Hi, Gavin. I don't know if you still access your account as this post is pretty old already! I am very happy to read about your questions as I am wondering about the same issues with a different age group. I am a Language Arts teacher at Esfera Escola Internacional, Brazil, and am also participating in a Unicamp study group that researches Moral Education in schools in general. We are receiving the visit of Robert Selman this month and I will be his interpreter (very excited about that). The reason why I joined the study group is because I want to do a masters degree about Education for Peace in an international school program. Piaget asked in Where Is Education Going (free translation) about how we can educate children to be internationally minded, meaning, informed communicators, tolerant and respectful listeners, unbiased, as far as possible. what have you found out so far? One thing that works in my classroom (Brazilian, Korean, Dutch and American kids aged 10) is to be honest about their conflicts and discomfort, listen to them and pose significant questions. I have had a certain feeling of success but are sometimes at my imaginations end on how to mediate offensive oral interchanges among them during expository classes, during teamwork time, in the hall.
Talk to me, that would be nice!
Good luck on your assignments and study for your doctorate at the Univ of Minnesota. You picked the int'l edu and I picked the Int'l Business discipline.
To prepare students for the interconnected world, first we need to factor in what is our (own) individual role. Are we Chancellor, professor, teacher, guidance councilor, etc?
Then we can decide, as an individual, what does inter-connected represent, and what are the defining boundaries of this abstract/concrete status?
The ideas of the Bennets and Paige seem to be anthropology... In which way are you interested in "how" the students develop competence? I myself am in New York City, in a Chinese neighborhood (Flushing) and it's identical to learning abroad... come and visit me if you will.
Looking inward, I can explain my feelings; looking outward, this is Asia, no need to explain.
The questions about values are valuable... :-) Yes, your values would be the most important to implement, because Harvard is known to promote strengths, and let others fill in for our weaknesses, with their strengths.
Leave it up to the text book authors to determine the values of international values to teach, and, give your own values a microscopic observance, and ask a colleague or doctorate fellow to reiterate in layman's terms, your values and how to apply them effectively.
To help students with different views: let an open discussion be the freedom of class, while teaching textbook and by following a past professor of tenure; find at least three retired professor's that taught various subjects. Most have had to deal with students with different values. Take their advice that fits your methodology, weed out the rest that does not work. You will have discernment by observing, and requesting feed back from students. This can be done individually, by scheduling one-on-one desk questions, while the other students are working on a project. Be sure to keep feedback private, but apply the knowledge by thanking the class as a whole for contributing. Reward them with the traditional pizza party or give a grade curve! It does not matter the age, we all like our childhood enjoyment, even in higher education.
I hope that my feedback, as a student, magnifies your understanding of me: a intercultural student.
After studying Chinese and Japanese for one year each, I have realized that cultures transform and are interpreted uniquely and differently by even the same members of a family.
Have a nice week, and thank you for sharing these dynamic questions.
Trust in your gut instinct, and let freedom define your passions.
Join the Community,
As an international college student in the U.S., I found your question very interesting. I came from China and from my own experience, it took me years to become comfortable with some of the values here. For instance, the dating value: the expectations of what should or shouldn't happen on a first date, when to define the relationship, what is considered cheating, and so on. These "values" are very different from the Chinese ones, which are more conservative. Initially I considered the conservative Chinese ones to be the better ones, because they are the ones I am more comfortable with. Then I realized there is no "better" or "worse." The only way of judging is whether the value works or not. In the dating case, the Chinese way of dating would not work well- it would be very hard to develop a relationship from those, if not impossible. And thus in this case, it made sense to adopt the American dating value.
My conclusion is: value comes from social norm and culture, and the best way of teaching students values is to teach them a diverse range of values while incorporating the social context behind it.
Hope this helped,
Students are just like grown adults, seniors, teenagers... Even educated, bill-paying professionals don't fully understand their own values sometimes. Do I need references? Just ask people their values when it comes to work, food, real estate, dating, etc. Some people will give quick-witted broad anwers, some will have to think a bit deeply.
My point is: What we teach anyone is not as important as what the students are supposed to learn, and they determine with their own perspectives how to interpret what we teach. Students sometimes see school atmospheres as alien compared with their home environments, if studying is not a family activity. Especially when studies are an option in a household, values sometimes don't stick to the ribs, per-se, as they would with a student who has more freedom to implement them.
I lived in Flushing, New York for about a year. I'm not Chinese or Korean. Also I lived in a Jamaican/Carribbean neighborhood for a year. I'm not Jamaican. I know that cultural differences are not just taught in schools, colleges. Values are observed by commuting, eating out, and living in communities of either mixed, similar or vast differences from our own upbringing. But they're not necessarily embraced. What's my point?
The values can be taught a million different ways, but what's embraced is the student's choice, their perception, and their decision. It's a free country, and believe it or not, even to students. The reality is that prior to college, they're forced, directly and indirectly, to go to school as an educational preparation for more school, more internships, with loans out the ying yang, (bill paying) even though they are still declared free in our prior laws in the constitution of the United States of America. So where is the freedom in having to believe other people's values in forced education?
Give them love by respecting them, whatever lawfully and rightfully you believe that to be, within limits, standards and certain norms of the educational institution.
Nice questions. I had my complacency shaken when I witnessed stalls in malls in London in the mid 90s re democracy being kafr or forbidden, and anti Islam. It made me realise the importance of civic education and comparative studies in government and religion - and philosophy. How do you discuss when democracy is excluded by fundamentalist definitions?