Define yourself to know the world

Here is some remarkable food for thought:

Personal Cultural Identities

All learners, adults and children, must explore their own cultures before they can understand why culture matters in the lives of others around them. Interculturalism does not begin with the ability to consider other points of view but with the realization that you have a point of view. Children bring their personal experiences of living in the world and being part of specific cultural groups and social contexts to school. They need to examine their own histories to understand how those experiences and interactions determine their view of the world and they need to find their lives reflected in books in order to value school as relevant. When students recognize the cultures that influence their thinking, they become more aware of how and why culture is important to others. They no longer see culture as about the “other” and as exotic, but recognize that it is at the heart of defining who they are as human beings.”

At Worlds of Words (University of Arizona) the statement above is part of an excellent article you really may want to read. Here’s the link.

This article also quotes a definition of culture we really liked:

“Geertz (1973) defines culture as “the shared patterns that set the tone, character and quality of people’s lives” (p. 216). These patterns include language, religion, gender, relationships, class, ethnicity, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, family structures, nationality, and rural/suburban/urban communities, as well as the values, symbols, interpretations, and perspectives held by a group of people.”

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