Effects of Culture on Learning and Classroom Behavior

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Effects of Culture on Learning and Classroom Behavior
March 22, 2007

Presenters: Hosam M. Ahmad Fahed Al-Sumait Nancy Berry

Mohammed Hirchi Viviane Ephraimson-Abt

Program Outline
1. 2. 3. 4. Introduction, Training Goals & Program Overview - Fahed Defining Diversity: The Middle East, Arabs and Muslims - Hosam Islam’s place in the Western imaginary - Mohammed The role of culture in interpersonal interaction –Viviane Culture, identity and communication Worldviews and Norms The Fundamental Attribution Error

5. Non-verbal communication – Fahed
Characteristics Structure (kinesics, proxemics, paralanguage)

4. Interculturalism in the classroom:
Student acculturation and adaptation – Hosam Pedagogical differences between the Gulf and the US– Nancy Common differences in verbal and non-verbal interaction – Fahed

5. Open forum and Q&A

Defining Diversity:
1. Geographies 2. Religion 3. Ethnicities

Hosam Ahmed

The Middle East, Arabs, Muslims, and Gulf States

1. Geographies
• • • • Muslim World and definition Arab Nation and definition Middle East (SW Asia)-definition Gulf States - definition

Map of the Muslim World

Map of the Arab World

Map of the Gulf States

2. Religion
• Only 18% of Muslims are Arab, 20% subSaharan Africa, 30% South Asian • 85% Sunni and 15% Shi’a. There is also Sufism …etc • Core beliefs are similar- God, prophet, book (Qur'an) and pillars • Practices are diverse and differ by region, sects, and cultures

3. Ethnicities (Cultures)
• Saudi Students share the identity of Gulf States: (Muslims, Arab, Gulfians) • Levant (Mashriq)-Sham: Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan • Mesopotamia: Iraq and Syria • North Africa: Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco • Turkey: Muslims (Sunni) non-Arab-Turks • Iran: Muslims (Shi’a & Sunni) non-Arab-Persian • Regional Diversity within a country

Mohammed Hirchi

Islam’s place in the Western imaginary
Historical Context: • Crusades / Song of Rolland (12th c.) • Enlightenment Philosophers Civilized vs. Uncivilized

• 19th c. Colonialism • 20th c. Imperialism

• Monolithic/Stereotypical Representations of the “Orient” • The Orient is defined as carnal, violent, uncivilized, etc. versus the West: civilized, pure, democratic…. • Binary relationships: Us/Them; reason/emotions; purity/impurity; Culture/Nature

Geo-Political Significance of the Middle East
• • • • Natural Resources/Wealth Political Islam Autocratic Political Regimes War, Terrorism and Conflicts

Media Representations
• • • • Spectacle of ‘Otherness’ /stereotyping Muslims portrayed as religious fanatics Moderates vs. extremists Islam vs. modernity and secularism

September 11 and the War on Terror
• Redefining Islamic extremism as global terrorism • Good vs. Evil (“The Axis of Evil”) • Post-Cold War politics paradigm shift: from Communism to Islamism

Viviane Ephraimson-Abt

Culture: “Historically shared system of symbolic resources through which we make sense of the world” (Hall 2005) this system is a learned socially shared framework which enables and constrains our view of the world ( Fahed Al –Sumait) Intercultural Communication: “is study of theory and practice of face-to-face interaction between people whose cultures are significantly different from one another.” (J.M. Bennett, Ph.D. © 2003) “The

goal of intercultural communication is effectively create shared meaning in a way that intent can be clearly understood between those that are culturally different” ( Ting- Toomey & Chung, 2005

3 Cultural Worldviews / Value Orientations

• Individualism • Monochronic • Achievement

Collectivism Polychronic Ascription

Norms interact with World View
Norms: “For a norm to be said to govern behavior & have an impact in the community, it must be agreed upon in the community ( consensus) & felt strongly enough about (intensity) that negative sanctions are expected & appropriate for violations of the norm” (...
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