Cultural Competence in Higher Education: Volume 28

Cover of Cultural Competence in Higher Education
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Table of contents

(20 chapters)

Prelims

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Part I: The Importance of Cultural Competence

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of the importance of cultural competence and how it is developed in some careers by higher education institutions. Included in the discussion is a brief overview of some research and strategies used when attempting to develop cultural competence.

Abstract

As US universities increasingly participate in the project of the internationalization of higher education through growing international student enrollment, those campuses need to better support their diverse learners and prepare students to be culturally competent. Part of cultural competence for university students includes issues related to language use and language policy because one cannot separate language from culture. Highlighting multilingual international undergraduate student voices from China, India, and Malaysia, the author offers insight into how these students thoughtfully navigate through complicated language ideologies and policies inside and outside of the classroom. The chapter concludes with recommendations for how US universities should encourage cross-cultural competence through embracing multilingual ideologies and language policies.

Abstract

Higher education institutions shape the professions which are the conduit for the disciplines’ ways of knowing, the worldview or mindset of the professions, and the intellectual frameworks by which problems and policies are defined. The generational, conscious, and unconscious agreements between higher education and the professions perpetuate the status quo, resulting in continued disproportional impacts based on race, gender, ethnicity, language, orientation, and differing abilities in every major industry sector; including education, health, employment, housing, finance, technology, and the criminal justice system. Cultural responsive pedagogy provides a process of altering these agreements by surfacing the dual consciousness of our multiple social identities and the multidimensional social, political, and economic contexts in our collective co-existence. The connections between culture and mindset, conscious and unconscious, and the social-political context shape teaching and learning. Mindfulness is a pathway for cultivating cultural competency through embodied awareness by building the reflective muscle to recognize, disrupt, and transform deep-rooted beliefs, entrenched assumptions, and well-established behaviors. Mindfulness invites both faculty and students to bring their intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual selves to the learning exchange.

Abstract

The way in which we teach cultural competence is evolving. There are emerging definitions, new perspectives, and social justice experiences that affect how we react and respond to cultural competency ideologies – ideologies that can polarize or produce change. This chapter will examine the idea of cultural humility and explain why adding it to the diversity, equity, and inclusion lexicon can help engage various discourse communities and deepen one’s understanding of various cultural identities. The authors will briefly review key research findings that examine why college students are often resistant to discourse about culture, race, and bias. Finally, the chapter will use the model of influence framework as a conceptual approach to teach and foster cultural humility in higher education settings.

Part II: The Importance of Cultural Competence

Abstract

This chapter describes the impact of a multicultural curriculum transformation assignment on the consciousness and pedagogy of pre-service and in-service educators preparing to teach and lead within diverse U.S. P-12 schools. Highlighting how two university faculty leveraged a mosaic of critical theories and pedagogies to engage action research exploring the inquiry, How might the application of an assignment grounded in an instructional framework comprised of theories in educational leadership, critical multicultural education, and critical pedagogy inspire and motivate pre- and in-service educators to teach, lead, and serve for social justice beyond their program of study?, It provokes us to consider how best to prepare educators with the knowledge, skill, and will to teach and lead employing a praxis situated in equity and justice. Findings contribute to scholarly conversations and school-based practices focused on culturally responsive teaching and leadership, and prove relevant for P-12 educators, teacher educators, those in educational leadership, and educators advocating equity and justice for historically marginalized and minoritized students attempting to learn in unjust classroom and school spaces.

Abstract

Higher education and student affairs professionals have a very important, active role in the lives of their students. The issues college students face are complex and higher education professionals must be properly trained to be able to address them (Franklin-Craft, 2010). Projections that by 2030 most college students in the United States will be non-White increase the responsibility of those working in higher education to truly understand the developmental issues of a diverse student body (Karkouti, 2015; Rankin & Reason, 2005; Torres, Howard-Hamilton, & Cooper, 2003).

This chapter highlights findings of a study that examined the multicultural competence of graduate students in a higher education program. Employing a snowball sampling method, completed surveys were received from 28 master and doctoral students out of 45 surveys distributed (response rate = 62%). Responses on the Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs – Preliminary 2 Scale (MCSA-P2) were also examined by race, gender, and other pertinent variables. The findings from this research indicate the need for infusing diversity into the curriculum and requiring diversity courses to increase the cultural competence of graduate students in higher education programs. The findings also support the need and call for additional research and analyses to be conducted on multicultural competence of higher education/student affairs professionals. Implications for graduate programs in higher education and reflexivity of the researcher conclude the chapter.

Abstract

The chapter examines the perspectives of campus advocates involved with the advancement of a comprehensive internationalization process at their state comprehensive university (SCU). Advocates explain their definitions of comprehensive internationalization, which are analyzed through an internationalization lens and framework of intercultural competence based on recent studies of Internationalization at Home (IaH). The study found faculty and staff perspectives of comprehensive internationalization to reflect attributes consistent with IaH, which is believed to be a vehicle for transmitting intercultural competence throughout the higher education institution. The context for this study is important as it takes place in an SCU located in a region where higher education is under significant public scrutiny.

Abstract

Within the social work and human service professions, a practitioner’s ability to engage with and assess the needs of marginalized clients can be a high-stakes proposition. If biases and cultural misunderstandings exist during the client engagement and treatment process, vital services such as domestic violence counseling psychotherapy, substance abuse treatment, and elder care can be compromised. The purpose of this chapter is to examine master’s level social work students’ self-perceived “readiness for practice” with diverse populations. Readiness for practice was assessed by two-course assignments: (1) “critical reflectivity assessment” and (2) development of a “cultural competence work plan.” Results revealed that most students overestimated their ability to work with diverse populations at the onset of instruction. However, at the end of the course, students were able to analyze their beliefs and assumptions about diverse, marginalized populations; analyze the concepts of power and privilege as it is manifested within society; and articulate a plan for continued knowledge and skill development beyond the classroom setting.

Part III: The Importance of Cultural Competence

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors illustrate how the use of ethnographic methods as a mode of cultural inquiry can support educators in developing students’ competencies to navigate in and across cultural contexts. The authors report on an undergraduate service learning course held at the University of California, Los Angeles, which combines attendance in a university class with weekly visits to a play-based after-school club located in a multicultural immigrant community. The chapter draws examples from the required field notes written by undergraduate students about their visits to the after-school club, as well as oral comments by the students gathered through interviews. As a way of offering practical engagement in the lifeworlds of the demographically diverse children attending the after-school club, the authors apply examples from the undergraduates’ statements to consider the value of the course – and the engagement it requires with anthropological methods and multilingual and multicultural children – in supporting students’ cultural competence. In doing so, the authors demonstrate what they believe to be a worthwhile approach for cultivating cultural competence in higher education in a socially just and culturally responsive manner.

Abstract

Cultural competence (CC) education has become mandatory in the training and licensure of many fields today. Meeting this demand presents quite a challenge as teaching CC is not the same every time, everywhere, every place. With diverse dynamics across higher education settings, the educator is tasked with being able to discern the needs of the classroom, ascertain which best practice is most applicable in any given moment and to decide how best to tailor classroom discussions based on the current socio-political climate, and the various social identities and personally held values and beliefs present.

In this chapter, using a social justice framework, the author will share lessons learned in teaching CC in various subjects, to diverse classes (i.e., different racial/ethnic compositions, a range of socioeconomic status, sexual orientations, gender identities, political leanings, etc.) with a focus on how these dynamics can be leveraged to positively influence the delivery of material. Lessons learned, challenges faced along the way and answers to questions such as, “What do you do when men want to dominate discussions on gender?”; “What do you do when white students want to dominate discussions of race?”; “How do you allow marginalized students space to speak freely without making them feel like they are the token spokesperson for their social group?”; and “How do you attend to the feelings of members of majority groups who feel silenced during discussions of diversity?” will be reviewed.

Abstract

This chapter presents information related to models and frameworks from the perspective of cultural competence in healthcare settings, such as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, Department of Health and Human Services, specifically the Office of Minority Health and Healthy People 2020. National health-related organizations such as the American Physical Therapy Association and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing provide scaffolding for educating future health professionals regarding providing culturally competent care. Research on effectiveness of professional development and integrating cultural competence into the curriculum will be presented along with suggestions for faculty interested in incorporating these models and practices into their courses.

Part IV: The Importance of Cultural Competence

Abstract

At universities across the country, students of color have organized and participated in protests, walkouts, and social media campaigns to call attention to racialized experiences that they feel have been largely ignored by their campus communities. Often these students of color are confronted with acts of racism that take the form of subtle everyday insults, known as racial microaggressions. Given the prevalence of racial microaggressions in higher education, the question arises as to how educators and administrators can effectively educate students on this concept in order to increase their cultural competency and combat these racialized acts. In this chapter, we consider how the classroom can be an active space to increase students’ competency and validate the experiences of marginalized groups. Drawing from critical race theory, previous literature, and our own experiences in the classroom, we outline several pedagogical strategies for educating students on racial microaggressions. First, we encourage faculty to arrange their classrooms for effective dialogue by being reflexive of your own positionality and privilege, collaborating with students on class ground rules, and unpacking the complexities of racial discussions with students. Next, we draw upon social media, popular culture, student-centered activities, and interdisciplinary research in order to demonstrate lived experiences of racial microaggressions and their consequences within higher education. Finally, we work with students on examining how they might contest these racialized insults in their own lives and potentially work toward larger social change.

Abstract

For more than two decades, clinical legal education scholars have touted the value of cultural competence. Professors, practitioners, and law school administrators now agree that experiential learning opportunities not only provide students with exposure to real clients and organic factual scenarios but also offer students the opportunity to work with diverse individuals. Indeed, because cultural competence is so important to the lawyer–client relationship, many clinical programs offer classroom instruction on cultural competence before allowing students to interact with clients.

Generally, clinical education is reserved for upper-level law students while first-year students spend their time immersed in doctrinal courses and a legal writing and analysis course. Clinical faculty have no opportunity to introduce cultural competence skills to law students unless they enroll in a clinic. As a result, many students receive no training in cultural competence.

This chapter proposes a framework for introducing cultural competence during the first year of law school. The central focus of the framework is the concept of cultural self-awareness. Through an education in cultural self-awareness, students will learn that they are cultural beings whose perspectives on the law are colored by their own life experiences and any attending biases. They will also learn that judicial decision-makers, like other human beings, are influenced by their culture. This approach is necessary to disabuse first-year law students of the notion the law is objective, gender-neutral and colorblind. The chapter offers specific strategies for a Torts course, but the general concepts are applicable to the other first-year courses.

Abstract

Understanding culture and the restorative needs of individuals can help students learn cultural competence and provide students a unique look at cultures. The chapter will focus on a pedagogical and historical understanding of restorative justice, how it relates to cultural competence, and structuring curriculum with the use of a variety of activities to help students learn cultural competence.

Abstract

As the demographics of US schools continues to shift, it is now more important than ever that school-based professionals demonstrate a commitment to serving children and families in a culturally competent manner. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss strategies utilizing technology to teach cultural competence in the context of a school psychology graduate course on diversity. Strategies include the use of journal assignments, using a website to promote anonymous in-class participation, collaborative hot topic presentations, utilizing podcasts as assigned materials, and adapting the Privilege Walk experiential learning activity to reduce potential marginalization. Each of these strategies strategically incorporates technology to remove barriers to participation and self-reflection, which are vital for students to develop their skills in cultural competence. Instructors are encouraged to think critically about how technology may be used to enhance their instruction of content related to cultural competence.

Abstract

As graduates in higher education engage with multiple constituencies from around the world, having cultural competency skills is valuable. Intercultural competence enables people to initiate and sustain dialogues among their diverse colleagues and members of the globalized community. In this chapter, Barger examines the role of dialogue education in attaining intercultural competency in graduate courses. According to Vella, dialogue education values inquiry, integrity, and commitment to equity. People should treat others with respect and recognize their knowledge and experience within the community of learning. Dialogue education provides a safe and inclusive place for learners to voice their perspectives and opinions. This chapter utilizes a professor’s reflections with respect to teaching a graduate Intercultural Communication (IC) course in a private liberal-arts college. In the narrative, she discusses teaching and learning strategies to help adult learners understand the importance of intercultural competence and interactions in a multicultural and multilingual world. Barger also examines the integrative reflections of graduate students that took the IC course.

Name Index

Pages 243-250
Content available

Subject Index

Pages 251-258
Content available
Cover of Cultural Competence in Higher Education
DOI
10.1108/S2055-3641202028
Publication date
2020-09-03
Book series
Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78769-772-0
eISBN
978-1-78769-771-3
Book series ISSN
2055-3641