Teaching Learning And Working In Culturally Diverse Environment EDU616

by Dr. Alan October 09, 2018

Teaching & Education Assignment Samples

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Question

1. Consider a real-life challenging social situation (in an educational or work setting) that is likely to be interpreted from a “large” culture perspective. Explain with reference to the literature how a “small” culture perspective may lead to an alternative interpretation and what could be the implications.

2. Like Bastian & Haslam, Van Oord claims that essentialism and labelling groups along ‘cultural’ lines should be avoided. How consistent are these authors in their argumentation?

3. To what extent is Gan’s interpretation of Chinese students’ experience of difficulties consistent with Holliday’s notion of “small culture”? Please explain.

4. If, as argued by Colvin, Fozdar and Volet, engagement in intercultural interactions is co-shaped by personal dispositions and contextual constraints, what could be the role of educators (or trainers) to foster rewarding intercultural experiences and positive intercultural development in culturally diverse teaching, learning or work environments? Provide a conceptual justification for your answer.

Solution

Solution 1 
Consider a real-life challenging social situation (in an educational or work setting) that is likely to be interpreted from a “large” culture perspective. Explain with reference to the literature how a “small” culture perspective may lead to an alternative interpretation and what could be the implications.

In the field education, the low participation of women in science education has been one of the recurring themes across countries and more or less a universal phenomenon seen in all parts of the world. Increasing the participation of women in science has been a concern in Asian countries (Castle, 2014), Europe and America (Shen, 2013) and India (Indian Academy of Sciences, 2007). Increasing the interest and reach of STEM (Science, Engineering and Computing) education has been the explicit national goal of most education ministries across the world in the last decade.

The focussed interventions to improve the participation of girls in STEM, science and engineering subjects have lead to improved results internationally in recent years  (Siddique, 2013; Corbett, 2015).

I had the experience of coming across an alternative interpretation regarding STEM careers that comes from a smaller culture in the course of my work as a school counsellor. The school I work for has a brilliant science student of South Asian origin. The school was interested in sending her for inter school competitions and foresaw a brilliant scientific career for the student. However, the child’s parents would not allow their daughter to participate in science related events. During a parent teacher conference, they presented us with an alternative “small culture” view of science careers that I found intriguing…

Solution 2

Like Bastian & Haslam, Van Oord claims that essentialism and labelling groups along ‘cultural’ lines should be avoided. How consistent are these authors in their argumentation?

I find the authors quite consistent in their arguments. I particularly subscribe to Van Oord’s claim that labeling people and groups along cultural lines is not a very practical way to look at real life situations. People do have multiple views and allegiances which could change according to circumstances and contexts which cause their group loyalties to be transferred from one group to another.

For example, if we look at the life and values of second generation immigrants and even some first generation immigrants who chose to make a life in western developed economies where social life is fairly equalitarian and not governed by vast social differences as in their own countries of origin, we find that many immigrants are able to overcome their affiliation to religion, caste and social class in the melting pot that is working life in western economies to work.

This real life example that I have observed in my own life makes me agree with Van Oord’s claim that the cultural model is very static and does not represent the potential for growth and change that an individual is capable of. I find that the group model of explaining individual behaviour is more representative of the flexibility and individual choice available to people in real life and is a truer representation of everyday life as we experience it…

Teaching and Learning

Solution 3

To what extent is Gan’s interpretation of Chinese students’ experience of difficulties consistent with Holliday’s notion of “small culture”? Please explain.

The big culture view, the emanates from the western countries where the concept of mass education as it is practiced in classrooms all over the world today originated, is that Asian and specifically Chinese society is “collectivist” as opposed to the “individualistic” nature of western society.

Since the current model of education also originated from western countries, the current system of education, including the International Baccalaureate, are more oriented to developing “individualistic” qualities in students that are derived from the larger culture that the “collectivist” qualities of the smaller culture here, mainly Chinese culture.

The experience of Chinese students in Gan’s article shows that initially the experience of Chinese students conformed to Halliday’s views of “big culture” and “small culture” since the students found that they were perceived to be passive students and not very proficient in critical thinking skills, which are placed at a premium in the big culture view of education of the IBDP. The students did find this “big culture” view an obstacle to their progress in the IBDP, due to teachers’ preconceived perceptions and low expectations.

However Gan’s article brings to light the fact that the “big culture” view of critical thinking is different from the Chinese “small culture” view of critical thinking. The Chinese do not view memorization as opposed to critical thinking and have traditionally held the belief that memorization and repetition helps students to make repeated connections between subject matter that is memorized and leads to better and newer and higher levels of understanding…

Solution 4

If, as argued by Colvin, Fozdar and Volet, engagement in intercultural interactions is co-shaped by personal dispositions and contextual constraints, what could be the role of educators (or trainers) to foster rewarding intercultural experiences and positive intercultural development in culturally diverse teaching, learning or work environments? Provide a conceptual justification for your answer.

Colvin, Fozdar and Volet mention three domains for engagement in intercultural interactions in the education system. The three domains are a) pedagogical b) physical c) social. Educators and trainers can plan their work with students in each of these three domains in order to foster positive intercultural development in their students.  Learning and work environments can be planned in such a way that the experiences of the students in each as well all three domains interlinked will lead to their experiences of intercultural contexts and shape their personal views and behaviour that will slowly lead them from the prejudices and narrow views of the monoculture to the broad minded and inclusive views of culturally diverse of the real world…

 

 

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