Sharing good practice models is a strategy that improves creativity and innovation. Moreover, it lets educators understand better both their national and the global context.
That is why today we want to share some inspiration with a few insightful
TEDx stories about creating diverse environments in our community
Food festivals and famous holidays are the simplest and most overused ways of encouraging multicultural understanding. What is more, as they’ve become such clichés, they are also quite ineffective. In her talk, Multiculturalism in the Modern World, Jen Holladay discusses a couple of successful ideas for bringing genuine diversity into the classroom:
The Surprising Solution to Workplace Diversity is a witty and thoughtful talk by Arwa Mahdawi about discrimination and diversity in a workplace. While not directly discussing student diversity, Mahdawi manages to touch upon the key points about creating a diverse environment. Her arguments are thus easily especially relevant to the context of international education.
Michael Gavin in Why Cultural Diversity Matters discusses cultural diversity mostly from the standpoint of language learning. This talk will appeal to everyone who cares about the importance of creating an inclusive environment and asking questions, especially nowadays, when the English language and culture have grown dominant in so many parts of the world.
Inclusion, Exclusion, Illusion and Collusion is a talk by Helen Turnbull about cognitive blindspots that provide people with biases related to inclusion and diversity. Her light-hearted sense of humor easily lets you immerse deeply into self-evaluation and wonder: Do I have similar biases? What can I do to get rid of them?
In her TEDx talk, The Paradox of Diversity, Dr. Marylin Sanders Mobley explores different tools for classifying and understanding diversity. One example is the cultural contact lens (also known as the diversity wheel). The main lesson to be taken from this talk is about the importance of community and the sense of belonging while studying. And this lesson rings especially true for your work with international students.
Prudence Carter talks about cultural capital and the need for cultural and organisational change in our educational institutions. Her talk, Why Diversity Is Not Enough To Reach Real Integration In Schools, points out that diversity in the classroom is not just about giving students equal access to opportunities. It is also about giving them a chance to belong to a cultural, social and educational context.
Now, take the time to reflect a bit on your institution
Even better, take a pen and some paper and write down your answers to the following questions:
- What tools does your institution use for ensuring innovative practices in cultural diversity?
- What kind of language or codes do your faculty and students use while talking about their experience on campus?
- Do you detect any biases on your campus and how do you get rid of them?
- Are there enough opportunities for your students to feel a sense of belonging on campus?
- What sorts of social and cultural contexts are your students coming from?
Do you feel inspired after watching those videos? Did you get any new insights or opinions to share?
Maybe you have your own favourite TEDx talk about diversity?
Please share your thoughts in the comments!