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Cultural Continuum

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  • Jim Townshend

    Where are you at? Personally and as a School? 

    This challenge involves moving as far as possible, as quickly as possible, along the following six-point continuum (Cross et al., 1989):

    Cultural destructiveness: those who believe or engage in behaviours that reinforce the superiority of one race or culture over another, with the resultant oppression of the group viewed as inferior;

    Cultural incapacity: those who have less actively destructive beliefs or behaviours, but are paternalistic and lack the skills to be effective with individuals from diverse groups;

    Cultural blindness: those who profess that culture, race and / or language make no difference and explicitly or implicitly encourage assimilation;

    Cultural pre-competence: those who accept the need for culturally competent policies and procedures, but do not proceed beyond tokenism or searching for ways to respond;

    Cultural competence: those who accept and respect differences and implement policies that support these beliefs and commitments;

    Cultural proficiency: those who seek to refine their approach by learning more about diverse groups through research, dissemination and fully inclusive practices. 

  • Jan Burn

    A very simple but thought provoking continuum. I feel my school  ( and personally) sit between the stages of pre- competence and competence. This is in part due to our lack of knowledge and resource people to help accelerate our momentum forward.This would be very helpful as part of a checklist to see where a school is at and to unpack what would  the cultural proficient school look like and feel like.  Thank -you for sharing this