Cultural Competency Research -- Jenn Chin's presentation

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Jennifer Chin, with adviser Julian Agyeman, conducted research on cultural competency curriculum within accredited planning schools. The results are outlined in this PowerPoint presentation.

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  • Interculturalism implies that we plan with and not just for our diverse communities and that we actively engage with managing differences in our practice
    We conducted research this spring to understand whether the concept of cultural competency, frequently applied in the field of public health, has found its place in planning curricula
    I give an overview of what culturally competent planning is, share highlights from our study’s findings, and discuss its implications for the future
  • The ability to competently plan with and for diverse communities is an increasingly critical skill for planners
    But there is a disconnect between the skills and theory that planners are taught and the equity that they are urged to promote
  • So what types of skills help planners achieve the responsibility of “planning for the needs of the disadvantaged and to promote racial and economic integration”?
    These are the areas of professional practice that are emphasized
  • Cultural competency is a capacity-building model
    Cultural competency also demands a more critical and nuanced understanding and awareness of culture—one that rejects the assumption of homogeneity within cultural groups, considers multiple characteristics and types of knowledge, and goes far beyond an awareness of labels and categories like race
  • Conducted a content analysis of course descriptions of classes offered at 84 graduate planning programs accredited by the U.S. Planning Accreditation Board
    Surveyed the presence or absence of culture-related terms in course descriptions

    - don’t read the slide text!
  • Courses touching on any of the diversity-related topics were rarely graduation requirements and none of them applied a cultural competency frame in the teaching of theory or practice
    cultural competency is frame that has been applied with success in other related fields, e.g., public health and public administration

  • Cultural norms, knowledge, skills, and practices influence everything from the design, outreach, attendance, and dynamics at planning meetings to planning outcomes, e.g., the design of public places and land use decisions
    There are self assessment tools and audits that many scholars have created that can be used by individuals and institutions
    Planners can use these tools and also advocate for assessing cultural practices not just on a personal level but at our places of work
    You can view a list of these tools and read more about CC in practice on our wiki:
  • Cultural norms, knowledge, skills, and practices influence everything from the design, outreach, attendance, and dynamics at planning meetings to planning outcomes, e.g., the design of public places and land use decisions
    There are self assessment tools and audits that many scholars have created that can be used by individuals and institutions
    Planners can use these tools and also advocate for assessing cultural practices not just on a personal level but at our places of work
    You can view a list of these tools and read more about CC in practice on our wiki:
  • Cultural Competency Research -- Jenn Chin's presentation

    1. 1. Research Presentation Cultural Competency as a Tool for Intercultural Planning Planning for the INTERcultural City
    2. 2. • Diversifying Suburbs: major shift in the first decade of the 21st century – more than half of all persons of color residing in large metropolitan areas are actually living in the suburbs • Majority/Minority Shift: the nation will become majority persons of color and minority white by 2042; as of 2008, nearly a quarter of all U.S. children had at least one immigrant parent (continued) Planning for the INTERcultural City
    3. 3. • Increasing Income Disparity: High-wage workers in large metropolitan areas earned more than low-wage workers by a ratio of more than five to one; the stark income disparity is described as a regional “pulling apart” • Growing Elder Populations: Large metropolitan areas are aging faster than the nation overall—in the 2000s, large metro areas reported a 45% increase in their 55-to- 64 year-old population The Brookings Institution State of Metropolitan America Report (2010) Planning for the INTERcultural City
    4. 4. Planners have a “special responsibility to plan for the needs of the disadvantaged and to promote racial and economic integration.” Furthermore, those certified “shall urge the alteration of policies, institutions, and decisions that oppose such needs.” AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (2009) Planning for the INTERcultural City
    5. 5. • regulatory and non-regulatory planning knowledge • technical planning knowledge • U.S. mainstream planning theory • conflict resolution, negotiation, and facilitation • participatory planning techniques (a little bit) Planning for the INTERcultural City Planning programs typically teach:
    6. 6. Theory and skills are seldom taught using an explicit diversity and equity lens—a cultural competency lens. If there is an ethical imperative to promote integration and plan for the needs of the disadvantaged, then planning schools, individual planners, and institutions must approach their practice with an active concern for cultural competency. Planning for the INTERcultural City
    7. 7. Culturally competent planning practice involves: • proactively acquiring and institutionalizing cultural knowledge in order to competently manage the dynamics of difference • evaluating and improving practice in four domains: • cultural awareness/beliefs • cultural knowledge • skills • behavior/practice (Cross et al, 1989; Lum, 2007; Vasquez, 2009; Rice, 2004: and White, 2004) Planning for the INTERcultural City
    8. 8. We wanted to know: How are U.S. planning schools addressing cultural issues in planning curricula? Are planning schools teaching students about cultural competency? Planning for the INTERcultural City
    9. 9. • Culture/Cross-Cultural/Multicultural • Ethnicity/Race • Gender • Class/Poverty • Diversity/Demographics/Immigration/"human settlements"/"ethnic group interactions" • Equity • Courses Focusing on Specific Cultural Groups • Age (children, elderly) • Ability/Disability • Religion • Sexual Orientation • Cultural Competence or Cultural Competency Planning for the INTERcultural City Curricula were evaluated for these words/terms:
    10. 10. • 130 out of 153 courses meeting the criteria were electives • Only 23 out of 153 courses meeting the criteria were graduation requirements • None of the courses apply a cultural competency frame to planning theory and practice Planning for the INTERcultural City The Results Are Not Good:
    11. 11. It can: • transform knowledge and practice • improves process and outcomes • change individual and institutional norms Planning for the INTERcultural City The cultural competency frame is a developmental tool that enables planners to be more intentional and proactive agents of justice and equity in planning
    12. 12. Planning for the INTERcultural City It can also strengthen our ability to facilitate the development of more integrated, sustainable communities Cultural competency is an ongoing learning process that can help us be more innovative in our practice
    13. 13. Visit the our wiki to access resources on cultural competency and intercultural planning: http://sites.tufts.edu/tuftsicp/literature/reading-list/ Planning for the INTERcultural City

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