Intercultural Competence and Pedagogical Tact: Teachers’ Narratives of Handling Cultural Diversity

July 26, 2010

12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Neville Scarfe Building, Room 209

A presentation by Dr. Neda Forghani-Arani, Research Associate and Lecturer, Education and Human Development Department, University of Vienna, Austria.

Cultural change has emerged as an important issue due to increased international migration. As a direct result, cross-cultural competence has become an indispensable element in the repertoire of pedagogic competencies of teachers. Whereas the study of intercultural or cross-cultural competence has been mainly oriented toward behavioral skills, traits, attitudes and culture specific knowledge, Dr. Forghani-Arani will attempt to re-define the concept of pedagogical intercultural competence by drawing German pedagogy, namely the theoretical construct of pedagogical tact as introduced and elaborated by J.F. Herbart in the early 1800s. Drawing on data from work studying the lived experience of teachers in Austrian public schools, she take a closer look at the phenomenon of cultural otherness and foreignness as it is lived and experienced by teachers in their daily interactions with migrant children and their parents.

By extending the construct of tact to take account of pedagogical situations which take place in an intercultural context, and by introducing the construct of tact into the recent discourse on intercultural competence, she hopes to investigate a new and so far unexplored dimension of culture and change in education.

Co-sponsored by: Centre for Culture, Identity and Education, Centre for the Study of Teacher Education (CSTE)