INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION RECONSIDERED: A DISCUSSION BASED ON COMMUNICATION THEORY AND WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO RELIGIOUS EDUCATION.
AbstractThe article discusses how the concept intercultural can be used to understand human relations in general and educational settings in particular. Drawing on the theory of intercultural communication, it is argued that all human encounters may be interpreted as being intercultural. Intercultural situations in a more narrow sense occur when one actor experiences, expects or introduces culture as part of the interaction. Educationally, such situations may be both constructive and counterproductive. In order to deal with intercultural settings, the teacher should first analyse the situation in light of knowledge about cultures and religions as well as the sociocultural context. Then, one strategy is to focus on culture by enhancing complexity breaking down stereotypes, another is to avoid culture, by reducing complexity and focusing on the school subject. By alternating between these two strategies the teacher contributes towards establishing a third culture in the classroom, facilitating both reflection and negotiation.
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