Identity text: an educational intervention to foster cultural interaction

Zareen Zaidi*, Danielle Verstegen, Rahat Naqvi, Tim Dornan, Page Morahan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Sociocultural theories state that learning results from people participating in contexts where social interaction is facilitated. There is a need to create such facilitated pedagogical spaces where participants can share their ways of knowing and doing. The aim of this exploratory study was to introduce pedagogical space for sociocultural interaction using 'Identity Text'. Methods: Identity Texts are sociocultural artifacts produced by participants, which can be written, spoken, visual, musical, or multimodal. In 2013, participants of an international medical education fellowship program were asked to create their own Identity Texts to promote discussion about participants' cultural backgrounds. Thematic analysis was used to make the analysis relevant to studying the pedagogical utility of the intervention. Result: The Identity Text intervention created two spaces: a 'reflective space', which helped participants reflect on sensitive topics such as institutional environments, roles in interdisciplinary teams, and gender discrimination, and a 'narrative space', which allowed participants to tell powerful stories that provided cultural insights and challenged cultural hegemony; they described the conscious and subconscious transformation in identity that evolved secondary to struggles with local power dynamics and social demands involving the impact of family, peers, and country of origin. Conclusion: While the impact of providing pedagogical space using Identity Text on cognitive engagement and enhanced learning requires further research, the findings of this study suggest that it is a useful pedagogical strategy to support cross-cultural education.
Original languageEnglish
Article number33135
JournalMedical Education Online
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • educational cultural hegemony
  • pedagogical space
  • cross-cultural education
  • sociocultural theory
  • discourse analysis

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