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Volume 13, Edition 4: January/February 2014

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Faculty Teaching and Learning Commons and Global Engagement Community host Intercultural Sensitivity Workshop

In preparation for the new Global Engagement Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) to be implemented next academic year, the Faculty Teaching and Learning Commons (FTLC) and the Global Engagement Community offered a workshop on January 22, 2014, for UNCG faculty interested in incorporating intercultural competency into their curriculum and their daily professional and personal lives. The workshop, entitled “Intercultural Sensitivity: Looking Through the Eyes of Others,” was designed to help faculty understand the importance of intercultural sensitivity as an aid to effective communication. Dr. Penelope Pynes (Associate Provost for International Programs) and Denise Bellamy (Director of Study Abroad and Exchange) led the workshop.

Before attending, faculty were invited to complete the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), an assessment of intercultural competence, so that they could discuss how the IDI may be applied in their work. Faculty also learned more about Milton Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS), a model of the development of an individual’s worldview structure that provides a basis for helping him or her work more effectively with people from other cultural backgrounds. According to Bennett, “The underlying assumption of the model is that as one’s experience of cultural difference becomes more sophisticated, one’s competence in intercultural relations potentially increases.”

Michelle Solér, Senior Director of the FTLC, and Tommy Lambeth, an Associate Professor of Interior Architecture and a FTLC Fellow for Global Engagement, organized the event. Among Mr. Lambeth’s activities as faculty fellow have been conducting sessions to elicit faculty feedback and share ideas that have and continue to inform the QEP initiative. “Considering we will be using several measures like the IDI for the upcoming QEP initiative, it is important for faculty to understand the basis of these measures,” he says. “This understanding will hopefully help faculty design intercultural experiences for their students that address global engagement in the QEP context.”

The FTLC and the Global Engagement Community hope to follow up January's workshop with another on February 26, 2014, which will address techniques for creating intercultural experiences in the classroom and beyond. “Our hope is to engender discussions of precedents and currently used techniques and to look for ways to transfer these to new contexts and classrooms,” Mr. Lambeth says.

Interested in learning more about upcoming workshops? Please contact the FTLC at ftlc@uncg.edu or visit the FTLC website at commons.uncg.edu for more information.

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