Learning About Other Cultures: Preparing Teachers for a Multicultural World
George Bieger, Dennis Ausel, Larry Vold, Monte Tidwell, Alphonse Novels.
It is abundantly clear that the United States of America in the 21st century is an increasingly culturally diverse society. The question of how best to prepare citizens to function effectively in such a diverse society is especially problematic in rural universities that are themselves relatively culturally homogeneous. This paper discusses a set of programs of intercultural experiences intended to help prepare students in such universities for living and working in a culturally pluralistic society.
In their seminal article on situated cognition, Brown, Collins, and Duguid (1989) stated:
People who use tools actively, rather than just acquire them, by contrast, build an increasingly rich implicit understanding of the world in which they use the tools and of the tools themselves. The understanding, both of the world and of the tool, continually changes as a result of their interaction. Learning and acting are interestingly indistinct, learning being a continuous, life-long process resulting from acting in situations. (p. 32)
The programs described in this paper use international and urban immersion experiences as the contexts in which cross-cultural learning is situated.
The presentation will discuss the background of the students, the nature and important characteristics of the learning experiences, and the outcomes that have been achieved through participation in these experiences.
George Bieger (United States)
Dennis Ausel (United States)
Larry Vold (United States)
Monte Tidwell (United States)
Alphonse Novels (United States)
(90 min. Colloquium, English)