Our campus and our classrooms are increasingly culturally diverse. However, without informed and intentional educational approaches, structural diversity alone does not necessarily result in intercultural learning. Faculty and staff can seek consultation or professional development to enhance intercultural understanding at TRU.
The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching is actively engaged in offering a multitude of avenues for intercultural learning and teaching to occur. See the following:
Professional Development Opportunities
- Interculturalizing the Curriculum - an intensive professional development opportunity for faculty members to enhance culturally responsive teaching strategies and incorporate intercultural learning outcomes in curriculum.
Developing Intercultural Capacities
Using the Intercultural Development Inventory, this workshop provides groups and individuals with a profile of their intercultural development. We will explore how culture shapes worldviews and how our experiences influence how we respond to cultural differences and similarities. Following the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to debrief their individual profile and consider their own individual development plan.
Culturally Diverse Learners: Examining Expectations, Assumptions, and Approaches
This session will consider some of the unique challenges and potential rewards of working with culturally diverse students who may come to us with different values, experiences, and expectations. Participants will explore how intercultural frameworks can help educators to support students’ learning in Canadian institutions.
In this workshop, participants will explore how cultural values influence preferences in communication styles and patterns. Through activities and discussion, participants will become more aware of their own verbal and non-verbal styles and consider adaptive strategies to enhance understanding and effectiveness communicating in culturally diverse situations.
In this session, participants will explore aspects of identity and privilege in relation to discrimination and consider how privilege assumes responsibility to respond to discrimination. They will consider how having privilege entails responsibilities to respond to discrimination. Through activities and discussion, participants will recognize the harm caused by various forms of discrimination, ranging from unconscious bias to harassment. Using Dr. Ishu Ishiyama’s active witnessing model, participants will explore the roles of victim, offender, and witness in discriminatory situations and apply an active witnessing model to responding to discrimination. Participants will practice various responses and consider the appropriateness of different responses to various situations.
The International / Intercultural Interface
Internationalization has become a key strategy for most Canadian institutions. What are the benefits and challenges of internationalization? What are promising practices in terms of ensuring our campus has the skills and capacity to support culturally diverse students from all over the globe? This session will provide an overview of rationales and approaches to internationalization with a focus on building intercultural competencies across the campus to ensure success for students and benefits to the institution.
Enhancing Multicultural Group Work for Intercultural Learning
In our classrooms, we expect students from all around the world to form teams and complete discipline-based projects. This often becomes an exercise in frustration for educators and students alike. Research shows that these experiences may actually entrench stereotypes or cause students to avoid working with other cultures due to their perception of risk factors (Garson, 2013; Osmond & Roed, 2010; Harrison & Peacock, 2010). In an effort to enhance both the students’ experiences of multicultural group work and their intercultural learning, Robin and Kyra conducted SoTL research at TRU that improved outcomes for students. In this session, we will outline our study and share findings that provide a base for promising practices in facilitating multicultural group work. Following a presentation of the study, we would like to discuss with colleagues the implications for practice and the potential to replicate this research in other disciplines.
Writing across Borders
In this session, participants are invited to examine culturally influenced writing and rhetorical preferences and how culture may inter-play with student success in writing intensive programs. Through activities and discussion, we will consider pedagogies and supports for culturally and linguistically diverse students by examining expectations and assumptions. Discussion and presentation will focus on how culture influences attitudes and practices, including in ways that can result in plagiarism. We will identify resources to support both students and educators to ensure policy and practice are equitable.
Academic Integrity: Whose Culture is it?
In this workshop, we explore how cultural perspectives and previous educational experiences can influence students’ understandings and approaches to plagiarism and citation practices. We will review the process for reporting academic dishonesty, consider strategies to minimize academic integrity infractions and share resources for teaching citation and Canadian academic writing standards.
Intercultural Mythbusting and Capacity Building
TRU has identified increasing intercultural understanding as a strategic priority. Recent years have seen a significant shift in focus towards the internationalization and Indigenization of postsecondary education. This session invites TRU educators to engage in dialogue about the social and cultural contexts of common myths concerning diversity and intercultural dynamics on campus. We will explore how these myths influence student/teacher interactions, classroom dynamics, and reconciliation responsibilities.
Towards Equitable and Inclusive Pedagogies in Complex Times
TRU’s unique demographic composition represents an advantage, but also a challenge. While the cultural plurality of our student body, faculty, and staff is an undeniable resource for the development of a rich and cosmopolitan university experience, the increasing convergence of groups with different ethnic backgrounds also creates the potential for cultural frictions and even acts of discrimination and inequitable treatment. Moreover, the increased public presence of ethnic nationalism around the world and in Canada has sparked renewed interest in the balance between free expression and equality rights at universities. All around the world, prejudice has been emboldened and we witness increasing forms of racism and cultural intolerance in the public space. At the same time, there is a growing reaction against the presence and achievements of equality movements, such as feminism and LGTBQI. Classrooms and public spaces in universities have increasingly become sites of politically and emotionally charged exchanges between groups who subscribe to deeply conflicted ideologies. During this session we will explore strategies that the seek inclusion of multiple perspectives while at the same time decreasing the risk of full blown conflict or unsafe learning environments.
- CELT Sessions - The intercultural coordinators collaborate with the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching in providing workshops related to cultural diversity, equity, and inclusion each semester. Visit the CELT calendar for more information.
Individual Consultation - resources
We are available to talk through teaching ideas, support the development of inclusive pedagogies or provide resources. For more information, please contact us at email@example.com