Valuing Cultural Identity for Successful Teaching and Learning: Applying Culturometric Committed Communication Humanist Principles in Educational Contexts

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Summary

The scientific literature is replete with caustic criticism of teacher development programs. Many programs offer little evidence of success, which in turn has prompted educators towards an international appeal calling for fundamental structural change. A momentous catalyst for this change is the ubiquitous emergence of research on the development of teachers' professional identities. This article speaks to these criticisms through the research on teachers’ professional identity development by using an evidenced-based model which structures teacher professional identity development and applying it to the restructuring of existing teacher development programmes. This article presents the Culturometric Committed Communication (CCC) model as a structural framework for teacher identity development that can be used to systematize the revision of the contents of existing pre-service and in-service professional development programs for the purpose of developing teachers’ professional identities. CCC endorses a dual mission of respectfully regarding teachers’ professional identity and dutifully affirming learners’ cultural identity. This is an intentionally humanistic culturometric application centred on the recognition and valuing of each individual, teacher and learner, for facilitating the success of the pedagogic interaction. CCC is an evidenced-based model that supports the educational mission of teachers, both in adapting pedagogical practices to the learning context and in developing teacher’s professional identity through structurally embedded and empirically evidenced processes of reflection, collaboration and culturally responsive classroom management. Thus the success of these processes is evidenced through the programme. Functionally, its central focus is on (re)negotiating current programme content towards context-relevant cultural identity. Philosophically it is anchored in Culturometrics’ three tenets, viz: an operational definition of Cultural Identity as ‘Values in context’, an assumption that the purpose of all chosen behaviours is to affirm one’s cultural identity and the belief that Culturometrics is a Humanist philosophy. The Culturometric Committed Communication model is derived from these three tenets and used to ensure success in teaching and learning in different educational contexts.

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