Using Student-Centered Engagement in the Classroom to Develop Cultural Intelligence

Using Student-Centered Engagement in the Classroom to Develop Cultural Intelligence

Tiffany J. Cresswell-Yeager (Gwynedd Mercy University, USA) and Ronald W. Whitaker, II (Cabrini University, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9989-0.ch012

Abstract

Culturally responsive teaching provides a framework for which we can aspire to better serve all students in our classrooms. Engaging students in conversations on difficult social justice topics can be extremely challenging but very important in our global society. The authors offer several strategies for first establishing student engagement, then implementing course content to develop cultural intelligence to have these conversations. Using the lens of cultural intelligence, the authors explore effective tools for creating a welcoming environment and ways to communicate effectively with cultural humility. Then, the authors explore anti-deficit strategies needed to engage students in learning about diversity and inclusion and to facilitate constructive dialogue about current issues of discrimination, bias, and prejudice. Finally, the authors offer several case vignettes based on the experience of using the problem of practice and provide example assignments used to develop and enhance cultural intelligence.
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Introduction

As educators, we have a responsibility to continue learning. Culturally responsive teaching provides a framework for which we can aspire to better serve all students in our classrooms (Gay, 2010). Engaging students in conversations on difficult social justice topics can be extremely challenging, but very important in our global society. We offer several strategies for first establishing student engagement, then implementing course content to develop cultural intelligence to have these conversations. The authors explore anti-deficit strategies needed to engage students in learning about diversity and inclusion and to facilitate constructive dialogue about current issues of discrimination, bias and prejudice.

Using the lens of cultural intelligence, the authors explore effective tools for creating a welcoming environment and ways to communicate effectively with cultural intelligence. Finally, the authors offer a case vignette based on the experience of using problems of practice and provide sample assignments used to develop and enhance cultural intelligence.

Chapter Objectives

  • To examine the theoretical models shown to increase student engagement as it relates to culturally responsive teaching.

  • To provide a framework for implementing anti-deficit strategies.

  • To explore evidence-based strategies to engage students in developing cultural intelligence.

Context of Culturally Responsive Teaching

According to Gay (2010), culturally responsive teaching is validating, comprehensive, multidimensional, and empowering. To validate a student, the professor must use cultural knowledge, prior experiences, and frames of reference that make the learning more relevant. The professor must see cultural differences as assets to build bridges between the students’ life at home and their life at the university. To be comprehensive, the faculty member must develop intellectual, social, emotional and political learning by using all the resources available to build competence. To be multidimensional, the teaching must use varied instructional technologies, simulations that tap into a wide variety of knowledge, experiences and contributions. Finally, the professor must empower students to build academic competence and personal confidence. Empowered teaching requires creating an infrastructure to support and bolster student morale. Gay (2015) asserts that culturally responsive teaching uses cooperation, community and connectedness.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Student Engagement: The interaction between time, effort, and resources invested by students and institutions to optimize the student experience and enhance the learning outcomes of the student.

Stereotype Threat: Refers to an individual being at risk of confirming a stereotype about one’s social group.

Anti-Deficit Framework: An approach to understanding achievement developed from theories in education, sociology, psychology, gender studies, and education to better understand Black male success in college. This theory inverts questions that are commonly asked about disadvantage, underrepresentation, and underperformance.

Cultural Humility: The ability to other-oriented (open to) in relation to aspects of cultural identity that are most important to the person. It focuses on self-humility rather than achieving knowledge or awareness.

Cultural Competence: The ability to interact and communicate effectively with people of various cultures. This includes awareness of one’s own culture and attitude toward cultural differences. To be culturally competent, an individual gains knowledge of other cultural practices and worldviews.

Cultural Intelligence: The capability to work and relate effectively across cultures. It includes the individual’s level of interest, understanding, ability to adapt, and ability to plan for cross-cultural interactions.

Podcast: An episodic series of audio or video files on the internet which a listener can download on a smartphone or computer.

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