Date(s) - Monday June 5
8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Smith Hall, Room 104A

Koehler Center OutcomesThis workshop will build upon concepts of Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity. Participants are asked to bring a syllabus from a course in which they would like to infuse a stronger intercultural component.

Topics in this workshop will include:

  1. Smith’s 7 Characteristics of Critical Thinkers. Research clearly shows that an ability to think critically is foundational to intercultural effectiveness. As such, critical thinking serves as the foundation for this workshop. Smith’s approach is chosen because he does not just define what critical thinking IS, he demonstrates what critical thinkers can DO, and shows that less critical thinkers are less effective at doing.
  2. Tolerance for Ambiguity. Previous research demonstrates the relationship between critical thinking and tolerance for ambiguity (e.g., Osborne, Kriese & Davis, 2014). So, an important element of this workshop is to introduce the concept of Tolerance for Ambiguity to participants. We will take McClain’s MSTAT-I measure of TFA and discuss how that might relate to the manner in which we construct our classrooms, and the manner in which we respond to students who are different from us.
  3. Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity. The entire workshop builds up to this conversation. As introduced during the keynote, Bennett’s model is foundational to our efforts to develop our own intercultural sensitivity (which is a precursor to intercultural effectiveness), and to create opportunities for such development (growth along the continuum) in our students.

Intercultural Sensitivity Discussion Forum

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About the Speaker

Randall Osborne

Randall Osborne

Dr. Randall E. Osborne is Professor of Psychology at Texas State University.

Dr. Osborne received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin in 1990.  He successfully defended his dissertation in the Fall of 1989 while serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Luther College in Decorah Iowa.  After serving two years as an Assistant Professor at Phillips University, Dr. Osborne joined the faculty at Indiana University East in 1992 and was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in 1997.  In 2005 Dr. Osborne was promoted to Full Professor at Texas State.  Randall’s background is in Social Psychology but his teaching interests range from introductory psychology, forensic psychology, sport psychology and cross-cultural psychology.

For almost three years, Dr. Osborne served as chair of the Behavioral and Social Science Division at Indiana University East and the psychology department at Texas State from Fall 2001 to Fall 2005.  His colleagues describe him as endlessly enthusiastic.  He himself lives by the motto, “take your job seriously and yourself lightly.”

Dr. Osborne has published more than 50 teaching and research articles in scholarly journals, teaching journals, and applied journals.  In addition, his more than 30 books include textbooks, resource manuals for faculty, study guides for students, a humor book about nerds and self-esteem, two co-edited books on Global Security and Social Justice and two fantasy adventure novels.  Randall has served as Regional Coordinator for the Midwestern Region and then President of the National Council of Teachers of Undergraduate Psychology, served two terms as Southwestern Regional Vice-President of Psi Chi – The International Honor Society in Psychology (from 2008-2012), has been a Psi Chi advisor for over 20 years and helped establish the Psi Chi chapters at Luther College and Indiana University East.

Over most of his career, he has emphasized the importance of connecting scholarship and teaching in such a way that teachers prioritize assessing if students are learning what we believe they are learning as a regular element of how we construct our courses.  Additionally, his emphasis on intercultural sensitivity promotes an atmosphere of course design that infuses progress on Bennett’s Model of Intercultural Sensitivity as a primary goal for how we teach, what we teach, the assignments we develop and the assessments methods we use.  The belief is simple, in a pluralistic world, educators should be concerned not just with content but with the degree to which students can or cannot interact effectively with others who are different from them (all manner of differences from economic, religious, racial, sexual orientation, generational, etc.). In other words, he believes that fostering progress along the continuum of intercultural sensitivity (moving students from the more “ethnocentric” levels of Denial, Defense and Minimization to the more “ethnorelative” levels of Acceptance, Adaptation and Integration) should be a goal of all courses and degree programs at the university and that ALL courses can be infused with such an emphasis.