Information for Preservice and In-Service Teachers


The Journey Towards Cultural Awareness

Learning to teach is an exciting and rewarding journey that includes both the preparation of oneself and the preparation of the people you teach to live and work within a multicultural and interconnected world. It is a lifelong endeavor.

Twenty-first Century Teachers

We can be sure of two things that will strongly affect teaching. First, teachers do and will continue to work within classrooms where many of the students are culturally and/or ethnically different. Second, these students need to be prepared for life, employment, and citizenship within an increasingly culturally diverse and globally-interconnected society. Thus, twenty-first century teaching demands that teachers at all levels must be attentive to issues of culture across the continuum of professional work.

Dimensions of Cultural and Global Awareness

Becoming culturally and globally aware requires that teachers gain knowledge, perspectives, and skills across three dimensions:

  • Dimension 1—Understanding of Cultural and Global Contexts
    Knowledge of the plurality of cultural practices and perspectives present within human societies, and engagement with global issues.
  • Dimension 2—Integration of Global and Cultural Perspectives in the Curriculum
    Commitment to providing educational experiences that integrate cultural and global perspectives into the curriculum as an avenue to support students’ global and cultural knowledge.
  • Dimension 3—Responsive to the Influence of Culture on Teaching and Learning
    Cognizance of one’s self as cultural, as well as an understanding that others may hold different cultural perspectives, and attention to the ways cultural identity impacts teaching and learning.

Individual Journeys

Each of us is at a different point in our journey to becoming culturally and globally aware. On our journeys, it is important to reflect on where we are and make plans for how we can move forward to gain the knowledge, perspectives, and skills necessary to become an effective teacher for all students.

Using the myCAP© Suite of Resources

The myCAP© Suite of Resources is designed to assist in building cultural and global knowledge and awareness. It was created to help teachers at all levels discover ways to integrate culturally-appropriate perspectives into teaching.

Reflecting on Responses

The myCAP© Instrument is designed to assess current levels of awareness. It should be used in conjunction with the myCAP© Self-Reflection and Discussion Tool and the myCAP© Cultural Learning Action Plan.

After taking the myCAP© Instrument assessments, a preservice or in-service teacher should discuss his or her responses with an instructor or mentor. In addition, the myCAP© Self-Reflection and Discussion Tool should be used frequently for reflection and further discussion. As the individual learns more about their current knowledge, perspectives, and skills, he or she will consider how they can continue to engage in cultural learning and prepare himself or herself for teaching in a diverse and globally interconnected classroom.

The myCAP© Cultural Learning Action Plan should be used to develop a concrete (and manageable) plan of action to continue to build awareness of the impact of cultural and global issues in the classroom. The myCAP© Instrument can be taken up to four times per individual license and should be used periodically to assess changes in cultural awareness. Ongoing discussion with an instructor or mentor (and with peers) should provide guidance towards increased levels of awareness about the ways in which cultural and global issues can impact the learning of students in classrooms today.