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Intercultural Competence Gail Samdperil and Christina Gunther
Sacred Heart University
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
“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.
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.”
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
How do you get faculty to this point?
background & beliefs
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
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
BARRIERS TO DEVELOPING CULTURALLY
• 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…..
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
Let’s try it:
● Photography: my community, my culture ( NY Times Culture Shot)
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.
Contact us with any questions:
Gail Samdperil - firstname.lastname@example.org
Christina Gunther - email@example.com