Culturally-Sensitive E-Learning Practices for Career and Technical Education

Culturally-Sensitive E-Learning Practices for Career and Technical Education

Lesley Farmer (California State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-739-3.ch011
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Abstract

Increasingly, people are seeking distance education delivery options in order to get the vocational training needed from experts who may reside continents away. Therefore, vocational educators need to address and accommodate cultural realities. Hofstede’s model of cultural dimensions provides a framework for examining culturally-sensitive vocational training implications. Culturally-impacted issues and solutions are explained relative to the relationship of vocational training to the workplace, and to online teaching and learning. Specific strategies are suggested to address language barriers, student-teacher relations, choosing resources, learning activities, technical issues, and assessment.
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Introduction

As globalization impacts economies, it necessarily impacts people’s careers – and the preparation for those careers. Concurrently, people are seeking distance education delivery options in order to get the training needed from experts who may reside continents away. Particularly as Western educational philosophies do not reflect the preponderance of educational approaches worldwide, it behooves U. S. vocational and technical educators to address cultural nuances, particularly in online learning environments.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital Native: A person who has grown up in an era of digital technology, such as computers and the Internet.

Individualism: Primary importance of the individual; strong belief in self-reliance and personal independence.

Gender Roles: Behaviors and attitudes that are expected of males and females, based on socially-constructed definitions.

Culturally-Sensitive: Understanding of cultures without assigning relative values to their differences, and taking them into consideration when educating or otherwise interacting with people of other cultures.

Cultural Competence: A congruent set of behaviors, attitudes, and policies that enable a person or group to work effectively in cross-cultural situations.

Collectivism: Emphasis on group identity and practice of group functioning rather than individual effort.

Localization: The process of adapting a product or service to address a specific language, culture or locale.

Differentiation (in education): The practice of making lessons and learning activities different to accommodate different types of learners within the same educational venue.

Globalization: Processes that increase connectivity and interdependence among businesses and markets around the world.

Culture: Customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.

Millennials: The generation of youth born between 1980 and 2000, just at the start of the millennium.

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