Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity: Enhancing Oneself to Become a Better Teacher

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In today’s fast paced society and with the world integrating many different ethnic groups it is important to understand the way others think, feel, and act. As a teacher the importance of this is even greater, students are the future and they need to be equipped with the ability to interact and communicate effectively with those of different ethnic backgrounds. One of the ways in which educators can prepare themselves and their students is by understanding where they are on an intercultural awareness level and how they can progress on those levels. The Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) is one of the ways in which one may categorize his or herself on the different levels of intercultural competence.
Dr. Milton Bennet
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The final stage of integration is where one is finally able to become bicultural and accept many cultures as being part of who he or she is. (Munoz, 2009)
In order to discover where one is on the DMIS, one has to be honest and understand that it is alright to be on any level as long as one is working towards integration. The denial stage is the more critically negative stages as it really hits on the stereotypes and the ignorance one has. One can recognize his or herself or others who are at this stage by the diction they use in referring to those of other cultures. For example children who have this viewpoint are normally only aware that it is the only viewpoint and are not able to comprehend that there are many different viewpoints in the world. (Cushner, 2009) Another example of this is when someone makes a stereotypical remark about a different race or culture, this could be anything from, ‘Well, that person is from the south so they must be redneck hicks,’ to ‘All Hispanics are Mexican.’ This is detrimental to everyone because others may become easily offended, provoked, or may remain ignorant to the flaws of this way of thinking of cultures. The defense stage is marked by trying to defend one’s own culture and position. This is exemplified in the way certain gangs or cults are formed and the way

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