Strategies for Building Global and Cultural Competency in Education


Strategies for Building Global and Cultural Competency in Education

In schools around the world, diversity is growing and so, too, is the emphasis on global classrooms and 21st-century skills. This is especially true for online classes and courses, which are designed to include students from various cultures, countries, and walks of life. Hence, teachers should be able to develop cultural competencies within their classrooms.

It is also essential for teachers to teach cultural competence education to children. This will help everyone in the education system navigate cultural differences and learn to be open and accepting towards them.

Teachers should educate their students on several ways to build global and cultural competency in education. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Importance of Cultural Competence in Education

Culture is a unique and personal aspect that makes up an individual’s identity. It is reflected in how they talk, dress, as well as their personal preferences. Culture ultimately shapes behaviours and beliefs. Unfortunately, many people, especially young children, only know about their own culture.

Since young children are naturally curious about the world, they should be educated on different cultures. Educators, thus, need to encourage children to learn about cultural competency so that they can better understand themselves and those around them. Moreover, doing so will also help them reflect on themselves and see the world through a more accepting and open lens.

How to Build Cultural Competence in Education

When educators become culturally competent and teach their students to become that way too, they will be able to honor the children they serve. However, doing all of this is easier said than done. There is no checklist to becoming culturally competent. It would be best if they simply strived to be better at being responsive, open, and understanding.

To be culturally competent, we must listen deeply to the people around us, including our schools’ staff, students, and administrators. Understanding their situation, who they are, and where they come from will help us relate to them without preconceived notions.

Luckily, educators can adopt some strategies which can help them. They include the following:

Facilitate Critical Reflection

The first step to becoming culturally competent is fully understanding ourselves before trying to understand others around us. We must critically analyze our cultural assumptions to remove any preconceived notions and stereotypes we might have. Educators can then teach children to become more self-aware so that they, too, can remove their own preconceived notions..

Teach the Importance of Respect

Global classrooms in 21st-century education systems tend to be filled with children from various cultures. However, in nearly all instances, one culture exists in the minority. This might make children from other cultures feel nervous.

Students in a culturally-responsive classroom should employ intercultural communication methods and always show respect to each other. As a result, the needs of each student will be met.

Make Your Library Diverse

Students should not be limited to learning and reading about just one culture. Hence, educators should fill libraries with diverse literature from different types of authors, subjects, and motifs. This can help children understand other cultures and even facilitate opportunities for various discussions in classrooms.

Have a Discussion on Cultural Norms

Educators looking to build cultural competency in their classrooms should facilitate discussions around cultural norms in students.

You can also facilitate this discussion by reading a novel and discussing the main character’s background, culture, and behavior. You can try to uncover more about the character’s nature so that students understand why they behave that way.

Use Intercultural Communication

This is a must if you want to build cultural competency in your classroom. Educators should be open to learning from their students and their culture to facilitate intercultural communication in class.

They should communicate effectively with people who come from different cultures and speak other languages. The best way to do this is through active listening, repeating, and explaining.

Create a Friendly Environment

Above all, educators need to create a friendly environment in their classrooms. A warm and conducive environment determines the success of cultural competence in education systems. To do this, teachers must have a sound understanding of students’ cultures, facilitate students to respect each other, and have productive conversations.

Final Words

Cultural competency can have a significantly positive impact on classrooms and teaching. Educators should be able to sufficiently facilitate and build cultural competency by learning about cultures, analyzing their preconceived notions, and following all the strategies mentioned above.

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