Building intercultural competence : bridging western and indigenous education through narrative
Taylor, Karen Irene
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SubjectCultural competence; Education; Indigenous; Intercultural development; Narrative; Ways of Knowing
This mixed methods research project is a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada statement that “the way we educate our children and ourselves must change” (2015, p. 317). An examination of literature identified narrative pedagogy as an effective and culturally universal method of teaching and learning, and one that is effective for the development of intercultural competence. Indigenous content and narratives were therefore included in an introductory sociology course offered in a post-secondary institution in Alberta, Canada. The Intercultural Development Inventory® was used to measure the intercultural competence or sensitivity of the students both pre-and post-course. An online focus group was also employed to gather qualitative data related to the experience of the students with narrative teaching and their thoughts and feelings related to Indigenous peoples and cultures. The inclusion of Indigenous content and narratives was shown to both increase intercultural sensitivity in a measurable way and to increase understanding of Indigenous cultures, and the issues faced by Indigenous peoples in mainstream society. These research results have implications for how we teach our students, how we prepare our teacher training programs, how we might employ antiracist teaching, and move forward in decolonization and reconciliation.
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