Students' Perceptions of Intercultural Contact Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

545). By allowing students to speak in the classroom, rather than lecturing students about how intercultural interactions should take place, students from other cultures can bring their own cultural understandings and conceptions to the forefront, rather than passively receive teaching from a professor, or accept a university party line that their university is diverse. "The discourse of multiculturalism is not the voice of ethnic and racial minorities speaking for themselves. It is, rather, the voice of white middle-class education professionals speaking about 'problem' groups," one academic alleges, but through more open-ended discussion and generating student feedback that allows them to infuse their personal cultural and intercultural experiences into the classroom, a more positive conception of intercultural communication can occur (Olneck, 1990, p. 163).

A university setting can be uniquely beneficial to establishing intercultural dialogue simply because it is designed to have structured listening experiences that are then reinforced by outside social activity. Universities cannot assume that such exchanges will take place naturally, nor can they enforce a policy that everyone must get along in a community where individuals must learn to
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speak new cultural languages. "There is often yet another more tacit barrier to collaborative understanding. It arises even in a climate of dialogue like the 'community conversation'... Listening is a highly constructive, interpretive activity under the best of conditions" (Flower, 2003, p.39). Appreciating the difference and situated-ness of others in a particular, rather than a universalizing perspective can only be accomplished in a supportive environment of dialogue, not of creating a campus-wide ideology of tolerance or one which ignores the important, unique barriers of race, class and culture have had different student's everyday experiences.

Works Cited

Banks, James a. (1993, June-July). The canon debate, knowledge construction, and multicultural education. Educational Researcher. 22. 5: 4-14.

Flower, Linda. (2003, September). Talking across difference: Intercultural rhetoric and the search for situated knowledge. College Composition and Communication. 55. 1: 38-68

Hoffman, Diane M. (1996, Autumn). Culture and self in multicultural education: Reflections on discourse, text, and practice American Educational Research Journal. 33 (3): 545-569.

Moreman, Robin (1997, April). Multicultural framework: Transforming curriculum, transforming students. Teaching Sociology. 25(2): 107-119.

Olneck, Michael (1990, February). The recurring dream: Symbolism and ideology in intercultural and multicultural education. American…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Banks, James a. (1993, June-July). The canon debate, knowledge construction, and multicultural education. Educational Researcher. 22. 5: 4-14.

Flower, Linda. (2003, September). Talking across difference: Intercultural rhetoric and the search for situated knowledge. College Composition and Communication. 55. 1: 38-68

Hoffman, Diane M. (1996, Autumn). Culture and self in multicultural education: Reflections on discourse, text, and practice American Educational Research Journal. 33 (3): 545-569.

Moreman, Robin (1997, April). Multicultural framework: Transforming curriculum, transforming students. Teaching Sociology. 25(2): 107-119.

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