently deescalate. Educators should never take just one child away and only talk with them alone. Raffa’s educators should never isolate him for discussion without encouraging a reflective conversation between the two children first. Educators should never victimize.
Care and support. If a child is exhibiting prejudiced attitudes or behaviours towards Raffa’s family situation, educators should ask questions to find out where this stems from and sensitively challenge assumptions and stereotypes. They should support Raffa when he has experienced discrimination or prejudice and listen carefully to what Raffa has to say and comfort him. They should encourage Raffa to talk about how he feels, and be positive about Raffa´s self-expression.
Talk about Respect. Educators can share a story of a time they themselves felt excluded, how they responded and what they learned from it. In this way educators can encourage all children to reflect on the effects of discrimination. Educators can find more examples that children can relate to, such as in books and personal experiences in their own life. This way, educators can build respect and enable children to act and challenge discrimination when they see it (tolerance, 2019).