A Cross-Cultural Initiative in University Second Year Accounting
13 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2014
Date Written: September 29, 2014
A cross-cultural initiative was undertaken in a second year accounting course, in order to help students understand more about NZ biculturalism, and matters which are important to Maori communities.
The mechanism was to deliver to a second year accounting class of financial reporting (ACCY 231) at Victoria University in Wellington in both Trimester one and two 2013 what were called ‘cultural snapshots’ into lecture time. These were continued in Trimester 1 2014. These were a mid-lecture, and each took about three or four minutes. Dr. Noor Houqe (the other lecturer in ACCY 231) and I were quite enthusiastic about this and both participated. We had hoped that the students would find the break in the lecture, diverting their attention to other ways of thinking, and how beliefs and values temper our behaviours would also increase their engagement. A sample of fourteen of these snapshots are provided; the narrative to each slide is built up slowly to make the point. In an anonymous survey after each trimester teaching, students were asked: Did you find the cultural snapshots helped you gain an appreciation of cultural values other than your own ethnicity? 55% said yes, 15% maybe, 13% ‘not really’, and 17% ‘no’. Some typical answers are provided in this report.
As we strive to engage the interest of students in large lecture halls, it is a challenge to a teacher to ask them to think about how meanings are constructed and built in our histories and beliefs. Some students are clearly open to such initiatives, others might not be so open. Cultural sensitivity may be learned, in part, and students have a greater or lesser innate capacity to develop what is now termed cultural intelligence (CQ). It is important to inspire and encourage the best students; they will benefit from such interventions in any variety of media as chosen by their teachers.
Keywords: CQ interventions, bicultural education
JEL Classification: I20, M40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation