Accommodating culture and cultural diversity in online teaching
Examples at the individual level include recognising that cultural diversity provides benefits and strengths to society, and that working in cross-cultural contexts is an enriching life experience.Examples at an organisational level include actively seeking to develop a culturally diverse board, workforce and volunteer base; engaging with diverse cultures within the community; and being prepared to fundamentally diversify workplace culture.We also embed our cultural view in the way we try to shape the world, through formal and informal education, law, policy, workplace culture and more.Services often jump straight into service adaptations based on the visible parts of culture – those things that are expressed through behaviour, such as language, food, dress and the expression of cultural celebrations.Look to the cultural diversity clearing houses and ethno-specific organisations for examples of strategies for how to negotiate tricky terrain such as where a cultural view does not sit comfortably with, say, a reablement strategy, or with non-negotiable expressions of mainstream culture, such as program guidelines, regulations or laws.An organisational example would be conducting a cultural competency audit or self assessment.Current predictions are that by 2021, one in three seniors will have been born outside Australia.
Culture involves our values, attitudes and beliefs. What one sees as ‘respect’ or ‘disrespect’ is dependent on one’s cultural view.At the organisational level, knowledge management will need to extend to managing cultural knowledge.Keep active connections with cultural communities in the local area.To be effective, cultural competency must exist throughout the organisation – from frontline workers through to executive officers and boards; from policies and procedures through to work practices and workplace culture.
The goal is that system is able to step beyond the bounds of a particular cultural interpretation in order to work effectively in any context of diversity.For instance, an organisation’s policies might prohibit anyone other than a service user being transported by a worker in the agency’s vehicle.