Monday, 19 March 2012

Learning about diversity and difference

Around 10% of the children living in Britain come from minority ethnic backgrounds, but it can be difficult to find children’s books that represent the diversity of our society. Stories which feature characters from a variety of ethnic backgrounds are valuable, both in racially diverse classrooms and in schools where the majority of children are white, as all children should be able to find books they can personally identify with, while a diverse offering helps to foster cultural empathy. Diversity and difference: multicultural books for a multicultural society is the latest addition to our booklists for children. It's the last in a series which also comprises:

Stories which include characters with disabilities in a matter of fact way can help your class accept difference and understand diversity.

Stories which include LGBT characters can promote understanding and reduce lesbian, gay and transgender related bullying.

All three lists cover a range from picture books to teen fiction. I'm grateful to my colleagues Alison Forde, for creating the multicultural and LGBT lists, and Sarah Scott for the disability list. Paper copies are availalble in the display area upstairs in the library.