I've been putting off writing this.
I'm usually pretty positive we can make the world a better place. Hey look at at title of this blog Brighter Futures.
About culturally competent online facilitation on a global scale, I'm feeling pretty pessimistic.
I think there are many, many difficulties.
When you go to live in new country you are immersed in a new culture. If you study or work in that new culture you learn the language and how things are done, you learn about the world view of the new culture. You also learn about your own culture.
You learn that that you have norms, expectations, values and assumptions that you had no idea that other cultures don't share.
You can come to understand this, and go meta on this because you are embedded in the new culture and you are an outsider. You also change the culture you are embedded in because you relate to people you encounter and form ongoing trusting relationships. You have to share you thoughts about with others in the form of models.
You say in effect, "Am I getting this right? In this culture when you say this and do that, you don't mean what we mean in my culture you mean something like this?"
The German poet Novalis (1772-1801) who first combined the following words said it well. "The strange becomes familiar and the familiar becomes strange".
Because you are embedded in a strange environment you come to see your assumptions and thoughtless biases and your habitual heuristics.
But when you stay home and interact across the world over the internet, you stay embedded in your environment and the members of your online community are embedded in theirs.
There are less chances to see the familiar as strange. We carry on and with our invisible assumptions. If we have more power than those we facilitate, they try to fit in as best they can.
We carry on in our culturally insensitive ways, blind to what were doing.
If our cultural biases were ever pointed out to us, we might be horrified or even hostile, possibly dismissive.
I'm not sure my pessimism about cultural competence is correct.
Am I justified in thinking this?
I wonder if anyone has researched this.
I found this article New Directions in Research into Learning Cultures in Online Education by Robin Goodfellow on Google that seems worth a read.
This posting was inspired by my fellow FO2100 students but Matt Blackstock's blog post on this topic, Cultural Competence in the Online Facilitation Environment "
In this post he writes "Be aware of your own assumptions"
I guess my thinking is that this is easier said than done.