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Theory Information

While this is not one specific theory, there are many models that take into account the questions that we use to inform our work in program design. These questions include:

  • How do we sequence the activities to be from lower risk (to have participants be comfortable and feel safe) to higher risk (to challenge participants to gain the most possible from a program)? (Paige 1993)
  • Are we able to incorporate a cycle of learning that includes concrete personal experience, reflection, connection to theories and models, and a chance to try out new skills and apply knowledge? (Kolb and Kolb 2005)
  • Do we utilize a variety of debriefing and reflection questions to encourage learning culture-specific and culture-general information, as well as questions that demonstrate life-long learning? (Kappler, Cohen, Paige 2008)

Evaluations of events, workshops, and classes should be reviewed in light of these models. For example, if students are stating that the program is not worthwhile, is it because the topic is not necessary or because the approach is not meeting the participants' learning styles? Training programs should take into account various learning styles and differing levels of prior experience and knowledge.

Programs that are "connected" to Intercultural Training theories meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Sequence activities from lower to higher risk.
  • Incorporate a cycle of learning that includes connecting with personal experience; reflection time; connection to theory and frameworks; and experimenting and applying new ideas.
  • Include debriefing questions that help participants focus on learning how to learn.
Reflections R. Michael Paige
  • Written (60kb Adobe PDF)

  • Part 1 - Video thumbnail. Click to play.
    Click to play

  • Part 2 - Video thumbnail. Click to play.
    Click to play
Applications David L. Di Maria
  • Intensity Factors - International scholars come to the U.S. to conduct research and face difficult interactions with the resident assistant in their campus housing. Case study (40kb Adobe PDF)