Today people from all over the world are more connected than ever before. Children of different ethnic backgrounds and cultures often attend the same classrooms together in a true melting pot fashion. Where some students may be born and raised in the United States, other students may have been born in Africa, China, India or any other country in the world. In other cases, students born in the U.S. may have parents, grandparents, or other family members from another country who still celebrate the traditions and customs from their homeland. As a result, this diversity opens up the door for teachers and other early educators to bring a more multicultural and diverse education into their elementary classrooms. This not only makes the classes more inclusive to all of the students, but it also helps them to better understand and appreciate cultures that are not their own.
Understanding different nationalities and cultures is an important part of creating a more united classroom and eventually, as students grow older, a more culturally united and tolerant world. What students learn in elementary school will help them throughout middle school, high school and the rest of their educational career. In some cases, the exposure that they receive early in their education may inspire a curiosity about the world, and encourage travel and influence career decisions. Because business can take place in any country, either in person, by phone or via the Internet, eventually this multicultural understanding will also have an effect on them as adults in their careers, and may play a part in potential future successes.
The holiday season is one way that educators can integrate a more culturally diverse educational program into their schools. Although schools in the United States regularly celebrate the American themed holidays, there are observations and holidays from other parts of the world, such as Japan, Italy or France, that are generally not taught to students or included in these celebrations. Often different countries around the world will celebrate many of the same holidays that are observed in the United States. These holidays typically differ in the customs, traditions and even the dress that is associated with them. In addition, other countries around the world also celebrate holidays that are completely foreign to students in the U.S. Educators who teach students these celebrations in terms of the history, sights, sounds and even foods, will greatly expand their students understanding of foreign cultures. It will also give students of different ethnic origins the opportunity to share their knowledge and experiences with their friends and fellow students. Teaching students the holidays around the world can be as fun and interesting to students as it is educational.