Institute of Teaching and Learning

Professional Development for Teaching and Learning

Teaching effectively for cultural diversity

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Preamble

Internationalisation and globalisation are familiar terms in higher education these days, and in their broadest sense, usually refer to 'all instances where there are inter-national relations in Australian higher education' Clyne, Marginson and Woock (2000, p.4), including:

  • 'foreign' students studying in Australia,
  • Australian staff and student exchange programs,
  • the establishment of off-shore campuses, and
  • international collaborative research activities.

With the advent of global travel and mass media, it has become possible for students to receive their university education in many different countries. Universities now have policies and procedures relating to the internationalisation of curricula, and ways of working with, and supporting, diverse groups of students. There are also more professional development activities for staff to help them cater for the increased diversity in student cohorts.

Internationalisation trends are also more apparent in the work place. Some professions are now internationalised in the sense that they have established systems for recognising qualifications across the globe, and many companies are now based in other countries, or have branches worldwide. For this reason, it is important that students learn to operate in culturally diverse, international contexts.

Purpose

The advice from your colleagues is aimed at helping you to:

  • Clarify the meaning of culture and cultural diversity as used in this module
  • Understand the teaching issues that can arise when teaching for cultural diversity
  • Develop a set of principles that underpin effective teaching for cultural diversity
  • Trial some key strategies relating to different learning environments
  • Learn some practical tips that have arisen from practices at Deakin.

Contributors

This module is based largely on interviews with a number of Deakin University staff who have experience in teaching diverse cohorts of students, particularly those who have come from another country to study at Deakin. These staff are:

  • Jo Coldwell, School of Engineering and Information Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology
  • Annemieke Craig, School of Information Systems, Faculty of Business and Law
  • Ray Duplain, former staff member of the Faculty of Arts
  • Jan Fermelis, Bowater School of Management and Marketing, Faculty of Business and Law
  • Annegret Goold, School of Engineering and Information Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology
  • Peter Haeusler, School of International and Political Studies, Faculty of Arts
  • Fethi Mansouri, School of International and Political Studies, Faculty of Arts
  • Lemai Nguyen, School of Information Systems, Faculty of Business and Law
  • Stuart Palmer, formerly School of Engineering and Information Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, now member of Institute of Teaching and Learning
  • Marie Van Der Klooster, School of Information Systems, Faculty of Business and Law
  • David Walker, School of History Heritage and Society, Faculty of Arts

Oversight of the module's development, including the development of the video scenarios, was undertaken by Siew Mee Barton, now in the Bowater School of Management and Marketing, Faculty of Business and Law. Special acknowledgements to Peter Lane, Knowledge Media Division who produced the video scenarios, and to Mary Rice, former member of the Institute of Teaching and Learning who analysed the interviews and prepared this material, with the assistance of Dale Holt.

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3rd December 2010