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Seeing Differences in a Positive Light
November 22, 2022
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.
-Helen Keller, American author, 1880-1968
In the book, Treasures in the Thicket | Tesoros en el Monte, teacher and author Bethica Quinn notes, "When we looked at our notes from the conversations about the paintings of 'buhos' (owls), Rosalina and I noticed something that caught our attention. As the children talked about Leila and Lucia’s paintings of owls, Lucia shared her knowledge about the owls’ nocturnal schedule. 'En la noche se quedan despiertos y en el día se quedan dormidos,' she said. (At night they stay awake and in the day they stay asleep). Xavier listened to her and appeared to ponder for a moment. He then commented, 'No es lo mismo cómo los humanos, pero está bien conmigo,' (It’s not the same as people, but it’s Ok with me). In just a few words, Xavier summed up a perspective that recognizes and honors difference."

Quinn continues, "Seeing differences in a positive light is often a struggle for preschoolers as they do their developmental work of defining how things ‘should be.’ It is not uncommon to see preschoolers argue over which color is better, red or blue. Yet here Xavier was able to accept a difference of opinion and behavior regarding something as profound as day and night. I do not think it is an accident that this acceptance came in the context of a connection with nature. The natural world offers children an experience of diversity and complexity well beyond what we can create inside the preschool classroom."


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