Course Title: Inter-Cultural Practices

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Inter-Cultural Practices

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2016


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 1 2017


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Yaso Nadarajah

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3542

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course is primarily concerned with challenging narrow disciplinary thinking about the role of various forms of knowledges and culture in contemporary planning and international development practice. It aims to nurture the practices of deep reflexivity and critical thinking as modes of inquiry and forms of meaning making; provoke dialogue and facilitate community engagement. The course focuses on ways of knowing which seek to construct more humane and culturally and ecologically respectful planning and development practices. It will provide practical insight and skills in recognizing, analysing, and resolving questions and perspectives in cultural practices other than one’s own. 

This course explores meanings and affects produced by relations between ways of knowing, cultural processes, people and places. It draws insights from deep ecology, eco-revelatory design, landscape urbanism, political ecology, urban metabolism, environmental justice, and diverse ontologies on human/non-human relationships. The course will focus on fieldwork and professional practice but it will encourage students to critically examine a wide range of readings, case studies, and visual material to think more broadly about how culture is constantly created and communicated. However, all the teaching materials are designed to be conversation starters that will encourage students to think more deeply about themselves and the world around them, whether that be in Australia or elsewhere in the world.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course will assist you in developing your critical thinking and ability to understand and examine public and academic discourse. It will also help you develop your own cultural awareness and ability to reflect on your own experience with different aspects of inter-cultural practice.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Reflect critically and analyse key discourses about different cultural ways of knowing with their associated values and beliefs
  2. Appreciate the critical need to engage in multiple epistemologies, particularly given the contemporary complex effects of   economic, cultural and political dimensions of identity and place
  3. Compare and contrast the ways in which theory, reflection and action can combine to form coalitions that can lead to promising possibilities for analysis and action
  4. Employ reflexivity as a valuable methodological tool to recognise, negotiate and communicate within the micropolitics of context, subjectivity, and struggle, as well as the macropolitics of global economic and political systems and processes
  5. Have reflexive skills to facilitate across different cultural perspectives and voices in planning and development practices

Overview of Learning Activities

This course can be completed either Face to Face or Online Modes.

Primary learning activities for the Intensive Mode (Face-to-Face) include intensive mode workshops.  A participatory approach is used in these workshops to examine, host and harvest key ideas, concepts, practices and considerations.  Workshop activities will include guest lectures, analysis of visual materials, discussion of case studies; collective mind maps (graphic representations of information and priorities); and presentations (issues of concern and case study analyses).

Primary learning activities for the On-Line Mode include fortnightly questions and case scenarios to examine and discuss key ideas and concepts. It is expected that students will work in groups, on specific cases studies. Key questions will be posted fortnightly to enable students to work on targeted issues and questions arising from key readings, lectures, case studies and discussions.

A supplementary set of questions will be posted on myRMIT in advance for some readings, but in general, students will always need to consider: 
• What are the main points being made?
• How are the concepts put to work and applied?
• How are the arguments made and what evidence is used?
• How is this related to your professional culture and practice?

Overview of Learning Resources

MyRMIT is available for students to access all course materials, for discussions, for group discussions, for submission of assignments and also other information related to the Course.  Guest lectures, presentation handouts will also be recorded and made available on MyRMIT. RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

A Study Guide, providing an overview to key concepts, definitions, including a list of key Culture in Practice related institutions, websites and other resource listings will also be provided.
The University Library has extensive resources for [discipline] students. The Library has produced a number of subject guides that includes quality online and print resources for your studies [discipline - link] Library Guides.
The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarians.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes.

The following assessment tasks will be used:
1) Short essay - 30% of final mark, CLOs 1 and 2
2) Reflexive Post - 10% of final mark, CLO 1, 3 and 5
3) Tutorial discussion, 10% of final mark, CLO3 and 5
4) Major essay - 50% of final mark, CLO 2, 3 and 4

The assessment tasks in this course work together to provide students with integrated opportunities for applied, reflexive-based study and learning within realities of changing local and global environments and challenges.
All assessment tasks must be completed in order to pass the subject. Students will be assessed on how well they meet the course’s learning outcomes and their development against the graduate capabilities.