Emmanuel Jean Francois (University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2014-8.ch001


Students make meaning of the information and knowledge they receive based on their worldviews, prior life experiences, learning styles, personality, values, beliefs, as well their interactions with their academic and non-academic environments. Most of these factors are cultural and can be subject to broad assumptions about what the instructor perceives regarding the profile of any given student. However, making assumptions is not necessarily the smartest way to engage in meaningful interactions. This chapter argues that leaders, administrators, and faculty must not rely on assumptions, but should conceive, plan, and design culture-specific and customizable blended learning and teaching programs or courses, which will enable them to obtain quality learning outcomes and foster student’s transformational experiences. This chapter provides a conceptual framework that will enable to that end.
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Starting With A Mutinous Thought: Multiculturality, Interculturality, Or Cross-Culturality?

Starting with a mutinous thought is not a bad idea. Why does one need to use the term transcultural or transculturality? Aren’t “multicultural or multiculturality” or “cross-cultural or cross-culturality” or “intercultural or interculturality” expressing the same idea? In fact, “cross-cultural or cross-culturality” and “intercultural or interculturality” refer to a same idea of interrelations between or among two or more cultures or subcultures. However, multicultural or multiculturality and transcultural or transculturality refer to different conceptual understandings.


Most scholars in anthropology and sociology credit to Tylor, a British anthropologist of the 19th century, the first meaningful definition of culture, which is “that complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society” (Sardar & van Loon, 1997). In other words, culture includes the values, traditions, worldview, language, technology, symbols, and social and political relationships that are acquired, created, shared, and transformed by a group of people bound together by a common history, geographic location, language, social class, or religion. Culture provides meaning and context. It is a filter through which people process their experiences and events of their lives. It influences people’s values, actions, and expectations of themselves. It impacts people’s perceptions and expectations of others. As Schutz (2003) argued, individuals construct their worldview from their life experience, personality, values, beliefs, and their socio-cultural and socio-economic conditions, thus making culture a vital element in human interactions. A blended learning and teaching course is one setting where human interactions can take place. Therefore, the role of culture is relevant in such setting.

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