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Title: Developing students' intercultural sensitivity : a technical action research study at an international business school in the Netherlands. (also known as 'the Shoe Sole Project')
Author: van Melle, Jonathan
ISNI:       0000 0004 9347 6074
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2020
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This practitioner research is focused on developing students’ intercultural sensitivity with the aim to develop their potential to demonstrate intercultural competence. There has been an increasing call for Higher Education Institutes to develop students’ intercultural sensitivity and competence to prepare them as professionals and as citizens for the requirements of a globalizing world. Intercultural sensitivity and competence development do not occur automatically. Learning interventions are required for development in this. In this Technical Action Research project an intercultural learning intervention was designed in which the Creative Action Methodology pedagogy was used as a heuristic tool. This intervention bridged the discrepancy between nature, the functioning of our brain to solve problems, and nurture, the impact of the culture of the truth in Dutch education. It was tested whether this intervention would contribute to developing students’ intercultural sensitivity at an international business school in the Netherlands. This study aims to contribute to the body of knowledge on intercultural sensitivity development and to help fulfil the need for pedagogical developments to support schools’ internationalisation at home practices. This study also aims to contribute to the knowledge about the Creative Action Methodology pedagogy as a theoretical explanation of intercultural sensitivity. In the intervention a group of twenty-two first-year students with the Dutch nationality only and who were born and raised in the Netherlands, participated. A sequential explanatory design was setup and a mixed-methods approach, using the Intercultural Development Inventory and semi-structured interviews, served to collect data. Based on the data analysis it appears that breaking away from the culture of the truth forms an explanation with a fundamental scientific understanding of intercultural sensitivity development. This fundamental understanding, ‘Verstehen’, clarifies why, on average, participants’ intercultural sensitivity had developed during this Technical Action Research: Participants’ intercultural sensitivity developed as the emancipatory process was set in motion among participants to break away from the culture of the truth. This created in general a more open mind-set among participants to handle multiple perspectives. The change in the group’s Developmental Orientation shows that, as a group, participants no longer consider their worldview as being central to reality or that other worldviews are threatening to their own worldview.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral