Bridging the Gap of Cultural Diversity in the Classroom

In Chapter 11 , Katherine Wills turns the discussion to how much of the foregoing chapters affect what must be done in the classroom to produce students who can function in the modern workplace. That’s a subtle insight that should concern anyone doing usability research, particularly since we often forget that whatever our agenda may be in conducting the research, the participants possess their own form of agency. Rather than simply accepting our goals, Grabill notes, research participants often modify the situation so that the goals become more directly meaningful to them. When we design research, our goal is generally to solve some problem, ideally with the goal of making life easier or better for someone. But when our goal is not shared by the participants, we may end up researching the wrong problem or biasing our results when participants in the research redirect the goals towards goals more to their liking. Granted, this book is not written for practitioners; its primary audience is academics and their students, and it speaks to them in their own jargon. Nonetheless, this kind of language is likely to be sufficiently offputting to a typical practitioner that few will read beyond this point; some I’ve talked to may even fling the book across the room.

  • Readers who stay the course and reach those later chapters will see an increasingly realistic and relevant focus of cultural studies, and will receive some keen insights into how this field can potentially transform the work we do.
  • The video highlights the very real global threat to our survival as a result of both natural and human-triggered disasters.
  • Another aspect to consider with regard to cross-cultural communication is familiarity with cultural idiosyncrasies.
  • How can AILs help formal leaders connect their cultural aspirations to the day-to-day working life?

ConceptNet hungarian physical traits 3 is presented, which improves the acquisition of new knowledge in ConceptNet and facilitates turning edges of the network back into natural language, and it is shown how its modular design helps it adapt to different data sets and languages. Toward the end of their second meeting on the culture initiative, Sandra asked Andrew who else he was speaking with on the matter, and wondered if he had arranged to touch base with the company’s AILs. Andrew confessed that he had mainly stuck with the C-suite and a few HR reps. “It’s really new territory, to be honest, to take advice from someone I don’t know, about my own company,” Andrew said. To address the issue, the leaders deployed the beautiful mess effect. They visited the regional banks and spoke frankly, not about what they believed the local sites needed to change, but about their own setbacks and failures. After some initial discomfort, leaders found that sharing their stories aided in creating bonds with their frontline workers, and helped those employees’ fears dissipate. Over the course of the next few months, the surviving siblings learned that every one of them had been infected with hepatitis B, probably from their mother at birth.

Changing conversations to change the culture.

When we assess and measure culture from a developmental perspective, we find patterns of issues causing these culture gaps that vary mostly in severity and degree of dysfunction. Open Mind Commons can learn well-connected structures of common sense knowledge, refine its existing knowledge, and build analogies that lead to even more powerful inferences.


In short, students are forced to focus on satisfying their immediate needs rather than thinking more deeply about the situation and whether and how it should be changed. I’m not sure that this is a revelation to practitioners—we are keenly aware of how unreasonable workloads and deadlines can lead to a rigid and narrow focus on simply getting the writing done, no matter how poorly. But it’s an important reminder to us that even under deadline pressure, we should never forget the needs of our audience.

Children coming to this country expect to receive education that meets these growing demands and needs. But how can we bring cross-cultural perspectives into the classroom, so that they are celebrated and respected equally? Varya Davidson leads PwC’s culture, leadership, and change business for Strategy& in Australia, Southeast Asia, and New Zealand. She is also a member of the Katzenbach Center’s global leadership team representing Asia-Pacific. A partner with PwC Australia, she specializes in strategic transformation and has a passion for people and organization dynamics.

Conduct polls, surveys, email outreach, and social media engagement to get a better sense of how you are doing in terms of intercultural communication. Last but not least, the effectiveness of your approach to intercultural communication will come down to how open you are to feedback and suggestions. This can be done through any of the analytical tools you likely already use, from Google Analytics to social media insights. From there, you need to apply business analytics to derive knowledge that can improve your ability to make business decisions. While mapping out each of these dimensions for every customer you interact with would be impossible, it helps to craft a series of useful customer profiles that will help you understand actionable differences when dealing with different cultures.

The evidence indicates that stakeholders i.e. those involved and affected by ‘visual impairment’ , agree that community members have a potentially positive contribution to make towards improving the quality of life of people with visual impairment. John Hubley1 and also Muhammod Sabur2 highlight the importance of community participation in effective eye care. They provide information about what community members can do to improve eye care, such as early identification, prompt action in seeking treatment and adhering to advice. The how question is the question that can be answered by listening to perspectives of community members. In other words the health care workers are the ‘experts’ on answers to the what questions, but the communities are the ‘experts’ on answers to the how questions. Obviously it is only by combining this expertise that a true solution can be found, hence the need for community participation in service development. It would seem that if the recommendations of health care professionals are to be put into practice, there is a need to ask, to listen and to act on the expertise of the community members.

Art and music also have other benefits for our creativity and mental health. Not only do art and music bring people together, but they can also increase productivity. Art and music are universal languages that transcend cultural barriers. Food festivals are often places where people interact with pleasure, and they’re a great way to promote cultural exchange. Being mindful and learning about the culture of others can make a positive difference. We talk about things we like, are familiar with, and are emotionally safe. However, avoiding topics of conversation is also a way to avoid understanding and empathy.

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