Cross-Cultural Competencies in a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Process
Keywords:SoTL, transdisciplinary, global
Do intentional pedagogical practices in a Global Scholars program transform student and faculty in their growth to become inclusive global citizens? This scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) study explored whether the content and assignments in Professionalism Across Cultures, a course collaboratively co-taught by faculty in five different disciplines, change student interactions with aspects of cultural competence (Antola Crowe et al., 2013). Professionalism Across Cultures is a course designed to provide students in the Global Scholars program with experiences to increase awareness, acceptance, and diversity, and to emphasize the importance of communicating effectively with people across cultures and disciplines. The Global Scholars program requires students to take this course, a world language course, have an international experience, attend global activities, and present on their own international experiences. This Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) study was approved by Institutional Review Board (IRB) and utilized an observational, mixed methods no design for students enrolled in the required course for the Global Scholars program. Data were collected via a pre- and post-reflection, a pre- and post- cultural intelligence scale, and two cultural presentations. Using the validated, quantitative Cultural Intelligence Scale (CQS) developed by Ang et al. (2007), results suggested that students, over the course of a semester, increased their cultural intelligence across all levels (metacognitive, cognitive, motivational, and behavioral) with a statistically significant difference with cognitive and behavioral (p < 0.05). Similarly, using the framework by King and Baxter (2005) and Perez et al. (2015) regarding intercultural maturity, qualitative results indicated students increased intercultural maturity across all levels (cognition, intrapersonal, and interpersonal) over the course of the semester. These results agree with other studies that have shown that semester long experiences can positively impact the cultural development of students (Marx & Moss, 2011). Further, the process of evaluating the students and engaging in research while teaching brought not only cohesion and lively discussion among the faculty team, but also purposeful reflection, blurring of boundaries of the learner/teacher dynamic. The learning community of the course Professionalism Across Cultures created a space for growing together toward inclusion, while learning to withhold judgment.
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