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Wednesday, March 28 • 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Cultural Baptism by Immersion: How to immerse yourself and your students in diverse culture (and why you should)

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Evolution is nature’s way of optimizing living systems. A particularly innovative invention of evolution is culture. The Business Dictionary defines culture as a “pattern of responses discovered, developed, or invented during a social group's history of handling problems which ... are considered the correct way to perceive, feel, think, and act. It encompasses all learned and shared, explicit or tacit, assumptions, beliefs, knowledge, norms, and values, as well as attitudes, behavior, dress, and language.” The one thing that culture isn’t is fixed.

Culture evolves just like any system of organisms. Cultural evolution is just as essential to civilization as biological evolution is to life - adapt or become extinct. Today’s polarized political environment would have us believe that cultural diversity is non-optimal; that a mono culture of capitalism or socialism or some other -ism is the only path to sustainable progress. But if natural selection has taught us anything, it is that survival depends on adaptation, and innovative adaptation proceeds directly from diversity. As educators, we embrace social diversity. However, as the world becomes “flatter”, social diversity seems to become more divisive even as it becomes more apparent. How can we introduce our students to the rich diversity that surrounds them without risking the schisms that instill fear and promote isolation? How can we help them appreciate and perhaps even adopt social norms from other cultures?

These are the questions we hope to address in this workshop. We will offer insights into our personal experiences in immersive cultural exchange both among students and between teachers. We will then apply design thinking to design a cultural immersion experience that meets each participant’s needs, whether that involves international exchanges or the discovery of the cultural diversity in one’s own backyard.

avatar for Doris Korda

Doris Korda

Chief Executive Officer, Korda Institute for Teaching
Doris Korda is changing how school is done in urban and rural schools, with students of all ages and in courses of all types. The founder and CEO of the Korda Institute for Teaching, she is a successful tech entrepreneur-turned educator -- a 24 year educator and 30+ year organizational... Read More →

Wednesday March 28, 2018 1:00pm - 2:30pm PDT
HTHI 222