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ERIC Number: ED370375
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Feb-11
Reference Count: N/A
Becoming Multicultural: Helping Students Develop Intercultural Competence.
Kang, Hee-Won; Dutton, Bonnie
A series of strategies and techniques for helping elementary and secondary students develop a multicultural outlook within the school environment are outlined. It is argued that because of the culture-specific knowledge individuals possess, we draw inferences that influence the way we perceive other people and interpret their actions, resulting in cultural misunderstandings. These inferences are based on our linguistic, speech act, discourse, sociocultural, context, and global knowledge. Strategies for bypassing inappropriate inferences focus on metacognitive skills of monitoring, evaluating, and reformulating inferences and interpretations. Once a conflict or potential conflict is identified, the individual most commonly addresses it by a variety of strategies, including: substituting another inference; questioning the earliest of multiple interpretations; shifting focus; case analysis; distorting information to fit the default interpretation; seeking more information; or dismissing inconsistencies. It is proposed that in order to develop intercultural competence in students, teachers must use approaches, techniques, and activities to develop awareness of individual affective "filters," awareness of different possible interpretations, critical evaluation skills, recognition of inconsistency, and effective strategies to deal with inconsistencies and contradictions. Some of these approaches, techniques, and activities are described. (MSE)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at a Meeting of the National Association for Multicultural Education (Detroit, MI, February 11, 1994).