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  • Intercultural Competence Gail Samdperil and Christina Gunther

    Sacred Heart University

  • Today’s Objectives

    1.Identify problems with cultural awareness perception in the college


    2.Analyze high-impact learning tools and take-away a framework of

    cultural awareness activities (for both faculty and students)

    3.Adapt activities to diverse educational departments

  • A Definition

    Intercultural Competence

    “The ability to relate and communicate effectively when individuals involved in the interaction do not share the same culture, ethnicity, language, or other common experiences.”

    Forum on Education Abroad, 2016

  • Engaging Cultural Diversity

    The development of intercultural competence involves gaining a more complex understanding of how one engages cultural diversity.

    Reproduced from the Intercultural Development Inventory Resource Guide by permission of the author, Mitchell R. Hammer, Ph.D., IDI, LLC. Copyright 1998, 2003, 2007, 2012 Mitchell R. Hammer, IDI, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

  • Knowing our own Cultural Habits

    Deeper cultural self-understanding (how one make sense of and respond to cultural differences in terms of one’s own culturally learned perceptions, values and practices)


    Time as a cultural construct

    Individualistic vs communal societies

  • Knowing Cultural Habits of Others

    Deeper cultural other-understanding (different ways people from other cultural groups make sense of and respond to cultural differences).


    Waiting in Guatemala

    Greeting each other

  • Why is ICC so Important? • Healthcare - lack of cultural competence affects health outcomes

    • Education - Increasingly diverse classrooms. Some teaching strategies may not engage all students as fully as possible

    • Business - with increasing globalization, worldwide interaction is becoming commonplace

  • Field of Intercultural Competence

    5+ decades of scholarly work

  • Intercultural Competence Model

  • Continuous Growth and Development

    When people receive intercultural

    training it aids them in acquiring the

    skills that can help them navigate new

    cultures successfully, as well as helps

    them to recognize and understand

    their own cultural beliefs and values.

    Paige, 1993

  • Our Student Data

    • Students believe they are culturally competent, however, data

    showed that they fall into a polarization category (N=27)

    • Polarization is a judgmental view in terms of “us vs them”

    • The students’ perception is quite different than the reality

  • “Given the integral involvement of faculty in shaping the

    student experience, interculturally competent

    professors and instructors are in an excellent position

    to help students develop their own competency in this

    realm and facilitate students’ global preparedness.”

    Deardorff, 2012

    Faculty Role

  • Interculturally Competent Faculty

    1. Understand the complexity of intercultural competence (ICC)

    2. Design their courses to go beyond knowledge transmission and address intercultural learning as an outcome

    3. Able to successfully teach students from a wide variety of backgrounds

    4. Be prepared to provide feedback to students in their intercultural journeys

  • 14 Dimensions of Diversity

  • YOU

    “Cultural Programming”

  • How do you get faculty to this point?

    background & beliefs

    teaching practices

    begin with informal


    Need faculty buy-in

    (meet faculty where they are) Paradigm shift

  • How truly open am I to those from different cultural, socioeconomic, and

    religious backgrounds?

    Can I describe my own cultural conditioning? For example, what cultural

    values impact how I behave and communicate with others? Describe.

    Do I engage in active reflection on my teaching practice and on my

    interactions with those from different cultural backgrounds? Do I seek to

    understand why something occurred and what lessons can be learned from

    the situation? How?

    Am I able to be flexible in responding to students’ learning needs, seeking to

    understand those needs from their cultural perspectives? In what ways?

    Reflection Questions for Faculty

    Deardorff, 2012



    • Lack of diversity in leadership and workforce.

    • Systems that are poorly designed to meet the needs of diverse faculty and staff.

    • Poor communication between leadership and faculty of different racial, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds.

    * Faculty are not being encouraged to develop their own intercultural competence

  • Once Faculty are on their way to ICC…..

  • Process -



    Results -






  • The curricula should:

    • increase awareness of racial and ethnic disparities in education and the importance of sociocultural factors on beliefs and behaviors

    • identify the impact of race, ethnicity, culture, and class on decision- making

    •implement high-impact practices to identify beliefs and behaviors

    • develop skills for cross-cultural assessment, communication, and negotiation

  • Training Tools

    Let’s try it:

    ● Photography: my community, my culture ( NY Times Culture Shot)

  • In Closing

    Whether student or faculty, becoming interculturally competent is a developmental, lifelong process.

    • For faculty guiding their students in the development of these competencies, a process-oriented approach includes the incorporation of learning activities such as critical reflection and analysis into students’ coursework.

    • Faculty should reflect on the intercultural aspects of their teaching practice.

    Deardorff, 2012

  • Thank you!

    Contact us with any questions:

    Gail Samdperil -

    Christina Gunther -


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