Parents think kids should be better educated on culture

Parents of primary school children think their kids need to be better educated about other cultures, new research has found.

More than 500 parents were surveyed by OnePoll for Petra's Planet, a web resource for children to learn about different cultures.

The poll found that 56% of parents felt their children should be better educated about other cultures by their schools.

Asked why it was important for their children to learn about cultures, most parents (51%) cited tolerance as the reason.

Nearly half (49%) said it was important to instil an understanding of different cultures in children.

According to 41% of parents, learning about cultures was important for developing new friendships.

Just over a third (34%) said that learning about different cultures exposed children to life enhancing experiences.

Nearly all parents (96%) said they had taken a lateral approach to teaching their children about different cultures, such as exposing them to different foods, dress, religion and language.

Forty-seven per cent of parents said that a holiday in another country was the best way of exposing their children to other cultures, while 29% opted for eating in different types of restaurants.

The Internet proved slightly more popular than books in teaching about cultures - with 29% choosing the web over books (28%).

Only 17% of parents saw integrating with people from different cultures as a way of teaching young children about other cultures.

Twelve per cent said visiting cultural markets and festivals was another way to expose children to cultures, while 9% said they researched specific celebrations to enjoy with their children, such as Chinese New Year or Diwali.

Learning a language was only seen by 11% of parents as a way of helping youngsters learn about different cultures.

Eevamaria Halttunen, founder and creative director of Petra’s Planet, said: “Children love to learn
about things that are different. They like to know how people live in other parts of the world, what they wear, what kinds of animals there are and how children play.”

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