Toward Cultural Proficiency: A Course for Preservice Educators, Communicators, and Leaders
Advisor:Whittington, M. Susie
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Human and Community Resource Development Honors Theses; 2012
Educators who first seek to understand are able to demonstrate their desire for deep understanding by creating learning environments in which learners' unique qualities and characteristics are integrated into the classroom. All pre-service educators, communicators and leaders need more exposure to, awareness of, and strategies for recognizing their own potential biases, and how those biases might unknowingly lead to potential exclusion rather than inclusion of all learners in their learning environments. To achieve the goal of becoming an inclusive society, Agricultural and Extension Education 594 was written to use assignments adopted from the Woven Traditions Toolkit. The first assignment was assessing learners’ Pre-Confidence using a questionnaire. Learners wrote journal entries with "critical thinking stems" that reflected on ideas and questions encountered weekly. Daily Reflections, selected by their peers, were also taught at the beginning of every class. Learners participated in a Behind the Music project where they researched a genre of music and Book Club where they read a book and presented its significance. The class selected a culturally-related movie to watch and reflect upon. The I am From Poem and the Racial Autobiography were used to become aware of their own cultural identity. Additionally, the learners were responsible for participating in three Dialogues/Discussions presented by the Multicultural Center at OSU. Furthermore, learners joined an OSU Indian student at an Indian restaurant to be more exposed to other cultures. Moreover, the learners were responsible for creating a service learning project in which they taught others. Their sphere of influence reached approximately 160 other people from eight students. The final exam was reflective and expressive. Lastly, the Post-Confidence questionnaire was completed. Students earned a Certificate in Intercultural Awareness and Community Engagement Learners from the OSU Multicultural Center. Instruments are being used to describe the students’ progress along the cultural proficiency continuum.
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