ACTIVITY: Dialoging Cultural Differences
Pulido-Tobiassen and Gonzalez-Mena (1999) developed a 5 step strategy for dialoguing differences called R.E.R.U.N. The method is particularly relevant to early childhood mental health consultants who face the challenges of working with families and young children of diverse cultures and helping staff and families to negotiate and dialogue cultural differences. While the five steps of the RERUN strategy are clear, applying them consistently takes some practice and skill.
In this activity you will:
- Review the steps of the R.E.R.U.N approach outlined in the chart below,
- View two video clips illustrating interactions between ECE providers and parents, and
- Respond to reflective questions after each video clip.
Step 1: Review the steps of the R.E.R.U.N. approach are outlined in the chart below.
||Listen and let the other person know you are accepting of his or her thoughts and feelings.
||Put your own thoughts and feelings into words- " Here's what I think…feel"
||Provide your reason for what you think and feel- but not to "over-rule" the other person.
||Try to see the difference from both points of view- understand yourself and the other person
||When both parties are clear about the issues, begin to look for solutions together
Step 2: View each of the video clips, "Let Her Walk" and "El Gordito" from Essential Connections, Ten Keys to Culturally Sensitive Care, Child Care Video Magazine (WestEd and California Department of Education, 1993. Used with permission).
After each viewing, respond to the reflection questions in the box below the videos.
For a written transcript of each video segment, click here
Step 3: Respond to the reflection questions below for each video clip
- What steps in the RERUN dialogue process can be observed?
- Did both parties reach a mutual understanding? Explain.
- Did the parties negotiate a decision or plan? Explain.
- What other questions might have been asked?
- As a mental health consultant to staff, what guidance might you provide to the ECE staff?
Possible Answers :
Let Her Walk
- The steps that could be observed were reflect, explain, reason – but no understanding or negotiation of a plan
- No, the teacher did not understand the mother's perspective that she was concerned about maintaining a connection with her child. The mother became defensive and the teacher was no addressing his real concern about independence.
- No, because they never reached an understanding.
- The teacher could have been more direct about his concerns and the goals of helping the child become more independent. Other questions might have included asking about the mother's feelings about her child coming to the center and any worries she might have about the child missing her, etc. He could have asked about her expectations for when the child would walk on her own into the building.
- A culturally competent mental health consultant could provide guidance on the importance of being clear about any question or concern, showing genuine interest, reflecting back what the parent said, inquiring for clarity, and being respectful and responsive.
- The steps that could be observed were reflect, explain, reason, understand and negotiate a plan
- Yes, the mother understood the teacher's discomfort and the teacher began to understand the family's meaning of Gordito as a term of attachment and affection.
- Yes, the teacher would simply call the child by name.
- The teacher could have expressed interest in additional terms of endearment, where they come from, if this is family tradition, and who else calls the child by this name – in genuine interest to learn more about the family and family relationships.
- A culturally competent mental health consultant could provide positive feedback to the teacher on showing genuine interest, reflecting back what the parent said, inquiring for clarity, and being respectful and responsive. The consultant could provide guidance on how to use opportunities like this for learning more about family, relationships, and ways to make the child feel as important and treasured at child care as at home.
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