National	
  Best	
  Practice	
  Framework	
  for	
  Indigenous	
  Cultural	
  Competency	
  in	
  Australian	
  Universiti...
National	
  Best	
  Practice	
  Framework	
  for	
  Indigenous	
  Cultural	
  Competency	
  in	
  Australian	
  Universiti...
National	
  Best	
  Practice	
  Framework	
  for	
  Indigenous	
  Cultural	
  Competency	
  in	
  Australian	
  Universiti...
National	
  Best	
  Practice	
  Framework	
  for	
  Indigenous	
  Cultural	
  Competency	
  in	
  Australian	
  Universiti...
National	
  Best	
  Practice	
  Framework	
  for	
  Indigenous	
  Cultural	
  Competency	
  in	
  Australian	
  Universiti...
National	
  Best	
  Practice	
  Framework	
  for	
  Indigenous	
  Cultural	
  Competency	
  in	
  Australian	
  Universiti...
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What is indigenous cultural competency

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What is indigenous cultural competency

  1. 1. National  Best  Practice  Framework  for  Indigenous  Cultural  Competency  in  Australian  Universities   What  is  Indigenous  Cultural  Competency?         Main  Points     There  is  still  no  single  definition  of  cultural  competence  or  pedagogical  model  for  it.         However,  cultural  competency  (or  competence)  aims  to  achieve  equality  so  it  is  important   for  all  students  and  staff  to  have  all  these  components:       • knowledge   and   understanding   of   Indigenous   Australian   cultures,   histories   and   contemporary  realities  and  awareness  of  Indigenous  protocols  (cultural  awareness);     • critical   reflection   on   one’s   own   culture   and   professional   paradigms   in   order   to   understand  its  cultural  limitations;     • proficiency  to  engage  and  work  effectively  in  Indigenous  contexts  congruent  to  the   expectations  of  Indigenous  Australian  peoples;  and   • effecting  positive  change  in  one’s  profession.     Cultural  awareness  (knowledge),  on  its  own,  has  not  led  to  changes  in  behaviours  and   attitudes  necessary  for  the  delivery  of  adequate  services  to  Indigenous  people.     Cultural  competence  is  much  more  than  awareness  of  cultural  differences,  as  it  focuses  on   the  capacity  to  improve  outcomes  by  integrating  culture  into  the  delivery  of  services.     Cultural  competency  requires  commitment  to  a  whole  of  institution  approach.     Teaching  and  learning  strategies  are  central  to  transmitting  the  concept  and  developing  its   associated  behaviours  in  students  and  thus,  via  graduates,  to  the  wider  community.     Many  models  of  cultural  competence  suggest  developmental  stages.    Cultural  incompetence   may  be  described  as  destructiveness,  incapacity,  blindness,  pre-­‐competence,  denial,  defence   and  minimization.  Stages  of  sensitivity,  safety,  acceptance,  adaption  and  integration  lead  to   cultural  competence  and  proficiency.     One  useful  pedagogical  model  as  a  matrix  as  a  useful  tool  for  curriculum  development  of   units  and  courses  as  a  sequence  from     • Generic  understanding  of  culture  (knowledge,  awareness);  to     • Understanding  Indigenous  cultures  and  histories  (knowledge,  awareness);  to     • Reflexivity  of  values  and  attitudes;  to   • Critically  examining  the  profession;  to   • Cross-­‐cultural  skills;  to     • Professionally  specific  skills.     The  learner  develops  from  cultural  incompetence  to  knowledge  to  awareness  to  sensitivity   to  competence  and  finally  to  cultural  proficiency.      
  2. 2. National  Best  Practice  Framework  for  Indigenous  Cultural  Competency  in  Australian  Universities     What  is  Cultural  Competency?       This  is  a  summary  from  a  section  of  the  National  Best  Practice  Framework  for  Indigenous   Cultural  Competency  in  Australian  Universities  (Universities  Australia,  2011).       Cultural  Competence     There  is  still  no  single  definition  of  cultural  competence,  although  there  is  agreement  that  it   includes  self-­‐assessment  of  one’s  own  cultural  heritage  as  well  as  knowledge  of  other   cultures  and  practices,  and  a  consciousness  about  the  interactions  between  them.       Several  definitions  and  descriptions  are  given  here  to  demonstrate  breadth  of  the  term.     Cultural  competence  has  key  elements:     • valuing  diversity;     • having  the  capacity  for  cultural  self-­‐assessment;     • being  conscious  of  the  dynamics  inherent  in  cross-­‐cultural  interactions;     • institutionalising  the  importance  of  cultural  knowledge;  and     • making  adaptations  to  service  delivery  that  reflect  cultural  understanding.     Cultural  Competency  in  the  Australian  higher  education  context     Cultural  competency,  although  a  general  term,  is  contextual.  For  the  purposes  of  the   Australian  higher  education  context,  cultural  competency  is  defined  as:       Student  and  staff  knowledge  and  understanding  of  Indigenous  Australian  cultures,   histories   and   contemporary   realities   and   awareness   of   Indigenous   protocols,   combined  with  the  proficiency  to  engage  and  work  effectively  in  Indigenous  contexts   congruent  to  the  expectations  of  Indigenous  Australian  peoples.     Equality  is  more  than  a  set  of  beliefs  that  we  aspire  to;  more  than  a  set  of  standards  that  can   be   legally   enforced.   It   is   a   set   of   congruent   behaviours,   attitudes   and   policies   that   come   together  in  an  organisation,  enabling  people  to  work  effectively  in  cross-­‐cultural  situations.   Guiding  Principles  for  Cultural  Competency  in  Australian  higher  education     While  cultural  competency  is  to  be  an  all-­‐encompassing  theme  throughout  a  university,   teaching  and  learning  strategies  are  central  to  transmitting  the  concept  and  its  associated   behaviours  to  students  and  thus,  via  graduates,  to  the  wider  community.  Cultural   competence  enhances  capacity  in  all  spheres  (academic,  management,  governance  and   infrastructure):   1. University  governance:  Indigenous  people  should  be  actively  involved  in  university   governance  and  management.   2. Teaching  and  learning:  All  graduates  of  Australian  universities  should  be  culturally   competent.   3. Indigenous  research:  University  research  should  be  conducted  in  a  culturally   competent  way  that  empowers  Indigenous  participants  and  encourages   collaborations  with  Indigenous  communities.   4. Human  resources:  Indigenous  staffing  will  be  increased  at  all  appointment  levels   and,  for  academic  staff,  across  a  wider  variety  of  academic  fields.  
  3. 3. National  Best  Practice  Framework  for  Indigenous  Cultural  Competency  in  Australian  Universities   5. External  engagement:  Universities  will  operate  in  partnership  with  their  Indigenous   communities  and  will  help  disseminate  culturally  competent  practices  to  the  wider   community.     Individual  Cultural  Competence  to  Institutional  Cultural  Competence     Individual  cultural  competence  may  be  defined  as:     The  ability  to  identify  and  challenge  one’s  own  cultural  assumptions,  one’s  value  and   beliefs.  It  is  about  developing  empathy  and  connected  knowledge,  the  ability  to  see   the  world  through  another’s  eyes,  or  at  the  very  least,  to  recognise  that  others  may   view  the  world  through  different  cultural  lenses.       Indigenous  Australian  cultural  competence  in  relation  to  higher  education  requires:     • an  organisational  culture  which  is  committed  to  social  justice,  human  rights  and  the   process   of   reconciliation   through   valuing   and   supporting   Indigenous   cultures,   knowledges  and  peoples  as  integral  to  the  core  business  of  the  institution;     • effective  and  inclusive  policies  and  procedures,  monitoring  mechanisms;   • allocation   of   sufficient   resources   to   foster   culturally   competent   behaviour   and   practice  at  all  levels  of  the  institution;  and   • commitment  to  a  whole  of  institution  approach,  including     o increasing  the  University’s  engagement  with  Indigenous  communities,     o Indigenisation  of  the  curriculum,   o  pro-­‐active  provision  of  services  and  support  to  Indigenous  students,     o capacity  building  of  Indigenous  staff,     o professional  development  of  non-­‐Indigenous  staff  and     o the  inclusion  of  Indigenous  cultures  and  knowledges  as  a  visual  and  valued   aspect  of  University  life,  governance  and  decision-­‐making.     Operational  Models  for  developing  Indigenous  Cultural  Competency     Several  models  show  developmental  stages  from  cultural  awareness  to  stages  by  several   different  names  leading  to  professional  behaviour,  attitudes  and  policies  that  effects  change   in  policies  and  service  delivery.       Cultural  incompetence  may  be  described  as  destructiveness,  incapacity,  blindness,  pre-­‐ competence,  denial,  defence  and  minimization.  Stages  of  sensitivity,  safety,  acceptance,   adaption  and  integration  lead  to  cultural  competence  and  proficiency.     Six  operational  models  are  described  as  their  different  aspects  may  be  important  in  different   courses  and  contexts.  Finally  a  matrix  provided  may  be  a  useful  tool  to  map  these  stages  of   learning  through  a  course     1. A  simple  model  “Cultural  Awareness”:     This   model   has   been   criticised   for   its   failure   to   effect   change   in   behaviour   and   therefore   service  delivery.       Despite   more   than   25   years   of   cultural   awareness   programs   operating   in   Australia,   Indigenous   Australians   continue   to   find   health   and   other   services   “alienating   and   uncomfortable”  and  continue  to  experience  poor  outcomes  as  a  result.      
  4. 4. National  Best  Practice  Framework  for  Indigenous  Cultural  Competency  in  Australian  Universities   It  may  be  because  ‘cultural  awareness  programs  and  sessions  do  not  have  assessments  and   measurable   outcomes   and   participants   do   not   have   to   display   the   achievement   of   any   competencies’.   2. An  operational  model  suggests  that  cultural  safety  is  achieved  in  three  stages:       • Cultural  Awareness  involves  developing  knowledge  and  understanding  of  cultural   differences  and  of  the  social,  economic  and  political  context  in  which  people  exist.     • Cultural  Sensitivity  is  where  cultural  differences  are  ‘legitimated’  through  a  process   of  self-­‐exploration  that  enables  an  individual  to  reflect  on  how  their  culture,   worldview  and  actions  impact  upon  others.     • Cultural  Safety  is  an  environment  which  is  safe  for  people;  where  there  is  no  assault,   challenge  or  denial  of  their  identity,  or  who  they  are  and  what  they  need.  It  is  about   shared  respect,  shared  meaning,  shared  knowledge  and  experience,  of  learning   together  with  dignity  and  truly  listening.       3.  ‘Cultural   competence’   transcends   notions   of   cultural   awareness   and   safety   to   include   critical   reflexivity   of   self   and   profession,   capacity   building   of   skills   and   decolonisation   of   organisational   paradigms,   policies   and   procedures.   Cultural   competence  is  much  more  than  awareness  of  cultural  differences,  focusing  on  the   capacity  to  improve  outcomes  by  integrating  culture  into  the  delivery  of  services.       Professional  cultural  competence  has  ‘measurable  human  capabilities  involving  knowledge,   skills,  and  values,  which  are  assembled  in  work  performance  demonstrated  by:     •  knowledge  of  other  cultures;     •  personal  qualities  of  openness,  flexibility,  tolerance  of  ambiguity  and  a   sense  of  humour;     •  behavioural  skills,  such  as  communication  competencies,  culturally   appropriate  role  behaviour  and  ability  to  relate  well  to  others;     •  self-­‐awareness,  especially  of  one's  own  values  and  beliefs;  and     •  technical  skills,  including  ability  to  complete  tasks  in  new  cultural  settings.       4. A   six   stage   sequential   development   of   cultural   competence   and   proficiency   of   individuals   and   organisations   through   personal   and   professional   development,   commitment  and  systemic  organisational  change:         Individuals  and  organisations  are  said  to  be  at  the  stage  of:   • being  culturally  destructive  when  they  hold  beliefs  or  engage  in  policies  and   practices  that  perpetuate  and  reinforce  historical  notions  of  Western  racial  and   cultural  superiority;   • cultural  incapacity  when  they  have  developed  sufficient  knowledge,  insight  and   skills  to  operate  in  less  culturally  destructive  ways  but  continue  to  reinforce  
  5. 5. National  Best  Practice  Framework  for  Indigenous  Cultural  Competency  in  Australian  Universities   culturally-­‐biased  policies  and  practices  and  covertly  foster  notions  of  Western   superiority  through  paternalism;   • cultural  blindness  when  they  are  actively  seeking  to  be  nonbiased  in  their  policy  and   practice  but  in  so  doing  implicitly  or  explicitly  encourage  assimilation  by  failing  to   adequately  recognise  and  address  the  needs  of  the  cultural  minority;   • cultural  pre-­‐competence  having  recognition  of  the  need  for  culturally  competent   policies,  procedures  and  professional  development,  yet  this  recognition  does  not   extend  beyond  tokenism  or  discussions  on  strategies;   • cultural  competence  when  they  have  developed  the  knowledge,  reflexivity  and  skills   necessary  to  be  genuinely  accepting  and  respecting  of  cultural  differences  and   actively  implementing  policies  and  procedures  that  support  these  beliefs  and   commitment;   • cultural  proficiency  when  they  have  inclusive  policies  and  procedures  in  place  and   have  a  fully  integrated  workforce,  being  pro-­‐active  in  seeking  to  refine  their   approach  and  practice  through  research,  cross-­‐cultural  engagement  and  ongoing   professional  development  and  act  upon  a  set  of  values  and  guiding  principles  that   support  cultural  competence  and  cultural  proficiency  in  every  aspect  of  their   personal,  professional,  and  organizational  functioning.     5. Another  6-­‐stage  model  of  cross-­‐cultural  competency  is  a  sequential  development  of   knowledge  and  cognitive  processing  on  a  continuum  from  denial  to  integration.         The  first  three  stages  are  considered  to  be  ethno-­‐centric  in  which  individuals  use  their  own   culture  as  the  benchmark  for  viewing  all  others.  In  the  denial  stage,  individuals  recognise   their   own   culture   as   the   ‘real’   one.   Individuals   do   not   recognize   that   differences   among   people  can  be  based  upon  culture  or  social  structure.  Instead,  they  view  all  people  as  alike   with  any  differences  a  result  of  personal  choice.       When   people   first   recognize   that   culture   and   social   structure   do   influence   individuals’   beliefs,  values,  attitudes,  and  behaviour,  they  may  move  to  the  second  stage.       During   the   defence   stage,   they   begin   to   acknowledge   the   existence   of   other   cultures;   however,  at  this  stage  their  worldview  structure  delimits  their  understanding  so  that  they   see  their  own  culture  as  the  ideal  and  other  cultures  as  inferior.  Individuals  tend  to  think   about   other   cultures   hierarchically.   Typically,   western,   industrialized   cultures   are   ranked   highest  by  westerners  with  other  cultures  falling  in  status  as  they  differ  from  this  norm.       The  third  stage,  minimization,  is  similar  to  cultural  blindness,  in  which  cultural  differences   are  recognized  but  viewed  as  inconsequential.       The  remaining  three  stages  are  described  as  ethno-­‐relative.       In  the  fourth  stage,  individuals  accept  differences  without  judging  or  minimizing  them.       People   who   achieve   the   fifth   stage,   adaptation,   are   able   to   alter   their   own   behaviour   to   accommodate  the  behaviour  of  those  who  differ  from  themselves.      
  6. 6. National  Best  Practice  Framework  for  Indigenous  Cultural  Competency  in  Australian  Universities   In  the  final  stage,  integration,  individuals  celebrate  and  incorporate  cultural  differences  into   their  way  of  being.       A  Pedagogical  Model  for  Building  Cultural  Competence       There  is  currently  no  commonly  agreed  upon  pedagogical  framework  to  guide  appropriate   course  and  program  development  in  this  field  across  the  sector.  However,  if  the  aim  is  for   students   and   staff   to   become   skilled   to   function   effectively   in   inter-­‐cultural   contexts   and   develop  a  culturally  competent  system,  then  the  following  matrix  may  be  a  useful  tool  for   curriculum  development  of  units  and  courses  that  may  achieve  this  aim.     A   pedagogical   matrix   can   be   used   for   curriculum   development,   showing   foundational   knowledge,  understandings,  skills  and  attributes  to  program-­‐specific  content  and  strategies   required  for  culturally  competent  engagement  and  professional  practice.         A  developmental  model  for  Indigenous  Cultural  Proficiency  in  a  university  course  or  unit         Reference     Universities  Australia.  (2011).  National  Best  Practice  Framework  for  Indigenous  Cultural   Competency  in  Australian  Universities.    Canberra:  Department  of  Education,  Employment   and  Workplace  Relations  (DEEWR)  Retrieved  from   http://www.universitiesaustralia.edu.au/lightbox/1312.        

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