Portions of this chapter have been adapted by permission of the publisher from Ramsey, P.G., Teaching and Learning in a Diverse World: Multicultural Education for Young Children. (2nd Edition) (New York: Teachers College Press, © 1998 by Teachers College, Columbia University. All rights reserved.)

To engage children in multicultural learning, teachers and families need to understand how social and economic forces influence children’s development and, in turn, how children learn about the world. This review is organized around two questions: First, how does membership in particular racial, cultural, socioeconomic, gender, sexual orientation, and ability groups affect the quality of children’s lives, their interactions with peers and teachers, and their future prospects? Second, how do children develop their understanding, attitudes, identities, and behaviors related to these dimensions?