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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education - Cultural Competence

While wading through the vast amount of literature regarding cultural competence I thought about my learners and the diverse mix of uniqueness that each one of them brings to the class environment.
How, through different techniques, observations and reflections (both by the facilitator and the learner) they grow, contribute and help to create a unique environment where learning happens, cultures are shared and a new culture is generated.  I have just finished an analysis of learners for my GCTLT paper and thought it would link in well here. Link to analysis of learners.  These particular learners are studying their Diploma in Travel and Tourism and have limited Industry experience.

I analysed the Ministry of Education, (2011) version of a culturally competent facilitator and as I am a visual learner, in order for me to make sense of what this looks like I decided to illustrate this in a form of a diagram, linking all the concepts together.  Then I thought about what I do in the classroom towards cultural competency and wrote these thoughts around the outside.  In order to provide evidence of our actions in the classroom here is a link to a previous post that outlines some of the experiential learning environments the students encounter. to access, equity and diversity.

Ministry of Education, (2011)

Back in 1995 I completed an Otago University Education paper on Racism, Ethnicity and Educational reform, and wrote an assignment on Tino Rangatiratanga or Maori Sovereignty from both a Maori and Pakeha perspective.  The focus was on how this related to the interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi in relation to the field of education.  This helped me have a better understanding and perspective of the history and culture of New Zealand.
The growth and development of tourism through NZ history is taught as part of our curriculum and I recognise the importance in the students understanding the priniples of the Treaty especially when engaging with overseas visitors.  According to Sir Tipene O'Regan, (2013) visitors want more than surface contact when visiting a different country, they want to engage with the history, culture and form relationships with the local people.  In that way they are able to make connections to their own culture,  history, and language.

I have just recently completed a Certificate in Te Ara Reo Maori through Te Wananga O Aotearoa, a one year level 2 NCEA qualification and found the teaching methods and techniques an inspiring experience, read about this through another blog entry Link to Indigenous learners.

All these experiences have helped me to understand and implement techniques in the classroom to engage, recognise diversity and use these unique qualities to each others advantage.

Particular aspects I have learnt and hope to incorporate more into my teaching in the future are;

  • Ako - reciprocal learning
  • Learning through exposure e.g. doing the activity, role plays, events, volunteering
  • Modelling and demonstrating
  • Importance of food gathering, songs and calls of welcome
  • Group work - learners work through staircased tasks that get harder, they then have the opportunity to teach others (holistic thinking)
  • Establish a Whanau group through team building, sharing stories and building connections
  • Assessment - variety
  • Group/individual assessments
  • Oral assessment options available

All in accordance with the memo of understanding between Te Runanga o Moeraki, kati huirapa Runaka ki Puketeraki, Te Runanga o Otakou, Hokonui Runanga Inc (Ka Papatipu Runaka) and The Otago Polytechnic.

Ministry of Education.
"  Ministry of Education. n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.  <>

O'Regan, T. (2013) Cross-Cultural Symposium Otago Polytechnic

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