“How do you tell someone you think differently than them?” “How do you care for people?” “What do you think about people that are different than you?” These are a few of the questions that teachers asked children at the Orfalea Family and ASI Children’s Center.
The children had discussions and created art projects around these ideas in multiple classrooms at the center. They were asked to share what they know about how to solve problems and what to do when people think differently than them.
Their remarks included, “You could say I love you,” “You don’t have to think the same thing as the other person,” and “It’s OK to have different opinions. If you have a different idea than another kid, you can just tell them without fighting. You can just share your opinion.”
“We asked the children how they have a disagreement,” head teacher Andi Tennant said. “How do you move forward when you have a different idea from someone? We discussed how they don’t have to give up their idea. They can welcome others’ ideas and still hold on to theirs.”
The children wrote down their ideas to share with the Cal Poly community through a display on the second floor of the Julian A. McPhee University Union. Once someone takes a quote card, they are encouraged to tie a response to a branch on the display for the children to read. The children’s work will be displayed in the University Union through April 12.
“We work to take care of others, problem-solve, and be understanding and accepting,” head teacher Emily VanderZwaag said. “We told the children that this is an opportunity for them to teach the grown-ups at Cal Poly what they know and practice every day.”
ASI Director of Children’s Programs Tonya Iversen says this work is ongoing at the center, and that the anti-bias education they are focused on includes some recent additions to the center’s library. A variety of books have been added to expose the children to topics including gender roles, different abilities, and different types of families.
For more information on the center, visit the Orfalea Family and ASI Children’s Center or call 805-756-1267.