Cultural competence involves the capacity to comprehend, communicate, and relate effectively with people from different cultures. As more students and educators join the various study programs, it is essential to develop certain interpersonal awareness and sensitivity to thrive in culturally diverse institutions. To enhance teaching and learning, the social context where learning is taking place should be considered. Cultural competence enables educators to effectively teach students from other cultures. This paper focuses on reflecting a personal assessment of my cultural competence and the strategies to enhance it. It also discusses why it is significant as an educator to understand diverse learners and cultural competence.
Personal Assessment of Cultural Competence
As an educator, I build my cultural competence by first having background knowledge of my students. It enables me to understand the student’s behaviors in their cultural context. I also value diversity by accepting and respecting the differences in cultural backgrounds among students and their different ways of communicating to ensure their inclusivity (D’Andrea, 2005, p. 80). I respect their different traditions and values. Additionally, I am culturally self-aware. I know my experiences, skills, values, and beliefs that shape the view of who I am and why I fit in the school environment. I also understand the dynamics of difference and what can go wrong during communication and how to resolve the situations.
Strategies to enhance Cultural Competence
To enhance my cultural competence, I have to learn more about diverse beliefs. To accommodate more students from other cultures, I will have to research and look for cultural insights through journal articles, academic books, and memoirs. Learning about other languages will enable me to reach and connect more with people who speak the language (D’Andrea, 2005, p.82). I will also be able to effectively connect with more students from other cultures and ensure I teach them according to their needs.
Furthermore, attending diversity-focused workshops and conferences will enhance my cultural competence. Formal training on diversity issues that affect students and my colleagues will improve my knowledge. It will also ensure I become more sensitive on the diverse communities that have been marginalized in education (D’Andrea, 2005, p.85). Also, interacting with students from diverse cultures will enhance my competence. Asking them about their culture with respect will enable me to learn more and ensure I become better in cultural competency.
Importance of Understanding Diverse Student Learners and Cultural Competence
Comprehending diverse learners and cultural competence is essential in that it helps in improving the education system and the student’s performance. Educators recognize how the students’ performance can be enhanced by integrating the racial and ethnic minority contributions to the curriculum (Murphy, 2010, p. 209). Cultural competence is viewed as an ethical responsibility for educators to enable the students to succeed in their studies.
Additionally, it ensures inclusivity and equity of all the students. It gives a right to everyone to access education despite their culture (Murphy, 2010, p. 212). It also ensures that respective practices are adapted to accommodate all the students from diverse cultures. Students can also be taught at their pace, and in the language they understand. Higher education is also made accessible to all students from different cultures.
How my Understanding Impacts Students
My understanding of the cultural competency will enable me to use different teaching styles which all the students can understand. I will incorporate the knowledge I have acquired within the classroom environment (Matteliano, 2014). It will motivate the students to think critically and be eager to learn unfamiliar skills and traits. The students will gain confidence in communicating their weak points.
Impact of my Understanding on Colleagues
My colleagues will be motivated to appreciate diverse cultures. They will be able to accommodate students from different cultures and learning behaviors. I will influence them to respect diversity and be sensitive to the students (Matteliano, 2014). My colleagues may also advocate for the institutionalization of cultural competency.
Criticism of Assignment Theories and Concepts
Even if cultural competency is a dominant approach to address cultural diversity in educational institutions, it has conceptual limitations. It ignores the other identities and defines culture as race and ethnicity leaving the other cultural identities unresolved. It positions the educators as presumed members of the central groups making the other professionals from minority groups unrecognizable (Matteliano, 2014). Moreover, cultural competence is measured in terms of learner confidence and outcome, which may not affect differences.
Pros and Cons of the Assignment Theories and Concepts
The concepts are beneficial in that they help in building an environment where all students are comfortable. It also helps in building professional close relationships between the learners and the educators (Matteliano, 2014). It eliminates prejudice between the groups. It also ensures that all students are given equal chances in the learning institutions. The disadvantage is that it does not fully address prejudice in the learning institutions.
Cultural competence is effective in solving the cultural diversity in educational institutions. It recognizes the racial and ethnic contributions in the education curriculum. Educators who challenge and encourage students from diverse cultures can improve educational institutions. They create a conducive environment for all the students to succeed despite their background.