Resilience through Intercultural Skill Enhancement

RISE educational content will be delivered in four modules: Historical Perspective on Cultural Diversity, Cultural Terms and Measures, Strategies for Thriving in a Diverse Environment, and Future Relevance.

Historical Perspective on Cultural Diversity – In this module, participants are exposed to historical data regarding the transformation of communities, workplaces, and schools through diversity. These data help participants understand the necessity of developing intercultural skills in order to function more effectively and efficiently in contemporary and future educational and professional settings.

Cultural Terms and Measures – In this module, participants increase their cultural intelligence by learning terminology and measures used by researchers studying such issues. This includes proxemics, chronemics, kinesics and oculesics, haptics, and high/low context cultures, which are measures used by Hall (1959). They are also exposed to the Hofstede model of dimensions of national culture (1997) and the Intercultural Learning Process (monocultural upbringing/perception – awareness – understanding – acceptance/respect – appreciation/valuing – bicultural sensitivity – multicultural appreciation – resilience).

Strategies for Thriving in a Diverse Environment – In this module, the strategy is to build a solid intercultural foundation of understanding by having participants reflect on their culture. While many people are familiar with such terms as “high culture,” “traditional culture,” “popular culture,” “folk culture,” and “corporate culture,” they are less able to answer the question, “What is culture?” It is essential to have an understanding of culture as a structure in order to develop intercultural awareness. Once participants understand the structural nature of culture, they will use the Intercultural Learning Model as a template for moving from a monocultural existence to a multicultural one.

Future Relevance – In this module, participants are exposed to how important intercultural skills are for the workplace, nationally and internationally. Future graduates may be doing business with customers and clients around the world, but even if they are not, demographics domestically are also increasingly diverse.