Cultural Literature Review on Toronto

No matter what people do or where they live, their identity is embedded in their culture (“Culture and the Self,” 2016). In this study, I will analyze children in Toronto – Canada as a culturally diverse group. According to the World Population Review, Toronto does not have any dominant culture or nationality, as almost half the population are visible minority groups or people from other countries (World Population Review, 2020). Therefore, Toronto is an ideal frame to study the cultural influences and applications in a culturally diverse population. For instance, Toronto reveals the characteristics of children brought up in culturally diverse groups, their learning, and development, and offers an understanding of their families and communities.

Background Information

According to the 2010 NAEYC Standards 1a, an early childhood professional ought to understand the characteristics and needs of children (NAEYC, 2020). Hence, they can create a favorable learning environment amid factors that influence their development. This understanding is paramount since children underdo various developmental stages, as shown below, from birth to eight years.

Between three months from birth, children develop smiles and track objects with their eyes. They recognize bright colors and listen to sounds. They identify and begin reaching for their hands and legs (Dosman, Andrews & Goulden, 2012). Between four and six months, the child becomes more social and reveals the will to move. They smile, laugh, and sleep more. At this age, children love putting things in their mouths. They can roll and sit upright. Between seven and twelve, a baby has developed adequate physical energy to cruise and stand by supporting themselves on a sofa. They can recall the names that they hear often and can wave goodbye. They can look for missing toys and plays Peekaboo (Dosman, Andrews & Goulden, 2012). A child learns some of their behavior between one and two years, and they can communicate both verbally and with facial expressions (Child Care Resource Center, n.d.).

Between 2 and 3 1/2 years, a child’s experiences escalate the changes in their emotional, social, and intellectual abilities. They can open doors, climb, or play with water. Up to five years, a child can learn, and they interact with other students and teachers. This interaction fosters personality development and the ability to express emotions (Child Care Resource Center, n.d.). By eight years, the child has developed independence. They have their friends, social skills, and important people or things for them. According to the Child Care Resource Center, this is the ideal time for children to gain confidence.


Influences on Development

In education, it can be challenging to teach or learn in a multicultural community. Therefore, teachers ought to understand the implications of cultural diversity on the educational outcome (Yuan, 2017). That is, educators need to ensure a culturally safe learning environment. One domain that concerns the implications of a culturally safe education system is cognitive development. Cognitive development entails the ability of an individual to learn and think based on what they have learned (Vallotton & Fischer, 2008). As reported by the Child Care Resource Center (n.d.), the cognitive ability develops mostly between zero and three years. During this stage, a child is developing an identity and begins to familiarize themself with the environment. Therefore, culture is prone to profoundly influence an individual’s identity formation (Hill & Edmonds, 2017). For instance, cultures that have more artistic activities such as music have their children developing creativity and cognitive abilities faster than their counterparts.

Additionally, culture impacts a child’s emotional and social development. Emotional development entails processing and expression of feelings, while social development concerns how children interact with other people (Holodynski & Seeger, 2019; Kington, Gates & Sammons, 2013). For instance, some cultures are more emotive; hence their children tend to be more emotional (Hill & Edmonds, 2017). Children brought up in religious cultures are more emotionally stable than their counterparts. Also, children in culturally diverse groups such as Toronto find it simple to include or accept other cultures socially. Overall, children develop shared interests based on the cultural makeup of their community.           

Plan of Appropriate Teaching and Learning Strategies

Several methods are considered appropriate for teaching and learning in a multicultural group. First, educators may appreciate that a culturally diverse population is critical of educational equality (Pang, Stein, Gomez, Matas & Shimogori, 2011). Thus, an educator should plan their teaching strategy in such a way that they eliminate prejudices. That way, they make the learning environment safe for children to learn and develop. Secondly, educators may learn about their student’s learning styles (Lynch, 2015). That is, they ought to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their students regarding learning styles since every child develops comprehension based on their cultural background (Darling-Hammond, Flook, Cook-Harvey, Barron & Osher, 2019). Thirdly, educators should familiarize themselves with cultural biases in their community, and work around them to ensure cultural equity (Nganga, 2015). This is my recommended strategy, as it positions an educator to teach professionally, appreciating the diversity of every child to make them feel safe, and develop their holistic character.

Personal Reflection

I think that while teaching in a culturally diverse community may be challenging, it has better development outcomes. For instance, children brought up and taught in Toronto are likely to appreciate and learn from one another. Over an appropriate educational framework, children feel safe in the learning process and develop a holistic character.

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“Culture and the Self.” (2016). Culture and the Self: A New Global Perspective. Retrieved 12 June 2020, from

Child Care Resource Center. Ages & Stages Child Development. Retrieved 12 June 2020, from

Darling-Hammond, L., Flook, L., Cook-Harvey, C., Barron, B., & Osher, D. (2019). Implications for the educational practice of the science of learning and development. Applied Developmental Science24(2), 97-140. doi: 10.1080/10888691.2018.1537791

Dosman, C., Andrews, D., & Goulden, K. (2012). Evidence-based milestone ages as a framework for developmental surveillance. Paediatrics & Child Health17(10), 561-568. doi: 10.1093/pch/17.10.561

Hill, P., & Edmonds, G. (2017). Personality development in adolescence. Personality Development Across The Lifespan, 25-38. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-12-804674-6.00003-x

Holodynski, M., & Seeger, D. (2019). Expressions as signs and their significance for emotional development. Developmental Psychology55(9), 1812-1829. doi: 10.1037/dev0000698

Kington, A., Gates, P., & Sammons, P. (2013). Development of social relationships, interactions, and behaviors in early education settings. Journal Of Early Childhood Research11(3), 292-311. doi: 10.1177/1476718×13492936