ERIC Number: EJ968123
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-May
Reference Count: 8
U.S./Arab Reflections on Our Tolerance for Ambiguity
Bright, Larry K.; Mahdi, Ghada S.
Adult Learning, v23 n2 p86-89 May 2012
As the authors, a Midwestern American educational administration professor and a Middle Eastern Iraqi doctoral candidate, have continued to interact over the past 3 years, both have come to appreciate the importance of increasing their tolerance for ambiguity--ambiguities in examining cultural, linguistic, and religious customs and complexities in trying to find justice in a world fraught with prejudices. Tolerance for ambiguity is an important skill that may be learned. But, the learning requires volition and the belief that accepting and understanding people across the world may lead to a better, peaceful, and productive life. What people of the world know, what they do not know, and what they may be able to learn about complex and interdependent issues of global conflict requires considerable energy, if not acceptance of ambiguity. When languages, religions, traditions, and governmental systems are different across cultural groups, the danger of limited information, stereotyping, and partial knowledge can create fear and long-term cultural conflict. It may be argued that it takes a perseverant and highly educated person to tolerate complexity and ambiguity, particularly in the face of fear and threats of terrorism and war. This reflection is a small sample of what the authors have experienced in their willingness to teach each other.
Descriptors: Conflict, Cultural Differences, Fear, Social Justice, Social Bias, Global Approach, World Problems, Cultural Pluralism, Coping, Language Usage, English, Semitic Languages
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States