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Becoming Culturally Competent An introduction to cultural differences and mindful techniques to reduce the impact of unconscious bias
Quick Check. . . . How many of you visited the IAT website and took one of the cultural assessments? Which test did you take? Did the result you received match your expectation of the result you thought you’d receive?
Goals for Today’s Seminar Discuss changing cultural demographics and their impact Examine how unconscious bias can affect educational institutions and interactions with: Students Faculty, staff, and administrators Begin to explore ways to become more culturally competent
A Few Road Rules… Prepare to be: Interactive Respectful Honest
An Initial Cultural Competency Check. . . . What’s the difference between the words “Hispanic” and “Latino”? Touching a child on the top of his head is a non-threatening sign of affection from an adult. Establishing direct eye contact when talking with someone shows trustworthiness.
What’s “Cultural Competence”—and Why We Need It Cultural competence emphasizes learning effective ways to operate in different cultural contexts Becoming culturally competent also: Helps educators more effectively deliver learning to students Helps recruit and retain a more diverse student and faculty population Helps workplace colleagues foster better cooperation and productivity in the workplace Helps prevent or minimize unintended consequences that result from the interactions we have every day
What’s the Cultural Landscape: Nationally Kentucky Whites = 72% (2000 census data) African Americans = 13% (2000 census data) Latinos = 11% (2000 census data) Whites = 89.27% (2000 census data) African Americans = 7.27% (2000 census data) Latinos = 1.48% (2000 census data)
Other Aspects of the Current Cultural Landscape. . . . Generational differences Gender and gender orientation differences Sexual orientation differences
“The Times They Are A-Changin’” Why educational professionals and those in the workplace have to learn cultural competency skills when dealing with colleagues and students
Cultural Differences, Communication and Unconscious Bias as the Source of Culture Clash Psychologists once believed that only bigoted people used stereotypes. Now the study of unconscious bias is revealing the unsettling truth: We all use stereotypes, all the time, without knowing it. We have met the enemy of equality, and the enemy is us. Article from Psychology Today
A Post-Racial Generation/America? The extreme case Here’s what we typically think of when we think about “bias” http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/02/26/hate.groups.report/index.html#cnnSTCVideo
But Bias Today Usually Isn’t That Extreme. . . . What most of us normally see or experience doesn’t rise to the most extreme levels—but there’s still pain and conflict Quick dialogue What have you seen, heard about or experienced within the last year that seemed to reflect a culture clash?
Stereotyping and Unconscious Bias We all stereotype people Are we hard wired to stereotype? The need for “blink” decisions by prehistoric man The problem with taking fight/flight responses into a modern-day setting
Focus with Unconscious Bias in Academia Current work mainly looks at faculty and primarily addresses sex, race and gender issues What those works indicate: Unconscious bias and stereotyping are particularly problematic when it comes to three constituencies: Students Administration Other faculty
Displays of Unconscious Bias that Affect Faculty, Administrators Students– Complaints to administration, excessively negative evaluations, challenges to authority and classroom management Stereotyping of women, people of color Challenges by majority students about credentials, appearance, authority, evaluative methods used with students Colleagues and administration– Overburdening faculty with “academic housekeeping” Stereotyping Undermining comments to students and other faculty Belief people from “outside” groups are hypersensitive or have illegitimate concerns about stereotyping and bias Unconscious desire for people to assimilate in order to be retained
But How Accurate Are Our Impressions? How much can you tell from a face?
Unconscious Bias and Unintended Consequences At work In other settings For co-workers For the actor or actors involved For the work environment At home With health care professionals and health care delivery to patients
Breaking the Cycle by Becoming More Mindful “Promising evidence in social cognitive psychology indicates that with sufficient motivation, cognitive resources, and effort, people are able to focus on the unique qualities of individuals, rather than on the groups they belong to, in forming impressions and behaving toward others.” From Reducing Racial Bias Among Health Care Providers: Lessons from Social-Cognitive Psychology
What Are Your Concerns as Teachers or as Co-Workers?
Specific Situations That May Require Special Care Triggers Solutions…. Insensitive remarks Over-generalizations about specific groups Classroom confrontations among students or with a student and faculty member Others?
Quick Ideas to Implement Educate yourself about what you value and what others value, differences in behaviors, etc. Become curious about the world around you Go beyond The Golden Rule Use “the Mark Twain rule” Special considerations for managers We’ll delve into ways to incorporate cultural competency into the higher education classroom at a separate session.
Internal Monologue. . . . “There are too many different cultures to learn about—how am I supposed to know what could offend a person from a particular ethnic or racial background?” “This is a bunch of PC crap. I’m not going to change who I am!” “People get too sensitive about these things. They just need to grow up!” The “Roots” theory of cultural assimilation
Additional Resources Web resources Video http://academic.udayton.edu/health/03access/racial.htm (race and its impact on healthcare; you’ll also find similar work related to other disciplines) http://www.med.umich.edu/multicultural/ccp/index.htm (free resources on multiculturalism for health care professionals) YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJGyAPqqVm8&feature=related (fun, slightly bawdy “tongue in cheek” that shows how cultural misunderstandings can create unanticipated consequences) Movies “Crash” “Gran Torino”