Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity: Enhancing Oneself to Become a Better Teacher

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In today’s fast paced society and with the world integrating many different ethnic groups it is important to understand the way others think, feel, and act. As a teacher the importance of this is even greater, students are the future and they need to be equipped with the ability to interact and communicate effectively with those of different ethnic backgrounds. One of the ways in which educators can prepare themselves and their students is by understanding where they are on an intercultural awareness level and how they can progress on those levels. The Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) is one of the ways in which one may categorize his or herself on the different levels of intercultural competence. Dr. Milton Bennet created the DMIS in 1993 and this model is able to heighten teacher’s awareness’ to the way people develop intercultural competence. Cushner, McClelland, and Safford (2009) suggest that the DMIS “provides a framework for understanding individual development and awareness along a continuum…” (Cushner, et al., 2009) The DMIS is broken up into 6 different stages. The first three are ethnocentric and encompass denial, defense, and minimization. The last three groups are categorized as ethnorelative; these being acceptance, adaptability, and integration. Denial, defense, and minimization all focus on the ignorance of other cultures. Denial tends to hold stereotypes or beliefs that everyone is equal. In the defense stage one feels him or herself superior to other cultures and peoples. The minimization stage is where one begins to see more similarities than differences in others. The ethnorelative groups are where it is ideal for teachers and students to move towards. The acceptance stage one acce... ... middle of paper ... ...her will be able to help his or her student develop better communication skills and a greater multicultural competency. This also enables a teacher to understand his or her students, their family lives, and how they perceive the world. The more teachers understand multicultural education the better off they will be at adapting to the need s of students and the more readily they will be able to enhance the learning of said students. Works Cited Cushner, K., McClelland, A., & Safford, P. L. (2009). Human diversity in education: an integrative approach (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. Munoz, C., DoBroka, C., & Mohammad, S.. (2009). Development of a Multidisciplinary Course in Cultural Competence for Nursing and Human Service Professions. Journal of Nursing Education, 48(9), 495-503. Retrieved July 6, 2011, from Research Library. (Document ID: 1857389841).

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