As our local economies become exposed to more and more global influences, our services need to develop sensitivity to the increased cultural diversity. Social changes like increased cultural diversity can happen rapidly but many of our service sectors respond slowly, such as education. As a result many people suffer stresses to do with unintended insensitivity and sometimes even prejudice. Individuals within dominant or subcultural classes, people with indigenous cultural identity, migrants, gender and sexuality, religious preferences... everyone has a need for sensitivity. What can we do to help alleviate the stress and pressures that many individuals can experience when interacting with larger bodies or organisations that tend to generalise their services for people?

This week you need to think about any observations you have made of systemic cultural insensitivity in an educational organisation or institution, and ideas on how you as an individual might address those problems through the development of flexible learning.

Check out the To do section for the course on WikiEducator and the extra resources.

  • Join Kate Timms from Otago Polytechnic's Educational Development Center in a web conference on Thursday 22 May at 10am (UTC 10pm 23 May) to hear stories relating to cultural diversity in educational institutions. Learn about the Polytechnic's policy for cultural inclusion and discuss thoughts and ideas on how to be more culturally sensitive in our work designing for flexible learning practices.
Make sure you check out the Assessment Criteria on the course wiki. These are designed to help you assess whether you are meeting the requirements for the assignments. We ask that you fill these out prior to submitting your assignments to check if you are covering all the necessary bases. Please submit your self-assessment with your assignments.

Please fill out the polls as your feedback is very helpful so we can offer the type of learning experience you need. And if you want to catch up with what was discussed in the last presentation on access and equity, and contribute to a discussion about assessments and flexibility, do check out Bronwyn's blog post.


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