Background Information for Facilitating ICAP:
An open, empathetic mind.
Facilitating the 16 ICAP sessions involves common sense, sensitivity and open-ended guidance. The objectives to each session need to be carefully read and mental preparedness is crucial in approaching the subject matter. Teachers need to be aware of embedded prejudices and generalizations, which can emerge in general discussion, sensitively calling them out and leading the student/s to self-awareness firstly and, as a result, intercultural understanding as an extension of this awareness. During the course of the sessions, trust and bonding within the group should be a natural outcome. The teacher is an equal participant in this process and students would be expected to become open and more trusting during the course of sessions.
Any queries, or difficulties encountered, feel free to contact the Cultural Infusion team of educationalists and anthropologists for assistance.
This program will lead students sequentially through an evolution of perception and attitude, and although detailed, is designed for maximum flexibility and can be targeted to the comprehension level of a given student group. Sessions are simple, effective and specific and need to be done in sequence from Session 1 to Session 16 as they are designed to be progressive in developing students’ awareness a step at a time.
It is requested of teachers to research and ensure they are sensitive to cultural and religious nuances and variations relating to eye contact, physical contact, pairing with opposite sex or family members, and discussions on topics such as religion. These cultural nuances will need to be accounted for in all class plan adaptations and the onus is on the individual teachers to research and be critically aware of the diversity of the students participating in these sessions. This is best achieved by applying the platform ‘Diversity Atlas’ before the course begins. Participating teachers may wish to workshop this together – as each teacher comes to an understanding of a given culture and shares this knowledge with her/his colleagues.
In addition to the above, schools undertaking ICAP program delivery should allow for various visiting artists and cultural presenters as well as time for preparation and reflection between each of the sessions.
The number of participants can vary from 8 - 30 but is optimal at around 8 – 15. This program is suitable for primary school students from upper streams and high school students from the lower and middle streams. It may be modified to suit various age groups, potentially even adults and teachers. Cultural Infusion has been vigilant in ensuring all activities are not only relevant but are sensitive to the varying cultural needs of students.
HASS Year 7 Civics and Citizenship. Critically analyse information and ideas from a range of sources in relation to civics and citizenship topics and issues (ACHCS056)
HASS Year 7-8 Citizenship: Diversity and Identity. Different perspectives about Australia’s national identity, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, and what it means to be Australian (ACHCK066)
HASS Year 8 Citizenship: Diversity and Identity How national identity can shape a sense of belonging in Australia’s multicultural society (ACHCK067)
HASS Year 10 Civics and Citizenship The Australian Government’s role and responsibilities at a global level, for example provision of foreign aid, peacekeeping, participation in international organisations and the United Nations (ACHCK091)
The ICAP targets the General Capability of Intercultural Understanding, as set out by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). In doing so, the program’s activities and subject matter touch on several other General Capabilities, including Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability, and Ethical Understanding. Upon completion of the program, students will have learnt skills that allow them to recognise potential cultural issues and show leadership in resolving such issues. These skills will be valuable attributes for students across all key learning areas as well as important life skills in a broader social context.
Numerous activities throughout the ICAP challenge students in areas like problem solving, imagining the world from different perspectives, and approaching unfamiliar tasks and situations.
The ICAP contains many team-based activities designed to give students experiences of trust and shared success.
Several activities throughout the ICAP are designed to simulate ethical challenges such as balancing individual and group needs, allocating rights to different groups, and the use of limited resources.
The ICAP most strongly targets the Physical, Personal and Social Learning segment of the Victorian curriculum. Within this segment, the ICAP is strongly connected to the domains of Civics and Citizenship, and Interpersonal Development, as well as aspects of the Personal Learning domain. On the way to achieving the desired learning outcomes in the area of Intercultural Understanding, the ICAP covers disciplines such as Geography, History and Languages.
Geography themes come in at various points in the ICAP, and students are challenged to address the concept of borders through things like tracing their families’ roots, and looking at the effects of constructing and moving borders.
Throughout the ICAP students are encouraged to trace historic events and their impact on cultural development. Numerous activities in the ICAP are designed to stimulate students to look at history from perspectives other than their own.
Language is a core part of any culture. Many activities in the ICAP deal with the concept of languages as they relate to culture and intercultural issues.
Cultural Infusion has developed the Intercultural Citizenship Ambassador Program (ICAP)—a two part, 16 session series of 90 minutes designed to address the need for cultural harmony within our school system. ICAP aims to equip young people with the skills to become the future leaders of an increasingly diverse globalised world. A world whereby local cultural voices can be heard, understood, and considered—creating and contributing to a culturally harmonious society.
With ICAP our approach is to foster social cohesion by introducing students to an understanding and embracing of internationally accepted intercultural learning objectives as outlined in the ‘UNESCO Four Pillars of Learning.’ Accordingly, Cultural Infusion has identified eight key qualities needed for any student to become a Global Citizen. These concepts align with national curriculum objectives as well as with the United Nations’ fundamental principles for reshaping global education to acknowledge the need for intercultural capabilities.
Intercultural harmony and social cohesion are the by-product of deeper self-awareness, cultural empathy and a willingness to learn. Students are empowered not only to tackle issues of collective identity, (including racism and discrimination) but to engage the strengths that emerge from the knowledge and acceptance of each other’s cultures, as they explore key qualities of Global Citizenship:
Self Awareness – Independent Thought – Belonging – Inspiration – Leadership – Reflection – Initiation – Vision – Harmony
As society expands with more cultural diversity, our trajectory toward success lies in the hearts and minds of our young people. ICAP is a radical program that enables schools to be at the forefront of these emerging changes, shaping of our collective identity, and giving students pivotal interpersonal skills to face the future in a globalised world. In a world that is increasingly culturally diverse and dynamically interconnected, it is important that students come to understand their world, past and present, and develop a capacity to respond to challenges, now and in the future, in innovative, informed, personal and collective ways.
ICAP was developed by a dedicated and highly qualified team of educators and anthropologists: Sci Westwood; Lisa O’Beirne PhD; Sharon Pestan; Sandy Barnes; and Alison Richards PhD.
The Cultural Infusion team accordingly were responsible for the expansion and refining of the program: Peter Mousaferiadis CEO; Francis Nicholls-Wunder; Pooja Harischandra; David Edgren; Aleksandra Waryszewska; Cameron Magusic; Alex Steele and Monique Bulte.