A lot of families have come back to us saying they enjoy the fact that Kutuki’s content is culturally grounded. Children are happy to see characters like them and to hear and see songs and stories involving parents, grandparents and the Indian family cosmos. Given this almost automatic connect that children and parents are feeling, We thought it would be interesting to look at the importance of culture for learning from both the cognitive and socio-emotional perspectives.
When we are learning something new, we seek out what we already know and automatically make connections to what we have experienced. This makes our minds comfortable and able to take on new information and ideas. Knowing this simple sequence in which the minds works — from the familiar to the unfamiliar — educators ensure their students are comfortable with what they know and use this as a platform to introduce something new. The real world, culture and contexts that children actually experience are the seed from which all learning stems.
And then there is the importance of connecting socially and emotionally to stories. There is something magical about knowing that somewhere out there is a person who might feel like me and look like me; it makes us know we are not alone and that we are understood and this quietly boosts our self-esteem and confidence. Children are definitely in on this magic, and these stories subtly tell them that their voice, too, is worth hearing; their experiences worth knowing.
So, whether it is learning to count by deciding how many pooris we want to eat; or learning shapes by finding bindis that match mama’s dress; or singing songs with dada and dadi or thatha and paati — culture is the fabric of all our learning experiences.