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Teaching and Learning

Graduate Attribute 7: Cultural Competency


Cultural Competency Cultural Competency (CC) is defined as "an ability to engage with diverse cultural and Indigenous perspectives in both global and local settings" (SCU Graduate Attribute 7). While CC is not a learning strategy or a curriculum design approach, there are a range of resources (outlined below) that can help students and staff develop this capability.

Embedding CC in teaching can be a challenge for teachers as it can prove tricky to really understand and integrate, on a personal and professional level. It involves getting to grips with four key domains: These are:

  • Being aware of one's own culturally bound perspective and of the ways that it shapes your attitudes, biases, preferences, knowledge's and practices
  • Knowledge of cultural perspectives and practices that differ to your own
  • Valuing cultural differences and diversity per se, rather than specific cultures
  • Effective cross-cultural communication skills.

GA7 specifically references Indigenous Cultural Competency (ICC). At SCU, this translates to:

  • Informed understanding of Indigenous Australian cultures, histories and current realities;
  • Awareness of Indigenous protocols and preferences;
  • An ability to engage with and work effectively in Indigenous contexts, in line with the expectations of Indigenous Australian peoples.

This definition is adapted from Australia's National Best Practice Framework for ICC, which is endorsed by many Australian universities.

Cultural Competence can be understood as a staged process, moving along a continuum from culturally damaging ways of being, toward cultural competence (or even transcultural competence). It can be helpful to reflect on the history of your discipline in relation to marginalised cultural groups, especially Indigenous Australian Peoples. This can inform learning design in units or courses, day to day teaching, and assist students to become culturally competent professionals and practitioners.

Differentiating CC, ICC & related concepts

Cultural Competency (CC):
Knowledge and acceptance of difference, respect and recognition of other cultures, knowing your own 'lens' and valuing difference in society

HR corporate training program in CC

Indigenous Cultural Competency (ICC):
Using your CC awareness with specific reference to Australian Indigenous Peoples

HR corporate training program in CC

Community Engaged Learning (CEL):
Taking learning into the workplace, this may be practical or through focussed activities. Integrating CC and ICC into workplace learning through directed activities and practical experiences.
CEL policy
OurCEL exemplars
TT page on CEL
Cultural Inclusiveness:
Using CC and ICC skills in all aspects of teaching and learning. Encouraging students to develop their cultural awareness through activities that make and encourage respect for diversity and mindfulness of bias (conscious and unconscious)
DTL At A Glance Inclusive curriculum
Internationalisation of Curriculum (IOC):
Working with sensitivity, respect and awareness of global international and multicultural needs to incorporate CC and ICC, as required, in teaching design and practice.
Page onIoC
IoC sub clausein SCU Learning, Teaching and Curriculum Policy

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