Teaching Cultural Skills: Adding Culture in Higher Education
Maribel Blasco, Mette Z°lner
Samfundslitteratur, 2009 - Education - 261 pages
Today, a 'cultural' dimension is increasingly being taught at universities as a supplement to disciplines that have not traditionally paid much attention to culture. Universities are competing to produce graduates with a 'global mindset' who are well equipped to cope in multicultural, team-oriented workplaces. Yet the way in which culture is taught is bound to differ depending on the context in which the teaching takes place. Current research on teaching cultural skills tends to favor a social constructivist approach where actors are seen as constructing collective means of sense-making in the arenas and groups in which they participate. Teachers, who are often very keen to promote tolerance, empathy, and intercultural dialogue, often support such an approach, but it can be a challenge to transfer this to teaching, especially in interdisciplinary contexts. Teaching Cultural Skills explores these challenges based on experiences from Danish universities. Its broader themes make it highly relevant for teachers of culture elsewhere. These themes include the globalization of labor markets and trade; immigration, which has led to increased awareness of the need for cultural skills; and the internationalization of higher education, which has made classrooms more multicultural than ever before.├▓
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