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Developing the multicultural community of practice:  Starting at Induction Tony Shannon-Little.

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Presentation on theme: "Developing the multicultural community of practice:  Starting at Induction Tony Shannon-Little."— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing the multicultural community of practice:  Starting at Induction
Tony Shannon-Little

2 Campus as key site for multicultural learning
Mere presence of international students not enough: (Volet & Ang 1998; Sovic 2009; Cathcart et al 2006, Brown 2009) Cultural tourism (Leask 2005) De Vita & Case (2003: 388) argue that real cultural learning must go beyond superficial mingling to “the discovery and transcendence of difference through authentic experiences of cross-cultural interaction that involve real tasks and involve emotional as well as intellectual participation.”

3 Study Interviews: 14 (9 female/5 male) students from overseas on their experience of studying for months at the University of Wolverhampton in central England. nine nationalities aged from Europe, Central Africa and East Asia Volunteers were and studying a range of disciplines on the Wolverhampton City site including Linguistics, Media, Law, Computing and Business. topics domestic, social and study networks and the nature of their cross-cultural contacts adjustment over time to a multicultural campus and strategic choices suggestions to improve communication between home and international students

4 domestically “Yes because we started to be very good friends, so we didn't want to change for other people who we didn't know so good (...) and I think actually that living probably with English people it would be like, not problems, but to accommodate with different culture as well, so basically we just stayed like let's say with the Polish group (…) without taking any risks.” “Actually there is one of my friends who lives with me, he is also my friend in China, so I think that's much easier, you can take care of each other.(...) My friends and me always go shopping and go to the gym and go for some foods together. When somebody is not feeling well, just give him medicine and cooking for him. A friend in need is a friend indeed.” It would seem then that for most, what Bochner et al (1977) describe as the “primary monocultural network” of co-culturals, is a key factor in emotional stability and is very quickly established.

5 Study quotes: a “We are only two Asian girls in the class and they do help me, even the lecturers, helping us a lot because we are sitting in the front seats and when we don't know they will just keep asking us whether we can understand, so I think it can help us a lot. Even the essay, I need to write the outline first, and I send to my lecturer and if they say it is alright I only will write the full essay, and they double check again before the due date. They will help me where you can find the sources.”

6 Study quotes: b “ I am Chinese and I am glad people don't mind I keep asking questions. I worry about everything, so if they give me a paper I don't understand, I will keep following the tutor and ask him until I understand it. In China, people might happy to answer you but you will worry what they going to think, but in England I don't think I got to worry about that because I just asking. I am Chinese! So people will expect me to ask rather than in China people think “You are Chinese. Understand it! Deal with it!”

7 Study quotes: c “Where I come from we did IT but didn't have a computer! Young people here have so much knowledge. I go to them and am jealous in a happy way and I ask them to teach me – it's like a challenge. “I am a mummy here you are 19 call me mummy I'll call you son, I need this and you know it, you are brilliant you answered in the class, so please help me”. Their reaction is to see me like a mum and help me. There are always challenges working internationally but it is the way you react, and open yourself to the people. It is not about the people from wherever, it is about how you blend with others.”

8 Study quotes: d “do not sit there and wait, because the same as they are feeling we have just come we don't know anyone, it's the same that us here feel that we don't know these people and somebody has to break through. Just do as I did: introduce yourself and ask for advice. It is very important and I know it is very difficult.(...) I am blessed because I can talk to small groups or large groups of people and do my best to help them feel better.”

9 Study quotes: e “I mean for me I always speak, tell them how to do it (Int: You want to be the director of the group?) Sometimes, because maybe the students they are afraid to have the big responsibility, so they just ask me to do that, not because I am too smart, it's just because I want my work to be perfect before I hand it out to the lecturer. So they think I can take up the responsibility but I still need their help because some of them are really really creative and they give me a lot of ideas so I just compose everything to become a perfect job.”

10 Study quotes: f “You don't know what's really going to happen, but by the time goes by you just feeling confident, and because you know what you'd studied and the material, people get close to you because you are giving them something back. So you start seeing people asking you “Explain to me “, someone from another different background so you kind of gain contact with them.”

11 Study quote: g “I know what I want, and you are learning with some people who maybe are thinking C grade is enough, or even a D grade if I don't need to work hard. So it's been difficult in trying to deal with that. (...) I am a lot more driven now, and so far I have had all 'A's in my modules from first year up to now, and I think that has a lot to do with the drive that I have now. I really know where I want to be and I'm focused on it, and if I had studied earlier I probably wouldn't want it as much as I do now.”

12 Legitimate peripheral participation
gradual learning of appropriate behaviour sanctioned within a particular social group, termed a 'community of practice', resulting in a move towards 'core' membership of that group. Wenger (1998: 156) identifies three reciprocally reinforcing features as the source of coherence: mutual engagement, participation in common activities which build and maintain bonds over a period of time, in a joint enterprise, entailing mutual accountability and therefore negotiation and adjustment of roles, which develops a shared repertoire of styles of participation and of communication.

13 Becoming a student Fay (1996: 40-41) observes: “The process of becoming a student is in part the process of learning a set of expectations of appropriate behaviour, a code of conduct which defines what a student is permitted to do and not to do (…) This code will be internalised in the sense that the student will make it their own. (…) Behaviour, feelings and relations are shaped by certain socially recognised principles such that persons conceive of themselves as bearers of rights and responsibilities within a system of ongoing relationships”.

14 Speeding up the process
Students accept their own share of responsibility for the reportedly slow and painful development of cohesion in the classroom, but several call for help from tutors in structuring groups and activities: “Because basically in lectures (...) we could choose groups on our own. So probably Polish people will go with Polish people, and maybe if lecturer would mix the groups, English with international, that would help I think (...) because we are getting to know each other. I remember when I was in first year and we were doing some group task we were talking in Polish because the group was Polish so we didn't practice language as well.”

15 Osmond & Roed (2010: 123) list five key recommendations to institutions/academic staff for smoother interaction in group work between domestic and international students: provide language support classes emphasise to domestic and international students benefits of cross-cultural interactions establish clear rules and expectations in advance of group work for all students build in enough time for groups to gel, supported by regular tutorials include intercultural content to allow all students to make some unique contribution.

16 Staged process structured intervention right from the start to provide staged phases, low risk contact and familiarisation with fellow course members through informal formative team building, before the gradient of risk increases with assessed group work. The crucial stage for construction of this platform for later effective collaboration is during induction. both home and international students, can create links and establish co-membership of the collective before co-cultural social networks become too entrenched.

17 Wingate 2007: understanding of the discipline's approach to knowledge (Case Studies) and the different culture of learning in Higher Education (learning to learn) Harvey & Drew 2006 Wenger's (1998) three conditions for the development of a community of practice

18 Phase 1: Pre-induction prior to the face-to-face course induction.
Aims - At the end of this phase students to be eager and curious to attend Phase2. Activities Facebook for classmates. Case study responses, self-profiling(study skills): for engagement with discipline and own learning approach Entertaining MCQs

19 Phase 2: Face to face course induction
At the end of this phase students will have got to know each other and to have solved a formative task creatively, relying on each other's contribution. informal formative – multicultural Induction groups open-ended tasks requiring collaboration and contribution from all members of the team, and liaison with Year 2 student mentor and personal tutor. 3 types, generic, discipline-specific and input from Year 2 peers

20 Phase 3: Early in course – group work
learn about interdependence in team work, and recognised rights and responsibilities of working in a community of practice. structured formative peer tutoring tasks in multicultural groups about: Group work theory Employability skills Swot analysis diff cultures of learning

21 Phase 4: Applying for group membership
students will assess their contribution to their group, and what they can gain from others. groups receive a case study with an international/multicultural dimension, and the first task of each member is to prepare a 3 minute presentation of their strengths, imagining that they are applying to join the work group

22 References (I) Bochner, S., McLeod, B.M. & Lin, A. (1977) Friendship patterns of overseas students: A functional model. International Journal of Psychology 12, 277–297. Brown, L. (2009) Ethnographic study of the friendship patterns of international students in England: an attempt to recreate home through conational interaction. International Journal of Educational Research, 48(1) Carter, K. & McNeill, J. (1998), ‘Coping with the darkness or transition: students as the leading lights or guidance at induction to higher education’, British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 26(3), pp. 399–415 Cathcart, A, Dixon-Dawson, J & Hall, R (2006), “Reluctant hosts and disappointed guests? Examining expectations and enhancing experiences of cross-cultural group work on post-graduate business programmes”, International Journal of Management Education, 5(1): 13-22 De Vita, G. & Case, P. (2003) “Rethinking the internationalisation agenda in UK higher education”, Journal of Further and Higher Education, 27(4): Fay, B. (1996) Contemporary philosophy of social science: a multicultural approach, Oxford, Blackwell. Harvey, L. & Drew, S. (2006). The first year experience: briefing on induction for the Higher Education Academy. York. HE Academy Lave, J. & Wenger, E. (1991) Situated Learning. Legitimate peripheral participation, Cambridge: University of Cambridge

23 References (II) Leask, B. (2005) Internationalisation of the curriculum: teaching and learning, in Carroll & Ryan eds (2005) Osmond, J. & Roed, J. (2010) “Sometimes it means more work.... Student perceptions of group work in a mixed cultural setting”. In Jones, E., Ed. (2010), Internationalisation and the student voice: Higher education perspectives, London: Routledge.), pp Otten, M (2003) “Intercultural learning and diversity in Higher Education”. Journal of Studies in International Education 7:1 pp 12-26 Radloff, A. & de la Harpe, B. (1998) “What did you do in your first class?” What lecturers do in the first meeting with first-year students and its importance for their learning, South African Journal of Higher Education, 12(3), 192–97 Sovic, S. (2009) Hi-bye friends and the herd instinct: international and home students in the creative arts. Higher Education Published online 25 March 2009 Volet, S E & Ang, G. (1998) “Culturally mixed groups on international campuses: an opportunity for inter-cultural learning”. Higher Education Research & Development 17(1): 5-23 Wenger, E. (1998) Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Wingate, U. (2007) Supporting 'learning to learn' in higher education, Higher Education Quarterly, 61:3 pp

24 Phase 2 – further details
Generic Seven steps chain of links between 5 group members, Year 2 mentor, Pers. tutor. Team quiz (produced by Year 2 students) interactive maps (link group members to countries around the world book club (selected chapter) Discipline specific Dragon's Den (Business School) Poster (e.g. for hypothetical film based on freshers week) resource hunt (TESOL materials to use with overseas visitors) linguistics – challenge: translations incl local dialect Input from Year 2 Judge Year 2 creative writing drafts on topic of freshers week comics & posters- “If you remember one thing in the first month,.....”

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