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I love this Ted talk about how as humans we are 'soft wired to belong' and how empathy is the key to creating a world of peace. Jeremy Rifkin presents an argument for humans to extend our empathy to encompass all family, social, national and racial groupings. What aspects of his argument resonate with you the most? How do we teach this kind of empathy to kids? 

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Do you want to raise your students´ awareness about the complexity of communication and make it a topic in your classroom? Friedemann Schulz von Thun´s model is a simple and easy-to-understand concept about the complexity of communication. The model states that every message has four levels on which the receiver can perceive the senders message: factual information, appeal, relationship or self-revelation ear. 
An example. The sender says: "The traffic light is red." The receiver could here:
1. Factual info: "the light is red." 
2. Appeal: "stop, pay attention."
3. Relationship: "You are not concentrating. I am not sure I want you to drive."
4. Self-Revelation: "I am an active passenger and helpful."
For more information click on: http://cnas.euba.sk/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Reading-29_10_2014.pdf
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Zaretta Hammond's book explores the relationship between culture and cognition.

Neuroscience can helping us understand the role of culture in learning. Hammond explains that it is like software that programs our "hardware" (the brain). Cultural values and learning practices transmitted from our parents and community guide how the brain wires itself to process information and handle relationships. Neural pathways are over-developed around one's cultural ways of learning.

Culturally responsive teachers know this and piggyback on these well-developed neural pathways with similar types of instruction. Tapping into these neural pathways can help students accelerate their own learning.
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Depending on where you are, a thumbs up could just be a sign of approval. But in some countries, this is meant as an offense.

Have you considered how your inadvertent hand gestures could be impacting your students?

Photo credit: Daniel Castro
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In an increasingly diverse classroom, it is important to teach students how to have a respectful and open conversation with each other. The following article lists eight useful tips on how you can help your students to become successful conversation-makers. Post your ideas or share what you have implemented in your classroom to maintain open and respectful communication amongst peers. 

Share Your Stories provides you with the opportunity to engage, share and reflect on teaching practices in the areas of culture and communication. 
Read the stories provided and use them as a reflection tool. Ask yourself: How does this apply to my teaching practice? What would I do in a certain situation? Comment on the stories and provide positive feedback to your colleagues!
Create a new entry to share your very own story with us! As teachers, we all have a story to tell and we would like to hear yours!

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Are you looking for a short but powerful resource to help explain the diversity of our world's population? Here it is. This video is especially suited to primary school aged students.

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Hear what two students have to say about integrating into the Australian education system.

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Are you looking for a short but powerful resource to help explain the diversity of our world's population? Here it is. especially suited to primary school aged students.

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Cross-Cultural Communication: How Culture Affects Communication.
It is interesting that some of the quirks of language and culture can influence how we communicate with each other. Sometimes what is normal in one culture, could seem offensive in another.
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