Intercultural teacher education that includes Indigenous Peoples through blended learning: How can it be?
Prof. Niki Davis, Nicki Dabner,
with Anne-Marie Hunt and Julie Mackey mentored by Angus Macfarlane
University of Canterbury e-Learning Lab, New Zealand
“Intercultural competency can be defined as transformation of learning and a growth process where an individual’s existing, often implicit, knowledge is diversified to intercultural knowledge, attitude, and behavior. The learning and growth process allows individuals to incorporate intercultural knowledge into their high level cognitive schema.” (Davis, Cho & Hagenson, 2005: 384) Despite the increasing diversity in education today and the potential to communicate with almost ‘anyone, anywhere, anytime’, the educational challenge of responding to diversity appears to loom larger than ever before as well as the risks of ignoring that challenge. Perhaps the biggest gap of intercultural competency is between the holistic perspective of Indigenous Peoples and those of people informed by industrialised approaches to schooling that over emphasise ‘scientific method’. We aim to provoke further appreciation of the challenge of ‘identifying the common universal values’, suggesting that prevalent industrialised perspective may be part of the problem that Indigenous worldviews may address, but only if we can find ways to incorporate them.
The Indigenous Maori People of New Zealand have fast growing capacity in the digital realm, so we will showcase and critique our bi-cultural initial teacher education programme in Rotorua as a case to illustrate the challenges and opportunities. Our pedagogic blend aims to link revitalised ancient and modern cultures via the digital realm to induct our teachers in a way that goes beyond intercultural understanding and mutual respect to become underpinned with indigenous philosophy (kaupapa).
The University of Canterbury e-Learning Lab will present ways in which our blended online teacher education programme embeds cultural sensitivity to Indigenous Peoples, specifically New Zealand’s Maori. Our presentation aims to take a critical approach to our provision showcasing achievements, while also asking ourselves how we could do better. This pedagogic approach aims to link ancient and modern cultures via the digital realm.
Additional challenges that emerge from the digital realm for cultural diverse cultures will also be exposed: (1) An innovative way for peers to support development of digital literacy and (2) the Open Educational Resources (OER) university (OERu).
As a founder partner of OERu, the worldwide Open Educational Resources University that aims to increase access to higher education, we aim to find ways to collaboratively to become more equitable and responsive. To be successful OERu must find ways to accredit and develop cultural variety in our digital world and we will share emerging strategies and challenges with colleagues in this conference
Selected references & links:
Hunt, A.M., & Macfarlane, A. (2011). Tikanga Māori: Building Cultural Consciousness into Teacher Professional Development. In P. Whitinui (Ed.), Kia Tangi Te Tītī: Permission to Speak: Successful Schooling for Māori Students in the 21st Century. Issues, Challenges and Alternatives (pp.58-79). Wellington: New Zealand Council for Educational Research.
Hunt, A-M., Mackey, J., Dabner, N., Morrow, D., Breeze, D., Walker, L. and Davis, N. (2011) Culturally sensitive blended learning for future teachers in challenging times.
Distance Education Association of New Zealand (DEANZ) Magazine, May 2011, 1-4. http://www.deanz.org.nz/home/index.php/deanz-magazine