Monday, August 3, 2015

A to Z: Cultural Perspectives in Education

Vaughan M. Blaney
BSc(UNB,Canada), BEd(UNB,Canada), TEFLA(University of Cambridge), MEd(HKU, Hong Kong)

Book: "A to Z: Cultural Perspectives in Education"

The Letter 'W'...

Welcome, bow, namaste, smile, nod
Kiss on the cheek, noses together, mano po
Pat on the head, annyong ha shimnikka
All of these to say hello

With all our differences, all can still agree that we:
  • wish for joy in the world
  • love to wake-up to a golden sunrise
  • know right from wrong
  • work to the best of our abilities in class
  • believe our teacher is wise
  • like to win in games
  • brush our teeth to keep them white
  • wear our very best on special occasions
  • try to never waste our food
  • know how to print the letter W

From the very beginning of anthropology as an academic discipline, debates about the meaning of culture have united and divided anthropologists. Of late, the tone of this debate has become especially strident, separating the good from the bad, the enlightened from the ignorant. In its earlier usage culture was defined by most anthropologists as a shared set of beliefs, customs, and ideas that held people together in coherent groups. In recent decades, however, the notion of coherence has come under attack by ethnosemanticists, who have discovered that people in supposedly close-knit groups (bands of hunters, factory workers, bureaucrats) do not share a single system of knowledge. Culture, therefore is not something that people inherit as an undifferentiated bloc of knowledge from their ancestors. Culture is a set of ideas, reactions, and expectations that is constantly changing as people and groups themselves change.

Watson, James

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