Nurturing intercultural intelligence

Cultural Identity and Intercultural Competence

Through the Centre for Inspiring Minds, ACS Doha International School, in Qatar, has initiated work on a new practitioner-led action research project to investigate how building a working understanding of the academic language and concepts associated with cultural identity and intercultural empathy can enhance 15-year-olds skills and dispositions for exploring individual identity and intercultural empathy, and their role in nurturing respectful intercultural relationships.

In order to contribute to the study design, the purpose of this literature review is to:

  • Define cultural identity and intercultural competence in the context of secondary education
  • Identify relevant frameworks or models for addressing cultural identity and intercultural competence in secondary schools
  • Describe interventions that have been used in secondary schools1
  • Identify methods for assessing students’ understanding and abilities associated with cultural identity, and intercultural competence and empathy
  • List key resources for ongoing self-study

This literature review has been prepared by Vanessa Christoph, with contributions from Bruno della Chiesa, Georgette Small, Ben Hren and Latifa Hassanali.

Vanessa Christoph is a German Educational Sociologist and Independent Consultant, and an Associate Researcher with Research Schools International, a project of Harvard Graduate School of Education faculty members. Having grown up in Southern Africa and having lived and worked in several countries, she has had to learn new languages and to adapt to diverse cultural contexts more than once. This experience has led her to develop her particular research interests in non-native language learning, the development of global awareness and intercultural competences, as well as the education of migrants and their integration into host societies.