Transformation of Learning and the Learner: Infusing Cross-cultural Content Across the Curriculum

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Many, if not most, college missions and core curricula include some emphasis on global awareness and preparation for an increasingly diverse society and workplace. Yet most institutions struggle with how to operationalize that priority, especially if they lack a diverse student population in which to promote constructive inter-group dialogue. For such institutions, faculty training on the infusion of cross-cultural and global content throughout the curriculum becomes a particularly salient and cost-effective strategy.

This paper presents the plan, implementation, outcomes, and assessment of a curriculum-based interdisciplinary program that trained faculty to engage students and one another in productive discussions of conflicting cultural and religious viewpoints. The project prepared faculty to develop appropriate pedagogical approaches for courses across the curriculum, with an emphasis on projects/assignments that could be repeated, generalized across disciplines, and shared with other faculty. The project was grounded in theories and research about student development, specifically Erikson’s and others’ observations about the formation of cultural, religious, and political identity, Perry’s theory regarding young adults’ transition from egocentric dichotomous worldviews to more informed and pluralistic viewpoints, and research establishing links between higher education and the agenda for “new learning.” Transforming learning and learners around issues of diversity is a necessary step toward higher education’s goal of expanding student horizons, promoting social transformation, and deepening democracy.

Keywords: Faculty Development, Diversity, Multidisciplinary, Multicultural Content, Assessment
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Transformation of Learning and the Learner

Dr. Judy L. Singleton

Associate Professor, Sociology and Social Work, College of Mount St. Joseph
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Dr. Singleton is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Work. Her main research areas are work and family, aging, and curricular changes.

Dr. Mary Kay Jordan Fleming

Associate Professor, Psychology, College of Mount St. Joseph
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Dr. Jordan Fleming is an Associate Professor of Psychology. She is also the Assessment Coordinator for the College of Mount St. Joseph. Her research interests include child and adolescent psychology and cross-cultural interactions.

Ref: L08P0374