RS IDEALS Challenge – A Spirit of Internationalism

How can we promote greater international understanding through exploring and sharing our cultural influences?

This challenge considers the influence that culture has in shaping our personalities and driving our behaviours, and explores the similarities and differences between our own cultures and those of our international neighbours.

Is national identity a help or a hindrance in developing International Understanding? And are our attitudes, beliefs and values shaped by national culture alone, or are there broader multicultural influences at play that make us unique, interesting individuals?

What do we learn about ourselves from understanding where we come from, who we are now, and where we are going, and how might we use this to develop our ability to understand, and communicate, with those from other countries and cultures? In the ultimate challenge you will research, create and share a visitors’ guide to the landmarks, experiences, history and people that represent the cultural influences shaping your life and behaviours.

(2) Locate me – Nationality

At this station we consider the extent to which we are defined by our nationality. In what ways are our characters and behaviours shaped by the place we were born, what it says on our passport, the country in which we live (and those in which we have lived)? What impact does our nationality have on our view of the world? We explore some outward expressions of national identity including symbols, emblems, anthems, flags and costume, and consider what they represent and the messages they convey.

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(3) See me - Surface Culture

Every cultural group maintains certain customs that are unique to that group; those cultural norms you can easily identify. Sometimes surface culture is directly related to nationality, but often a nation embraces multiple cultures, many of which are transnational. At this station we consider the outward expressions and hidden meanings of our own, and others’ surface cultures, including food, holidays, celebrations, arts, history and cultural heroes, figures or personalities.

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(4) Get to know me - Deep Culture

This station dives beneath the surface and explores how our behaviours, attitudes and preconceptions are shaped by deep cultural influences including feelings beliefs, values, taboos, concepts of time, conventions and attitudes, that are shared within our cultural groups. We consider how these influences might impact on our interactions with those from other countries and cultures and, in turn, what deep cultural influences might be a factor in their behaviours towards us.

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(5) Hear me - Cross Cultural Communication

At this station we consider the influence that culture has on our verbal, non-verbal, in-person and written communications, and the ways in which we can modify these to respect cultural differences when we communicate at an international level. We explore the potential for confusion through different interpretations of spoken words, gestures and body language, and identify ways in which we can avoid some of the pitfalls through greater understanding and acceptance.

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The Spirit of Internationalism Challenge:

For the Spirit of Internationalism Challenge we would like you to research, create and share a visitors’ guide to the landmarks, experiences, history and people that represent the range of cultural influences that shape your own life and behaviours.

You might be invited by your teacher to choose your own format in which to do this or they might give you a specific format in which to work (e.g. written narrative, presentation, tourism leaflet or illustrated journey).

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