Sunday, July 8, 2018

Teaching Canadian Culture Articles and Arguments

Teaching Canadian Culture: Teacher Preparation by Robert Courchene

Framework for a New Vision

In the literature many definitions of culture exist from a wide range of perspectives: anthropological, behavioral, cognitive, sociological, and phenomenological. Rather than provide a series of representative definitions, I present a summary of the characteristics of culture based on the work of Damen (1986, pp. 88-89).

1. Culture is learned. If it can be learned, it can be taught and acquired.

2. Cultures and cultural patterns change. It is more important to learn about how to learn a culture or adapt to these changes than to learn the "fact" and "truths" of the moment.

3. Culture is a universal fact of human life. No human group or society is without culture. Cultural patterns and themes are related to universal human needs and conditions.

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Teaching Canadian Culture: Pedagogical Issues

Providing K-Adult-ESL-classroom teachers with a list of entries under Schein's (1985) six categories mentioned above or giving them a copy of the new vision will not be sufficient to enable the teaching of culture in a systematic way in the classroom. Many important questions must still be addressed.

1. How do we make all our students more conscious of culture and its role in our lives?

2. How do we prepare teachers to teach this new cultural vision?

3. Whose culture, whose values, whose traditions do we select for presentation?

4. What weight do we give to different aspects of our culture? If we have limited time, what do we choose from the bank of items?

5. What weight do we give to the new cultural paradigms? ...

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