ECE 405 Children & Family in a
Professor Melanie Heyl
November 19, 2012
Chinese Culture Chinese culture is traditionally centered on the family, which was once considered a microcosm of society as a whole. In past Chinese society, the family provided support for every family member, including livelihood and long-term security. Extended family remains exceedingly important, with grandparents commonly acting as caretakers for grandchildren with adult children working and financially supporting their aging parents. The end of cradle-to-grave welfare (the 'iron rice bowl') has brought increasing pressure on families who struggle to meet the rising costs of health care and education. The Chinese value education as a stepping-stone to success, and children are put under a lot of pressure to excel in school. There is also an unspoken code of conformity, and there is a lot of pressure to fit in, for to be singled out is the penultimate in humiliation, causing students to "lose face" in front of their peers. In addition to academics, parents also try and enroll their children in a wide variety of after-school activities to enhance their overall development. What is strikingly different in China is the motivation for excellent. In West China, it is easy to assume most children work hard, because they want to succeed and maybe someday become the next Bill Gates. In China, the goal is to create productive citizen who can serve society. Thus, a child excels to benefit China, not for his or her own personal wealth. (The History of Chinese Education, 2005)
The purpose of this paper is to discuss how race or gender issues factor into the description and consider how this group might be misrepresented, misunderstood, or ignored in U.S early childhood programs, to propose ways that staff members can engage with the children and their families and demonstrate an appreciation of their background while also respecting each student as a unique individual, and to design two activities, which will educate other children about students from this background and then tie this lesson garnered from Vivian Gussin Paley’s book. I will also identify three or more ways that this culture should be addressed throughout the standard curriculum including specific recommendations for ESL learners and I will provide a list of three recommended resources in which I believe the school should Utilize.
Unlike Westerners, Chinese people do not usually greet people who they have not been introduced to or are not familiar with. It would seem odd if a person would offer a "Hi" or "Hello" when passing on the street. It is also standard practice to have a name card or business card to give to people when introduced. Handshakes are not customary among Chinese for first meetings. Conversation topics for people newly acquainted also differ from that of English speakers. It is not impolite to ask about a person's job, annual salary, marital/dating status, or age. In fact, these issues, which Westerners may find uncomfortable, are very typical. On the other hand, questions about family tend to be deflected or avoided. (www.ask.com)
Rice or noodles are served with virtually every meal. For breakfast, Chinese people generally eat congee (over-boiled rice), fresh bread from a local bakery, or a leftover rice dish. You won't see bacon, eggs, and toast or cold cereal. At lunch a Chinese person generally eats a single rice or noodle dish himself or herself. In some areas boxes of rice with vegetables, barbeque pork, chicken or duck, etc. is very popular. Dinner is a family affair. In Chinese dinners, all the dishes are placed on a center table. Each person is given a bowl of soup. After the soup is finished, the bowl is filled with rice and everyone takes what he or she wants from the dishes on the table.
When one is invited to a person's residence they should 1) eat at least two bowls of