Four Little Corners: A Tale About Inclusion and Diversity
Four Little Corners is a story that all children should read and reflect on, because they’ll learn different values related to equality, inclusion and diversity.
This teaching is essential in order to educate children in an environment where we foster respect, solidarity, dignity, tolerance and integrity. This will thus encourage children to grow up and develop in an environment that promotes positive coexistence and healthy social relationships.
“If we teach children to accept diversity as normal, it won’t be necessary to speak of inclusion, but rather of coexistence.”
– Daniel Comin –
Four Little Corners: Reflecting on inclusion and diversity
Four Little Corners, written by Jérôme Ruillier, should be compulsory reading, especially in pre-school, but also in the first years of primary education.
This story is recommended for children from 3 years of age, and is ideal for the development of emotional intelligence and teaching about inclusion and diversity.
It’s all about a little square that’s playing with its friends, who are all circles. The main problem is that, when they have to return home, they have to enter via a round door, which the little square can’t get through.
At this point, the square tries to change in order to fit through the door. However, in the end, they all realize that it doesn’t need to change. It dawns on them that they can cut out four little “corners” in the door and, in that way, the little square can go in!
The moral of this story is that it’s society that must adapt to people’s specific needs, and not vice versa. Because of this, communities have a duty to propose practical and equitable solutions for the limitations that these groups may encounter. Consequently, social and educational resources must be adapted in order to include all types of people.
We could say that, in order for a society to advance, it needs to recognize and accept the different characteristics, qualities, and capacities that define each individual person.
“Differences contain great learning opportunities, and constitute a free, abundant and renewable resource.”
– Robert Barth –
The importance of teaching children about inclusion
Inclusion is a process of improvement and innovation that aims to minimize or eliminate barriers that limit certain people. The aim, therefore, is to end discrimination, exclusion and marginalization in the following areas:
- Sexual orientation
- Educational needs
- Ethnic or social origins
- Genetic characteristics
In this way, inclusion defends and promotes:
- Equal rights and opportunities
- The acceptance of differences
- Social diversity
- Universal accessibility
- Developing people’s maximum potential
- The interaction with all kinds of people
- Cultural enrichment
- Community participation
At home and at school, you don’t only have to focus on cognitive and academic development. You also have to transmit positive values and provide social skills.
We have to raise our children in an inclusive environment. From their first years of life, we need to teach them to live together, communicate with, and interact with all types of children, regardless of their characteristics. If we teach them this from a young age then we can:
- Train them to become citizens aware of injustice and committed to eradicating it
- Create a better society in the future
In short, it’s society’s duty to grant new generations a quality education based on equality, respect for diversity, cooperation and collaboration. And a great way to do this is through stories like Four Little Corners.
“People, like birds, are different in their way of flying, but equal in their right to fly.”
– Anonymous –