Capitalizing on Diversity in Counselor Education: An Application of the Interaction for Learning Framework
Chun, J., Connor, A., Alsaman, M., Urkmez, B., & Kosciulek, J. F. (2020). Capitalizing on diversity in counselor education: An application of the interaction for learning framework. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 48(3), 161-175.
This article presents a systematic, pedagogical approach to infusing multicultural interaction across curricula using the interaction for learning framework (ILF; Arkoudis et al., 2013) as a tool for exploring bias and, ultimately, promoting multicultural competence in counselor education programs. The authors provide educators with a description of the course curricula, instructional methods, student learning outcomes, and challenges from application of the ILF in a master’s-level assessment course in rehabilitation counseling. Although this article is oriented toward counselor educators, faculty across disciplines will benefit from enhancing multicultural interaction. Key takeaways for college-level educators across discipline include:
- Multicultural learning environments enhance cross-cultural exchanges that may help reduce cultural encapsulation and bias among students and educators (Lau & Ng, 2012).
- Diversity in the classroom is necessary but insufficient in the promotion of multicultural interaction; intentional course design is essential.
- Course design to enhance multicultural interaction can be guided by the six dimensions
of the ILF (Arkoudis et al., 2013):
- Plan Interaction: Design relevant teaching and learning tasks and peer activities that require interaction.
- Create Environments for Interaction: Develop students’ confidence in interacting with other students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and provide opportunities for students to move out of their cultural comfort zones.
- Support interaction: Highlight benefits and develop guidelines for respectful interaction. Set up comfort zones. Take time to develop skills necessary for interaction.
- Engage with Subject Knowledge: Draw on different skills, learning strategies, and cultural experiences to co-construct subject knowledge (e.g, problem-based learning, case studies, data-informed critical thinking).
- Develop Reflexive Processes: Promote higher levels of interaction and cognitive engagement through peer feedback and assessment to enhance students’ critical thinking and reflection on their learning through multicultural interaction.
- Foster Communities of Learners: Use diversity as a resource for independent learning outside of the classroom.