Towards Cultural Intelligence (CQ)
Dr. S.T. Janetius
The concept of Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is on limelight today. Cultural Intelligence refers to the capability of an individual to understand, relate and work effectively across people from various cultures. CQ is used in the areas of business, education and academic research and therefore it is the need of the day to educate the budding professionals in cultural competency.
Some Models of Developing and improving cultural competency:
Improving Cultural competency in organisations (2013) Dr. Janetius, Dr. Mini. T.C.
Cultural competence which is the ability of an employee to understand, communicate, operate, and provide effective services cross-culturally is the backbone of student wellbeing in the campus. Cultural competence calls for developing certain HR qualities like personal and interpersonal skills, awareness and sensitivities by having knowledge about various cultures and mastering a set of skills that are needed to understand and accept people of another culture (Diller & Moule, 2005). As cultural misunderstandings and fights between students of different cultures are slowly creeping into the campuses, the employees are not prepared to handle the challenging situation in a healthy way.
This mixed method cross-sectional study conducted in the professional colleges in Tamil Nadu India focuses on the cultural competency of employees handling students hailing from various cultures and its correlation to student wellbeing. This study also prepares a multicultural competency model for college teachers in India so that institutions that are having students from different cultures are excellently benefited.
Indigenizing knowledge base for Consequential Education in
Dr. Janetius, Mr. Bekele Workie, Dr. Mini. T.C. (2008)
The uniqueness of Ethiopian socio-cultural context creates challenges to teachers and scholars due to the questionable accuracy and applicability of Euro-American theories and concepts that are being taught in various disciplines in
Indigenization of knowledge base is a must for consequential education. Consequential education is a process of learning in which the teacher encourages critical examination of multiple sources of knowledge and theories in diverse learning styles with the intention that the acquired knowledge is centred, located, oriented, and grounded on the learner’s culture, which could be applied, translated appropriately by the learner and thus well equipped to be productive locally and globally.
Scholars all over the world consciously or unconsciously transmit the views, values, beliefs, attitudes, and feelings of their own culture or the society being studied into universal principles assuming that cultures across nations are homogeneous. Although diversity among and within ethnic groups have been identified, due to lack of culture-specific theories in developing countries and indigenous cultures, Euro-American theories are overemphasized in classrooms. In view of enhancing consequential education by indigenizing local knowledge base, the objectives of this paper are two fold: i) Identify key constructs, components and obstacles for indigenizing Ethiopian knowledge base; ii) Prepare a conceptual model of indigenization for consequential education in Ethiopia. This qualitative study used a mixture of ethnography and phenomenology methods to collect data. Specifically
Culture-Sensitive College Teaching in Ethiopia: A Conceptual Model, S.T. Janetius, Mulat Asnake, Mini T.C. Bekele Workie (2007)
Educationalists all over the world believe that curriculum and classroom activities should reflect the social, political, economical and cultural contexts of students. Knowledge should be taught from the cultural base of the learner (Henderson, 1996). Culture is expressed through language, religious customs, rituals and celebrations, taboo and totem, symbols of arts and architecture, literature and fine-arts, social and family structures, myths and superstitions etc. As Ladson-Billings (1994) points out, content integration will be of great help in making classroom an interesting place of learning. In view of encouraging culture-specific teaching-learning process, the objective of this study is twofold: First, it evaluates the Culture-Sensitiveness of teachers in selected Universities of Ethiopia. Secondly, it presents strategies to make classroom more culture-sensitive and learner-centred, thus paving way for a higher education dynamic, well suited for sustainable development in Ethiopia.
This exploratory study used qualitative techniques to gather and analyze data. Delphi method was used to gather data from the teachers and, brainstorming technique was used for the students. The study concludes that teachers lack culture-sensitiveness in their classroom activities. Teachers need to be updated - in the knowledge of Ethiopian socio-cultural and politico-economic situations; knowledge about various traditions, ethno-cultural groups in Ethiopia; differentiate Western and African values and traditions. The authors suggest Shell-Culture Adaptation Model (Shell-CAM), a conceptual model of Content Integration for Culture-Sensitive College Teaching for sustainable development in Ethiopia.
Talent Based Futuristic Learning
Impart knowledge in a way a student can easily understand and learn is the motto of Talent-based Futuristic Learning Model.
There is a serious concern over the quality of higher education and poor international ranking of educational institutions in India among educationalists, and on the other side of the spectrum educationalists munch on the low employability of graduates from both professional and non-professional streams. The current educational system in India is often blamed for the poor employability of graduates from various streams. Unlike the Western educational system in which students are admitted to specific stream of study based on their intellectual ability, inborn capacity, Indian youth make hasty choice under the influence of parents, friends or get carried away by the glamour of a particular career profile in vogue.
Identifying the current dilemma of Indian education and the popular teaching-learning process in the country, the study uses a conceptual framework that students who make a conscious choice of career path based on a balanced judgment of their aptitude, interest and talents along with an unmistaken observation, guidance and feedback from teachers and mentors and other appropriate sources will certainly develop specific skills in their collegiate education. Therefore, the study formulates TFL model (Talent-based Futuristic Learning) which the authors perceive to be meaningful in helping college students for optimal learning outcome as well as in developing specific skills as per their aptitude, interest and future profession and career choice.
The model two major components: First, it considers the basic student attributes like learning styles of students, natural talents (based on MI) and life-goals and/or career aspirations. Neil Fleming's VAK/VARK model of learning styles is worth mentioning here; there are four kinds of learners: visual learners, auditory learners, reading-writing preference learners and kinaesthetic learners or tactile learners (Wong, 2006). Visual learners show a strong preference for seeing pictures, visual aids such as graphs, charts, diagrams and symbols. Auditory learners prefer listening to lectures and discussions where as some students prefer reading and writing and have more interest in writing assignments and reading works. Tactile/kinaesthetic learners favour active exploration of the world, projects and experiments. A teacher can also adopt a multimodal strategy which will satisfy students who have various styles or a classroom that has various styles. Together with the learning styles of students, the natural talents are also identified using Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory. Further, life goals and career options of particular students are taken into consideration. Once these student attributes are identified for the whole classroom, a teacher can prepare the curriculum and pedagogy accordingly in managing the classroom, in teaching as well as in evaluating students through continuing assessment by giving projects and other assignment activities. Students will be given assignments which are tailor-made for each student or, a student is given full freedom to do his assignments in his style, based on the predominant talent and also based on future aspirations. This will create interest among the students to learn the lessons in their own style and interest and will pave the way for optimal learning outcome as well as give maximum professional development.