Abstract: This article explores how difference and diversity are valued and recognized as resources for learning within a multicultural classroom while teaching a course on Transcultural Social Practice within the Master of Social Practice Programme at Unitec Institute of Technology, Aotearoa/New Zealand. The course is taught as an elective and attracts practitioners from a range of professional and cultural backgrounds, affinities, personalities and motivations for enrolling. The differences and diversity within the class cohort are utilised as a main asset of the course content and process. Students are invited to collaborate and co-create the course by utilising their unique abilities, sharing their experiences, knowledge, cultural insights and perspectives in order to develop transcultural approaches to social practice. The course focusses on an exploration of the concepts of transcultural social practice, multiplicities of cultural identities and development of cultural awareness and respectfulness within the bicultural context of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Tensions between Aotearoa/New Zealand’s commitment to biculturalism and students’ assumptions about multiculturalism are examined, presented and opened for discussion and dialogue within a framework that posits an exploration of the meaning of transcultural practice.
THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF DIVERSITY IN EDUCATION, 2014, 13 (3), pp. 79 - 89 (10)