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Cultural Competence Program - Module 4: Unconscious Bias (ATOM Study Guide)

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The Cultural Competence Program (CCP) is an online training course aimed at building capability around cultural diversity. It features engaging multimedia learning modules and a wealth of resources. Whilst it is primarily aimed at building capability around cultural diversity in the workplace, secondary school students will benefit from undertaking the course in terms of increasing their own understanding of cultural diversity in Australia. The CCP for individuals is available as an app for tablets and mobile devices. The program builds capability around cultural diversity, and participants will gain practical skills and cultural specific knowledge for use both at work and in everyday life. Topics covered include:

  • Diversity Works – the business case for investing in diversity
  • Cultural Differences and Similarities
  • Core Inclusion Skills
  • Unconscious Bias
  • Cross-Cultural Communication (two modules)
  • Cultural Adaptation
  • Australia by the Numbers

The CCP provides a solid foundation in understanding what culture, diversity, inclusion and cultural competence mean. There are over sixty animations and films, including real people telling real stories. Also included are fun, interactive activities, plus options for further reading. Working alongside the CCP, the Cultural Atlas is a supplementary resource designed to inform and educate in relation to cross-cultural attitudes, practices, norms, behaviours and communications. The Cultural Atlas is a large-scale online resource providing information about a range of cultures in Australia including:

  • Core Concepts – cultural values
  • Etiquette, Do's and Do Not's
  • Greetings and Communication
  • Religion
  • Demographic Statistics
  • Business Culture

Curriculum Links:

There are eight modules (and one summary module) within the CCP. The activities in this series of study guides are tailored to work with each specific module. Teachers may work through the modules in sequential order or choose to work with individual modules that best suit their curriculum needs. The Australian National Curriculum has been used as a guide for the basis of these activities. Teachers are advised to select and adapt the activities to suit the student age and stage of their class, and the curriculum foci and outcomes used in specific schools. The activities are also suitable for use in pastoral care and student wellbeing programs. The CCP and Cultural Atlas can be used in relation to the following subject areas of the Australian National Curriculum:

  • Years 7–10 Civics and Citizenship
  • Years 7–10 English
  • Years 7–10 Health and Physical Education
  • Year 10 History
  • Years 7–10 Media Arts

In addition, the CCP and Cultural Atlas relate to the following General Capabilities within the Australian National Curriculum:

  • Personality and Social Capability
  • Ethical Understanding
  • Intercultural Understanding

Accompanying videos:

  • Unconscious Bias – What are unconscious biases, why do they exist, and how can they affect decision-making. This video also looks at tests to measure a person's associations (which may be influenced by unconscious bias).
  • Recruitment Bias – A look at how unconscious bias can influence the different stages of the recruitment process. The results of some statistical studies are used to highlight real-world examples.
  • Bias and Inclusion – This video explains why unconscious bias is the enemy of diversity and inclusion, with a focus on how it can affect the culture and performance of an organisation or industry.
  • Groupthink – An explanation of an extreme phenomenon that can reduce the diversity of thought within a group of people.
  • Managing Unconscious Bias – Six steps that you can take to reduce the impact of unconscious bias. This video also includes an explanation of the different types of 'micro-messaging'.
  • Stereotypes and Generalisations – This video defines 'generalising' and 'stereotyping', and explains the key differences. The impacts of stereotyping are also highlighted.

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