Never before have we lived in such a connected world. At our fingertips are opportunities to search regions of the globe and get information from the eyes of people who belong to another culture and analyze their take on a topic or event. Too often, we do not consider this opportunity when we do research; however, this exact consideration can greatly enhance and broaden a research topic.
I have seen students researching hunting find issues related to big game hunting (and big business for African community’s economies) and the impact it has had upon indigenous Bushmen. I have seen students researching homework find out that in Finland there is a unique view on homework and have the ability to compare it to Asian searches for the keyword homework and see that the view on homework is greatly different.
When students look for cultural viewpoints, the following considerations are important:
- Have multiple regions been searched?
- Is the information printed from someone who is a resident of the country being researched or are they reporting out from another country?
- Is the researcher using current information?
- Is the information valid and and trustworthy?
I have designed a Cultural Viewpoints rubric to use with students when requiring that they seek resources from outside of our own culture. I hope that your students find that this skill really enhances their research, too!