Course Title: Cultural Diversity in Training

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Cultural Diversity in Training

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


360H Education


Sem 2 2006

Course Coordinator: Dr Peter Rushbrook

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7854

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 220.03.09

Course Coordinator Availability: Please email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Emphasis in this course is placed on examining key issues in cultural diversity as they apply to training settings and the diverse factors affecting provision of culturally inclusive training delivery, assessment and materials development. Learners will be assisted to critically examine approaches used to accommodate learners’ diverse needs in adult learning environments.

Globalisation has given rise to the challenges of work in cross-cultural and multi-lingual contexts and created urgent demands for new forms of skill development amongst education and training professionals. The role of organisations in developing and supporting staff working in cross-cultural contexts forms a key topic within the program.

Emerging issues including the internationalisation of education and training will also be explored. The course will also focus on the multidisciplinary foundations of cross-cultural communication and training, which have given rise to diverse models of delivery.

Classes are based on a participative model of adult learning and will utilise a range of approaches including simulations, discussion and structured exercises. Case studies of education in a range of cultural contexts will also be used.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Please refer to Learning Outscomes

On successfully completing this course, students will be expected to be able to:

• recognise the potential value of development of qualities such as tolerance of ambiguity, ethnorelativism, and cognitive and behavioural flexibility
• critically evaluate training and development policies and programs in the context of an increasingly globalised world
• identify cultural bias in learning materials
• plan education and training delivery that is culturally inclusive
• customise learning materials to meet the needs of culturally diverse groups
• identify barriers to learning among trainees and strategies to overcome them
• develop effective approaches to cross cultural training and learning

Overview of Learning Activities

Participants will have the opportunity to apply course content to their own life through both classroom participation and individual study. The course encourages personal application, insight and reflection. We will approach the topic of diversity from a ’culture-general’ perspective. One of the foundational views of culture-general learning is that we need to understand ourselves and our own ’cultures’ before we can attempt to understand those of others. Thus the course moves through three core themes:
• Culture-general learning (what is diversity all about; what is culture; how are people different).
• Theories of cultural difference and intercultural communication.
• Applying the previous themes to the world of work (specifically training and development).
The course assumes that ‘education’ is a core concern for all participants. However, the course will present a broad view of what ’education’ means: this will be different for individual participants. Some of you may be interested in education in the form of VET teaching. For others, education might be about the work place (e.g. training, development, organisational development) and for others relevance may be found in education for life-long learning. Thus diversity is implicit in the program in many ways; and the readings, discussions and experiences we will have will apply to ’managing diversity’ in a range of different settings.

Learning opportunities will be maximised through participant preparation as guided by the facilitator (for example, the completion of weekly readings and tasks), and participation in activities and guided discussion. Options for individual study will include reading and reflection.

Overview of Learning Resources

Some readings will be provided in print and electronic format. Participants will also be required to access resources from libraries and the Internet. A suggested reading list is provided please refer to Part B references.

Overview of Assessment

Refer to the Part B course guidefor assessment details