Topic 2 Stages towards the acquisition of cultural competence

Cultural Competence Continuum 

Cultural “Destructiveness” → Cultural “Incapacity” → Cultural “Blindness” → Cultural Pre-Competence: → Cultural Competence → Cultural Proficiency

  1. Cultural “destructiveness”

Rejection of diversity, isolation attempt and systematic weakening, which can even lead to the gradual elimination of a community (refugees, people with disabilities, etc.) or an entire culture.

Examples

  • Partiality/ subjectivity in the educational process (e.g. omission of important chapters in history class).
  • “If we did not have people with disabilities in our group, our performance would be better”, “Crime in our city can only be reduced if we get rid of refugees”.
  1. Cultural “incapacity”

Cultural superiority feeling and attempt to weaken the culture of others

Examples:

  • Racism/ stereotypes
  • Low expectations from people with different cultural backgrounds
  • “He recently came to Greece and doesn’t speak Greek properly, so we should not expect him to do well in school”.
  • Recruitment with non-objective criteria at corporate level
  1. Cultural “blindness”
  • Inability to understand the particular traits of each culture and as a result, only the needs of certain salient groups of society are fulfilled.
  • Strict alignment with the mindset, the perspectives of the society
  • Assimilation

Examples:

  • School does not need to focus on multicultural education, there is no diversity”
  • The different educational approach depending on the cultural background of the student is a luxury and does not need to be applied”.
  1. Cultural pre-competence
  • Recognising the existence of limits on a person’s skills or an organisation practices in their interaction with other cultural groups
  • Awareness of systems/ organisations about their strengths and development sectors in order to respond effectively to culturally and linguistically diverse populations.

Examples:

  • Teamwork based on everyone’s cultural background
  • “I will do my best, so that students with disabilities feel  an active part of the educational process”.
  • “In order to increase our efficiency, we must divide the work according to the experiences of the employees”.
  1. Cultural competence
  • Person’s ability to interact and work effectively with people from diverse cultural backgrounds,
  • Systems and organisations that are examples of cultural competence accept and respect cultural differences.

Examples:

  • Policies and procedures application for recruitment and retention of human resources with different cultural backgrounds,
  • CC self-assessment at both personal and corporate level.
  1. Cultural proficiency

Respect for all cultures and effort  for balanced coexistence as well (mutual respect and acceptance in any culture and efforts to achieve a peaceful and creative coexistence).

Examples:

  • Alternative teaching methods depending on the needs of the students.
  • Acceptance of diversity and adoption of a different way of behaving.
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