Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools - Culture Matters

Enduring Understandings About Culture

  • Everyone has a culture. It shapes how we see ourselves, others, and the world.

  • Culture is like an iceberg. Some aspects are observable; others are beneath the surface. The invisible aspects influence the visible ones. To understand culture you need to "go beneath the surface."

  • Understanding someone from another culture can sometimes be hard because people see the world, themselves, and others in fundamentally different ways. No matter what their culture, including our own, people behave as they do because of the things they believe in and value. Beliefs and values vary from culture to culture.

  • It's easy to misunderstand things people do in a cross cultural setting. To keep from misunderstanding the behavior of others from another culture, you have to interpret from their point of view, not yours.

  • Despite our differences, there are cultural universals that unite us in a common humanity.

  • Crossing cultures isn't easy. It's a complex process where context is everything. The ability to cross cultures respectfully can bring greater harmony and understanding into your school, community, and world.

  • As our country and our world become more diverse and interconnected, the ability to understand, live, and work with people from other cultures is a 21st century survival skill.

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