Intercultural Sensitivity: Explorations into Teaching the Foundations Needed for Globalization

By Randall E. Osborne and Paul Kriese.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Connections are drawn between the development of intercultural sensitivity, interpersonal skills, and globalization. Fostering active learning skills enhances interpersonal skills, and enhanced interpersonal skills facilitate growth along Bennett’s (1993) developmental continuum of intercultural sensitivity. We discuss how to integrate these qualities into leadership efforts, and call for research on how to test these assumptions as part of globalization efforts beyond the classroom. It is the belief of the authors that critical thinking skills are an essential precursor to interpersonal effectiveness and that interpersonal skills are an essential prerequisite for multicultural effectiveness. These researchers provide students the following description of this four-step active learning model:
1.) Recitation–state known facts or opinions. A critical component of this step is to acknowledge what aspect(s) of what is being stated is factual and what is based on opinion.
2.) Exploration–analyze the roots of those opinions or facts.
3.) Understanding–involves an awareness of other views and a comprehension of the difference(s) between one’s own opinion (and the facts or other opinions upon which that opinion is based) and the opinions of others.
4.) Appreciation–means a full awareness of the differences between our views and opinions and those of others. The result should be a complete awareness of the similarities and differences between our own opinions (and the roots of those opinions) and those of the “other”.
The primary focus in this workshop is outlining the assignments we use to enhance active learning, intercultural sensitivity, and multicultural effectiveness. We believe these assignments provide a model by which future leaders are “taught” how to nurture these competencies in globalization efforts. Future research will need to assess the degree to which these skills are then utilized by those leaders to build regard for cultural differences while simultaneously building on cultural similarities.

Keywords: Intercultural Sensitivity, Interpersonal Skills, Active Learning, Globalization

Global Studies Journal, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.53-68. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 764.830KB).

Dr. Randall E. Osborne

Professor of Psychology, Psychology, College of Liberal Arts, Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas, USA

Randall E. Osborne has been teaching online courses for over a decade. In that time, he has confronted numerous colleagues who have challenged the quality of teaching possible via online courses and has conducted numerous scholarship of teaching projects to illustrate how to: (1) maximize learning in online courses, (2) minimize the challenges of teaching in a non-face-to-face format, (3)take advantage of the unique pedagogical features and nature of online teaching, and (4) to create online courses that facilitate critical thinking and value-added education.

Paul Kriese

Professor, Political Science, Humanities and Social Science Division, Indiana University-East, Richmond, Indiana, USA

Paul Kriese has been confronting and challenging racism and hatred since his low socioeconomic status upbringing near the waterfront of Buffalo, New York through his years as a professor of political science. In addition, he is active in local politics and emphasizes the importance and power of service-learning and civic engagement in exposing students to realities different from their own. “We cannot reconstruct an environment of tolerance and inclusiveness,” he writes, “unless we teach people to deconstruct the causes of hate in the first place.”


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