Teaching Skills Needed to Facilitate 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.
The course may be delivered as
- One 90 min session per week for 16 weeks (eight weeks each term )
- Two sessions per week for eight weeks of a single term
- One session per fortnight over 32 weeks
- Four sessions per week for four weeks of distinct themes:
- 1. Trust and Experience – designed for the students to focus on developing trust, ownership and responsibility within the group as a microcosm of the larger society in which they live. An experience of interconnection with the other.
- 2. Cultural Awareness - , students develop a sense of empathy for the other, highlighting the social complexities of inter-cultural diversity and communication, and encountering unconscious beliefs and judgements that block their own inclusive behaviours.
- 3. What is Culture? – students to gain a greater understanding of the interwoven complexity found within different worldviews. By expressing our shared values and finding the similarities with others, students can identify the importance of differing relationships within our community.
- 4. Create Your Own New Worlds – students to gain insight into how they have re-conceptualised their previous notions of cultural knowledge into a more inclusive, engaged, and self-aware state. For students to embody all that they have explored and achieved throughout the course.
- Other configurations as negotiated with Cultural Infusion
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.
Year Level Descriptions and Curriculum Codes
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)
More Links to National (Australian) Curriculum:
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.
- Critical and Creative Thinking:
Numerous activities throughout the ICAP challenge students in areas like problem solving, imagining the world from different perspectives, and approaching unfamiliar tasks and situations.
- Personal and Social Capability:
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.
Links to AusVELS:
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.