iConnected: Learning across boundaries - Skype connection to the USA

Julkaistu: 10.03.2020 klo 21.51

Learning across boundaries and building cross-cultural competencies was the subject in religion lesson 10th of March. Professor, dr. Heljä Antola Crowe from Bradley University had a videoconference with the first year students of our school. - Today´s videoconference was eye opening and teaching, said one of our students.

Heljä Antola Crowe explained how communities are complex, exciting and diverse. In cultures there is always something on the surface but under the surface there is the deep structure of culture, unspoken rules and at the bottom the unconscious rules. Religious affiliation is one of the most important microcultures which individuals identify themselves with. 

All the students were given the same instructions to fold a paper. 

- It’s important to know, what kind of worldview different religious have. We can learn about that and exploit it, when we’re travelling to abroad. In the abroad we have to honour a local religion there. The lesson was interesting. It was exciting to speak with an American because it was my first time and I think all of us.

I remember from lesson when we tore a paper. There was stars, triangles or perfect circles sometimes. That was quite of funny. Another thing was when we showed the questions to a professor.

In Finland we have lots of Christian people and when we meet human or people who are not Christian, we are changing suddenly suspicion.
The truth is that we have to honour their religion, understand their vision and receive them open-minded. Interaction is very big ability with different people. We have to communicate with them. If we don’t talking with voices, we’re talking with hands.

-Paperitehtävässä opin, että me kaikki olemme ainutlaatuisia yksilöitä. Oli huvittavaa huomata, että 10 ihmisen joukosta kukaan ei ymmärtänyt tehtävään samalla tavalla kuin toinen.

- I remember the paper assignment where we were given the same instructions but yet all had different outcomes. I am thankful for this oppoutunity, said one student.

Cross cultural compentecies require respect towards other people and acceptance of diversity, opennes to other person´s experience and compassion and peaceful understanding. 

The students had prepared questions for the videoconference. They got interesting and thorough answers. 

- Opin, että uskonto voi yhdistää ihmisiä, se voi auttaa selviämään vaikeista ajoista, uskontoon kuuluvat rituaalit auttavat hahmottamaan ajan kulkua. Uskonnollinen vakaumus voi myös aiheuttaa epäluuloja ja syrjintää. Skype-tuntimme oli mielenkiintoinen ja yllättävää vaihtelua tavalliseen opiskeluun.

Mieleeni oppitunnista jäi se, että uskonto tulee ottaa huomioon varsinkin alueilla joissa monet kulttuurit kohtaavat, esim. Yhdysvallat. Professori Heljä Antola Crowella oli esityksessään hyviä esimerkkejä ja hyvää symboliikkaa.

Tärkeintä toisten ihmisten kohtaamisessa on pitää avoin mieli. Teemme päässämme arvion henkilöstä heti hänen ulkoisesta olemuksestaan, mutta se ei saisi olla lopullinen mielikuva henkilöstä. Meidän tulisi hankkia syvempi ymmärrys uutta henkilöä tai asiaa kohtaan.

Here is more feedback about the videoconference: 

- The lesson was really nice. I learned that religion helps you in many things for example moving on or developing yourself in many ways.

- I learned that there are so many different religions in the world. And they have their own rituals and myths and everything. I also learned that religion means different things to different people around the world.The lesson was so nice and interesting. It was fun and learning to speak with Heljä. I was a little bit nervous but everything went good.

- The conversation was very interesting and rich. It gave me many tips for my life. I liked that lesson much and I’m happy that Heljä was so into this stuff. Thanks!

Pictures and text Mirjami Hyttinen

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