Teaching and Learning across Cultures: Understanding Your Students and Helping Them to Understand You
This paper will focus on culture and learning and explore the issue of culture together with the themes of identity, belonging and connectedness and the impact of these issues on human interaction, particularly in the school setting. The interplay of aspects of extrinsic and intrinsic culture will be considered. Culture will be presented as a means of knowing and understanding the world and a lens through which to understand and interpret the world. These issues will be considered in relation to Third Culture Kids such as migrants, refugees, and international full fee paying students who reflect modern day diasporas. The findings of Van Eken and Pollock will be used to explore the sociological impact of the TCK experience and transition. Hostede’s four dimensional model of cultural differences will form the basis of the paper in relation to intercultural competence, cultural attitudes to knowledge and classroom interactions. Underpinning the paper will be Freire’s notion of human ‘unfinishedness’ that allows reciprocal learning to take place and the fact that teaching as a relational activity must always be ethical by being conducted within a mutual spirit of respect for the dignity of each individual.
Keywords: Culture and Identity, Third Culture Kids, Cultural Differences, Cross Cultural Understanding, Intercultural Competence
Vice Principal, Preparatory - Year 12, Walford Anglican School for Girls