Working in the border zone: Developing cultural competence in higher education for a globalized world

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Knowledge Cultures, 2014, 2 (4), pp. 22 - 44
Issue Date:
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© 2014 by the Contemporary Science Association, New York. In this paper we examine the tension between the educational needs of a globalized world and the institutional structures of a globalized education system. One of the most important consequences of the current discipline-based education system is a missed opportunity to encourage reflexive thinking about discipline-based normative assumptions and world views. We argue that this is one of the conditions necessary for producing researchers and students who are culturally competent: able to engage with the community in messy non-disciplinespecific problems, critique and integrate information from many knowledge sources and work collaboratively. We report on two case studies in Indigenous Australia and the Pacific: projects that involved students and that demonstrate the special quality and value of cultural competence and its connection with work across, and beyond, academic disciplines.
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