About the course
The Introduction to Multiculturalism course deals with complicated issues in our lives such as identity, culture, prejudice, and stereotyping, and connections between groups in the global world. The course uses: experiential learning through virtual worlds to help participants step into the shoes of others; interactive videos to illustrate theoretical issues related to the course content; collaboration in small group student discussions, simulations; and more. Fifteen lecturers from nine colleges and diverse groups in Israeli society came together to develop the course: Muslims, Christians and Jews; observant and secular. The lecturers discuss difficult issues in multiculturalism, sharing their knowledge and experience, in developing a richly varied course.
All the theoretical issues are presented by means of interactive videos that show the issues in a friendly and experiential way. The course doesn’t just “talk about” multiculturalism but “does”, by entering virtual worlds that illustrate experiences and encounters between different groups in places such as airports, clubs, hotels and more. Furthermore, the teachers among you will receive practical suggestions about ways of dealing with cultural diversity in the classroom. The course will be in English, and is aimed at anyone who wants: an in-depth understanding/grasp of what the multicultural approach is; to reflect on and explore approaches to multiculturalism in society; to learn to develop multicultural sensitivity and awareness, both as a member of human society and as a teacher and educator.
Course Enrollment Details
This includes –
- An avatar to join the activities and simulations in the virtual world
- Working in a small group of 6 students on your own virtual island
- A grade for the course (including the escape room)
- A certificate on successful completion of the course
Introduction to Multiculturalism and Cultural Diversity
This course will be different from any you have taken until now, both pedagogically and technologically! The assignments and activities on the course take place in a unique virtual world. Until now the emphasis in courses on multiculturalism has been to introduce the student to the other by means of films, stories and articles and not through getting to know the other personally, and even to step into his/her shoes. However, in this course, in order to get to know the other and be exposed to different cultures, we will approach multiculturalism from a number of angles; we will enter a virtual space where you will meet people and get to know something of their worlds.
During the course you will work collaboratively with six other students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Each group will receive a virtual island and will build knowledge together. You will take on tasks that include simulations and role play. Each study unit will broaden perspectives on the topics through academic literature, and we will discuss the implications for education and classroom practice. During the units you will be asked to reflect and share with your group your experiences.
What You Will Learn
- You will deal with personal and group identity and the connection between our identities and the surrounding society.
- You will examine whether multiculturalism is an existing fact, or a value in society, and you will learn about the many benefits of it.
- You will discuss, in depth, dilemmas of multiculturalism in the global world, and get to know different perspectives on those issues.
- You will study empathy and how one can foster empathy between groups.
- You will consider multiculturalism in classrooms, the tendency to divide into categories in general and among students in particular, and ways to deal with it.
- You will discuss perspectives on language, the mother tongue and the connection between language and culture.
- Finally, you will examine how the issues we have looked at are expressed in society.
The Introduction to Multiculturalism course is a 14 week course which deals with complicated issues in our lives such as identity, culture, prejudice, and stereotyping, and connections between groups in the global world.
The course includes 7 units:
Unit 1 – Personal and Collective Identity
Personal and group identity and the connection between our identities and the surrounding society.
Unit 2 – Multiculturalism as a value or as a fact
Multiculturalism as an existing fact, or a value in society.
Unit 3 – Multiculturalism in the Global World
Dilemmas of multiculturalism in the global world, and different perspectives on these issues.
Unit 4 – What is empathy?
Empathy and how one can foster empathy between groups
Unit 5 – The class as a microcosm of our society
Multiculturalism in classrooms and ways to deal with it.
Unit 6 – Language and Culture
Perspectives on language, the mother tongue and the connection between language and culture.
Unit 7 – Multiculturalism around the world today
Intercultural education today and in the future.
The Escape Room Challenge
The course concludes with an escape room experience in our virtual world where the topics of the course are revised.