A pattern of cultural response occurs within each culture. These responses are from peer to peer, peer to course, and instructor to student. Let’s take community culture as an example.
Let’s suppose that “an individual shows a different concept of acceptability and responsibility for actions compared to cultural expectations of the learning environment as it relates to the community culture” (style divergence: anxiety). If cultural responsiveness is not considered it is highly likely that one or more of the following is likely to occur:
Peer to peer:
A student who struggles in a course does not feel comfortable asking the instructor for help. However, the student is reluctant to reach out to peers for help because there are no cues for a sense of community within the course.
A faculty member of color or instructional designer is struggling with imposter syndrome and acculturative stress because they works in a predominately white institution. They are overwhelmed by cultural taxation and suffer in silence. There are familiar cues for a sense of community within that environment.
Peer to the course:
A student struggles to understand course material but, does not feel comfortable asking the instructor for help. The course does not affirm the value of community and interdependence. The student stops participating in the course but does not drop the course.
Employee to course:
A faculty member of color is completing a new employee training. However, there is no mention of cultural taxation and health and wellness within the employee organization. However, multiple mentions regarding racism, micro-aggression, and oppression. There is no mention of resources available to support the effects of such concepts.
Instructor to Student:
A faculty member is frustrated and states that students are “lazy” and want students to be autonomous in their learning, but the online course does not outline the virtual pathway to build, support, and maintain a sense of community for students to discuss the difficulties within the course.
Examples like the ones above continually occur because there is no consideration or understanding of how to apply cultural responsiveness. Current culturally responsive practices are more generalized and topical responses. Instead, an evidenced-based and measurable model of cultural responsiveness is warranted. The idea of an evidenced-based measurement can provide a more precise application of cultural responsiveness. The important thing to remember is there is a lot more to the application of cultural responsiveness than what is generally presented.
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