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Discrimination and Young People Essay

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1.1 Explain what is meant by
* diversity
* equality
* inclusion

Diversity means difference. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical abilities and religious beliefs. Equality means treating everyone the same regardless of their individual differences. It is the discovery of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. Everyone has an equal right to be treated with dignity and respect. No one should be denied opportunities because of their race or ethnicity, their disability, their gender or sexual orientation, their age or religion. Inclusion means including people in a way that makes them feel appreciated and respected. Treating individuals fairly and respecting the differences between them makes it easier to include them.

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1.2 Describe the potential effects of discrimination

Discrimination is treating someone or a group of people in a different way to everyone else based on their individual differences. It involves the behavior towards a child or children such as excluding or restricting children from activities that other children are participating in. Discrimination happens when we fail to respect individuals and their choices.

Discrimination affects everybody in different ways:

Low self-esteem, depression, withdrawn behaviour, shyness, tearful, fearful etc. When someone is discriminated against, it can exclude them from friends, family, neighbours, and society in general. A child’s self-worth is reduced, as they feel isolated, and alone. Children’s & Young People’s Workforce (2010 page 21) states that “When children experience prejudiced attitudes, there is a danger of damage to their self-esteem and self-confidence”.

Discrimination can limit a child’s right to achieve their potential and objectives, their right to learn, their right to succeed. The most common forms of discrimination are racial remarks, being insulted and being the butt of hurtful jokes. Discrimination, racism and harassment may have significant mental and physical health consequences such as frustration, stress, anxiety and depression.

Effects of discrimination physically and emotionally:

Low self-esteem
Loss of confidence
Low self-worth
Feeling stressed or unable to cope
Fear of rejection

The long-term effects could include:

Loss of motivation
Missed opportunities that may affect the child’s experiences and development Limited access to services Mental illness caused by stress

1.3 Explain how inclusive practice promotes equality and supports diversity

Inclusive practice is about the attitudes, approaches and approaches taken to ensure that people are not excluded or isolated. It means supporting diversity by accepting and welcoming children’s differences, and promoting equality by ensuring equal opportunities for all children.

Child care workers show inclusive practice by working in ways that recognise, respect, value and make the most of all aspects of diversity. Children’s & Young People’s Workforce (2010 page 25) states that another type of inclusive practice is to “offer children equality of opportunity to participate, develop and learn. This does not mean treating them all the same; we have to acknowledge their diversity and treat children as individuals, with equal concern”. Having a sound awareness of and responding sensitively to an individual’s diverse needs supports them in developing a sense of belonging, well-being and confidence in their identity and capabilities and it helps them to achieve their potential to take their place in society.

In addition, inclusive practice involves having an understanding of the impact that discrimination, inequality and social exclusion can have on an individual’s physical and mental health. Having such an understanding ensures appropriate, personalised care and support, thereby enabling an individual to develop self-respect and maintain a valued role in society.

Children’s & Young People’s Workforce (2010 page 20) states that “When children spend time in settings which promote diversity, equality of opportunity and inclusion, they are able to make progress in all areas of development”. Inclusive practice involves reflecting on and challenging one’s own prejudices, behaviours and work practices. It also involves challenging those of colleagues and other service providers with a view to changing ways of thinking and working and changing services to build on good practice and to better support diversity and promote equality.


Authors:Penny Tassoni, Kate Beith, Kath Bulman, Sue Griffin Year of publication:2010
Title:Children’s & Young People’s Workforce – Early Learning & Childcare Publisher:Heinemann

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