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Cultural Awareness

Teaching Tools, Strategies, and Resources, continued

Teaching Tools, continued

=First step—culture shock. According to Storti (2001), the first step of cultural awareness, realizing that we expect others to be like us, is the most difficult, because these expectations, thoughts, feelings, and attitudes are subconscious.

“It so happens, however, that we have readily at hand a fool-proof mechanism for raising this particular instinct to the level of conscious awareness: it is none other than that frustration, surprise, or anger that arises in us at the time a cultural incident occurs” (p. 76).

One recommended method of learning from cultural incidents is to schedule at a time each day to recall these encounters and reflect on them, alone or with others. With practice, greater awareness may become available during a cross-cultural incident.

Consciously practicing openness. Participating in self-awareness discovery exercises, observing and reflecting on the behaviors of self and others.

Seeking out interactions and information. Another way of actively promoting cultural awareness is to ask. This step includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Working with a cultural broker
  2. Using a culturally competent process of inquiry
  3. Conducting focus groups.

Active learning and experience of other cultures. This step includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Formal cultural or cross-cultural training
  2. Reading translated literature, biographies, and so forth
  3. Learning the language
  4. Participating in cultural immersion programs.

Storti emphasizes the importance of reinforcement and repetition in becoming effective in specific cross-cultural situations. Ethnocentricity is like a default position that must be resisted, and this resistance has to be ongoing.


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Additional Info FAQs Glossary Resources Search Site Map National Center for Cultural Competence Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development Home Cultural Awareness: Introduction and Rationale About the NCCC Print Modules Cultural Awareness: Introduction and Rationale Key Content Areas; What is Culture? How Do Human Beings Acquire Culture What culture is not Cultural identity and cultural clustering Culture and race in the epidemiology of disease Culture and personal identity Cultural awarenss and professional effectiveness Teaching Tools, Strategies, and Resources: Awareness, Knowledge, and Skills Case Studies Self-Discovery Exercises Teaching Tools Definitions Resources for Module Resources for the series References Acknowledgments Home