20 SES 11, Innovative Research Methodology: Educational leadership, problem based learning and language acquisition in an academic, intercultural, inclusive perspective
As we encounter ever greater cultural diversity in todays societies, the analysis and assessment of intercultural competence becomes increasingly important to all professional realms. Individuals must now, more than ever, be able to learn and see ‘differently’ and not impose habitually employed preconceptions. This global condition makes it further necessary to re-address issues of communication, culture and competence, especially when it comes to assessing more subtle, unconscious biases. Thereby the vital role of perception has to be pointed out as pivotal: based on culturalized perception people make judgements and adapt communication and behaviour accordingly. In order to critically address and functionally understand, when and why people sometimes only ‘talk the talk’ and other times also ‘walk the talk’ in multicultural settings, new directions in communication are needed to understand the interface of biology, communication and culture. For this purpose we propose a novel, integrative and enactive framework: Intercultural Competence® (pronounce: intercultural competence ‘revisted’). We claim that effective and appropriate intercultural communication has to be informed by Intercultural Competence®, which is bound to actions, aiming at creating more caring, equal and just societies. Appropriate (intercultural) actions (that allow exercise of relevant sensorimotor contingencies) are then essential throughout life to stabilize this functional architecture in the respective circuits (see: Engel, 2010: 227). For intercultural individuals, we postulate that a functional, experiential integration of cultural differences and cultural others into the dynamic PACA- system (perceptive-affective-cognitive-action systems) is needed. Such a dynamic, functional integration should then indirectly be made visible in the perception of individuals. In our integrative and enactive, neuro-bio-cultural Intercultural Competence® framework (Breninger, 2017), we propose that if intercultural competence develops from ethnocentric, to ethnorelative to intercultural stages we should also be able to document such changes in perception, i.e. in the gaze protocols and the responses of subjects. Hence the hypothesis: If intercultural sensitivity develops from ethnocentric to ethnorelative to intercultural stages and this truly involves a developing degree of integration of cultural differences in the PACA-system, it should go hand in hand with a change in response styles as well as a change in perception. Furthermore in our Intercultural Competence® framework, the full integration of cultural experience and knowledge in the PACA-systems is hypothesized to lead to deep understanding and over time, through habitualization and neural interconnection, to wisdom. Moreover, considering the dynamic cooperation between brain networks which needs to be established for successful integration (Immordino-Yang, 2016; Immordino-Yang, Christodoulou, & Singh, 2012), we suspect the necessary co-development of various intersecting ‘competences’ (e.g. moral, creative, gender competence) with intercultural competence in the Intercultural Competence® framework. According to the Intercultural Competence® framework, only decisions by individuals, who have successfully managed to tailor their PACA system for multiculturalism will be able to act in interculturally sensitive, authentic and empowering ways from which profound societal change can result.
We introduce visual data from our combined pilot experiment for the visual leadership assessment, which we are currently developing: the Bias in Business Assessment (BIBA). Eyetracking protocols (implicit) alongside answers to open questions (explicit) are used to document the change in perception that people go through, when acquiring intercultural competence. We employed eyetracking technology to measure eye movements: saccades, fixations (duration and frequency), reading and scan paths as well as reaction time and gaze cascade effects. All eyetracking stimuli were designed to function with an SR Research, Eyelink 1000 desktop eyetracker (SR-Research, 2011b). Upon presentation of the eyetracking stimuli, participants were asked open questions and their answers were recorded with a Sony ICD-SX712 audio-recorder. The 34 valid subject data sets were encoded in a data matrix that allowed grouping subjects’ responses to the questions accompanying the display of visual stimuli. The eyetracking data (dwell time on AIs (in ms), cumulated dwell time (%), fixation count, presence and absence of saccades to and from AIs) were analysed with SR Research’s Data Viewer software (SR-Research, 2011a) and clustered according to: 1. saccades and scan paths; 2. fixations; 3. reading paths; 4. reaction time; 5. gaze cascade effects before being translated into excel. With these data, the eye movements of subjects for each stimulus were computed according to the three defined gaze types (EC=ethnocentric, ER=ethnorelative and IC=intercultural). These data were then copied into the data matrix that included the clustered data of participants’ response styles: 1. prejudices & stereotypes; 2. system justification motives; 3. outgroup favouritism, going native, passing and reversal motives; 4. familiarity preference decisions; 5. special intersecting competence: ethics/gender/creativity/class/race). In the data matrix every trial was labelled according to the given answer and the corresponding eye movements. Trials with missing eye movement data or missing responses were labelled ‘9=missing’. Thereafter a three-level data analysis was carried out which comprised the following steps: 1. A comparison of the separately analysed eyetracking and questionnaire responses yielding “FIT” and “NO FIT” results. 2. The “FIT” results were correlated with the respective intersectional responses 3. The “NO FIT” results were grouped according to how divergent the responses between questionnaire and eyetracking presented themselves: EC response and ER eyetracking was coded “cognitive development” ER response and EC eyetracking was coded as “cognitive rigidity” which was sub-grouped in line with the corresponding intersectional competence as either: social desirability, moral hypocrisy, ‘trained’ creativity.
By prototyping the eye gaze protocols as well as the answers provided by diverse leadership subjects (n=34) and analysing the visual results in tandem with the provided answers we successfully demonstrate the difference in the level of experiential integration of cultural difference and cultural others in subjects and were further able to document the three stages hypothesized in Intercultural Competence® (ethnocentric, ethnorelative, intercultural). The purpose of this presentation is to provide a theoretical framework for understanding how a certain degree of intercultural sensitivity inevitably informs competent decision making and action in multicultural environments. With our results we demonstrate that enthnorelativity is simply no longer good enough, but that individuals have to adapt to plurality and develop intercultural mindsets, intersecting with other co-developing competences, for effective leadership in a global world. It simply is no longer enough to create interculturality as a shared value on an abstract level. Individuals need to integrate intercultural competence into their own being (private and professional) as well as into their relationships with cultural others (familiar and unfamiliar) in various situative contexts. Only if individuals manage to fully integrated culture as a value on an individual level, actions informed by moral courage and wisdom are to follow.
Breninger, B. 2017. Tracking Intercultural Competence® in Perception – Documenting Intercultural Competence ® Explicitily and Implicitly for more Accurate Assessments. In W. Jia (Ed.), Intercultural Communication: Adapting to Emerging Global Realities. . CA: Cognella Academic Publishing. Engel, A. K. 2010. Directive minds: how dynamics shapes cognition. In J. Stewart, Gapenne, Olivier, Di Paolo, Ezequiel A. (Ed.), Enaction: Towards a New Paradigm for Cognitive Science: 219-243. Massachusetts: MIT Press. Immordino-Yang, M. H. 2016. Emotions, Learning, and the Brain: Exploring the Educational Implications of Affective Neuroscience New York: WW Norton & Company. Immordino-Yang, M. H., Christodoulou, J. A., & Singh, V. 2012. Rest is not idleness: Implications of the brain’s default mode for human development and education. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7(4): 352-364. SR-Research. 2011a. Data Viewer Version 1.11.1: SR Research. SR-Research. 2011b. Experiment Builder Version 1.10.165: SR Research
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