Cross-cultural Engagement in Higher Education Classrooms: a Critical View of Dialogue
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This chapter takes a critical view of the ideal of face-to-face dialogue between cultural groups in higher education classrooms. It takes as its point of discussion some New Zealand Pākehā (White) students’ expressions of anger at feeling ‘left out’ during a course where the instructors divided the class into two groups based on their ethnicity: Pākehā students and Polynesian (in particular indigenous Māori) students. The instructors (the authors of this paper) felt this division was in the interest of progressive teaching as well as providing learning opportunities for the students. In examining the different responses of the two groups, the authors ask higher education instructors to reconsider the ideal of cross-cultural dialogue and the fantasies on which it rests; they also offer an alternative to dialogue in postcolonial classrooms.
KeywordsIndigenous People Dominant Group White Student Indigenous Student Classroom Dialogue
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