This weekend, with UN Day coming up, I am thinking about culture. An important yet cryptic element in our everyday interactions, the behaviors and expectations engrained in our students’ brains heavily impact their behaviors and expectations in our classrooms.

icebergThere are many definitions of culture, which primarily refer to the arts, beliefs, and customs of a group of people. I once attended a workshop where culture was defined as the “collective programming of the mind” that distinguishes one group of people from another. I like this definition, because I think the word “programming” really evokes an idea of the invisible parts of culture: the mindsets, the attitudes, the values. These are at the core of any culture; they are often so deeply rooted in our upbringing that we don’t even realize they are there. Yet they heavily influence the way our students (and parents) approach school, teachers, community, and learning—and likewise the way we, as teachers, approach students, parents, and curriculum. So as we approach a day where we celebrate an organization that brings together the many peoples of the world, I am taking some time to reflect on what my students bring to the table, and how I use that in my classroom.

How do you see the effects of your own multicultural environment? What challenges and blessings does a heterogeneous classroom present?

The rest of the iceberg
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42 thoughts on “The rest of the iceberg

  • 20. March 2016 at 22:48
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    Hi,

    Would I be able to use your Cultural Iceberg image in my PhD (properly referenced). I’m not sure if the image will make it all the way to publication (as I revise things).
    The PhD is in public health through Massey University in New Zealand and is an analysis of longitudinal health outcomes for sub-groups of the indigenous people of New Zealand.
    The tentative title is:
    Te Korowai Māori: Does strength in Te Ao Māori mean better health outcomes in later life.

    Kia ora,
    Brendan Stevenson

    Reply
    • Janine
      22. March 2016 at 03:16
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      Hi Brendan,
      I’m happy to have you use the image in your work, as long as it is properly referenced. I hope it will help more people to understand–and respect–the deep complexities of culture and the incredible number of factors that (we don’t even realize) affect the way we live our lives.

      Kind regards,
      Janine

      Reply
  • 21. March 2016 at 02:04
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    In case you don’t know, your wonderful diagram seems to be going viral on facebook.

    Reply
  • 3. April 2016 at 09:55
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    Dear Janine,
    I have been training “Mediation” as conflict management.
    This term I will be conducting an experimental in-service training for primary school teachers as part of my PhD thesis.

    I will be pleased to use your iceberg diagram at your approval
    as part of the multicultural section my training with reference.
    Thanks in advance
    Msc. Nüket GÜNDÜZ
    Lecturer Atatürk Education Faculty
    Near East University, Cyprus

    Reply
    • Janine
      3. April 2016 at 12:46
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      Dear Nüket,
      I will be happy to see my iceberg diagram helping more teachers to understand their students. You are welcome to use the diagram as long as it is properly referenced.

      Kind regards,
      Janine

      Reply
  • 6. April 2016 at 15:24
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    I would like to include your iceberg image in a training manual for staff at our outdoor living history museum, with your permission. Their job (the interpreters) is to model the culture of a specific ethnic group who arrived in Canada 125 years ago. Some of them are decedents of that culture, but all of them are 125 years of change away from the lifestyles of their ancestors. The image will serve to remind them to think about the “below the surface” aspects of culture, which they need to demonstrate for visitors to our museum (the “about the surface” visitors can quickly figures out on their own).

    Thanks for coming up with the great image.

    Reply
    • Janine
      7. April 2016 at 13:32
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      Hi Kevin,

      You are welcome to use the image, as long as it is attributed to me and references back to this site. I am glad you’ve found it helpful!

      Reply
  • 20. April 2016 at 16:53
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    Hello Janine,
    We are a group of students in the Bachelor of Education program at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. As part of a course entitled Diversity in the Classroom, we are creating a curriculum project on interculturalism, inclusiveness, and harmonious coexistence. In addition to being a graded assignment for this course, our project might also be chosen by our teacher as an entry into the 2016 Curriculum Design Competition organized by the Observatoire sur la Formation à la Diversité et à l’Équité (Observatory on Education towards Diversity and Equity).
    After finding a piece of your work on Facebook, The Cultural Iceberg, we were able to link it back to your blog, Janine’s Music Room (http://www.janinesmusicroom.com/the-rest-of-the-iceberg.html ). We are highly interested with this piece, and would greatly appreciate your permission to use it in our project. To be certain, your piece will be credited to your name, as well as linked back to your webpage.
    Please let us know whether or not you agree to our use of your piece in our curriculum project both for our graded assignment and the design competition by replying to our comment.
    We look forward to hearing from you,
    Vassiliki Katsigianis
    Chanel Raffele
    Marjorie Beaudoin

    Reply
    • Janine
      21. April 2016 at 13:39
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      Yes, with proper credit, I am happy for you to reference this in your curriculum project. I’m glad you’ve found it useful!

      Reply
      • 15. April 2017 at 18:39
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        Hi Janine
        I would also like to make reference to your cultural iceberg picture in an article, but I struggle to find your full name to use as reference. Would it be sufficient to use ‘Janine’s Music Room’?
        Best

        Reply
        • Janine
          22. October 2017 at 14:03
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          Hi Rika,
          I’m glad you like my cultural iceberg. Yes, that is the best way to reference back to the post.

          Reply
  • 1. May 2016 at 01:47
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    I would like to use your Cultural Iceberg illustration with my adult learners of French in a high school district adult education program. I often tell them examples of these aspects of different cultures. I would give proper attribution and link to your website.
    Your chart is so clear and spot on.

    Reply
    • Janine
      10. May 2016 at 00:24
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      Thanks, Janet! I’m glad that you can use it with your classes.

      Reply
  • 9. May 2016 at 14:15
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    Great chart. I’ll add it as a resource for writers on our WinningWriters.com site. We want more contest entries with nonwhite characters but are often discouraged by their stereotypical depictions.

    Reply
    • Janine
      23. May 2016 at 23:45
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      Thanks, Jendi. I hope it will aid and encourage more writers to gain perspective into their characters.

      Reply
  • 20. September 2016 at 04:08
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    Dear Janine,

    My computer “editor” software backed it up to Edward T Hall 1976. But I would still like to use your iceberg! It is a handy tool.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Janine
      1. December 2016 at 01:31
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      Sure, Rebecca, as long as it is properly referenced, I would love to spread the knowledge! There are many versions of the iceberg out there, so the concept is not new. I’ve developed the content based on my experiences to create this one. Cheers 🙂

      Reply
  • 26. March 2017 at 02:51
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    Where is religion in this iceberg

    Reply
    • Janine
      28. June 2017 at 14:23
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      Hi Byron, and thanks for the question. I purposely did not include the word “religion” because the term itself has so many interpretations and presumptions. I have included religion through “beliefs and assumptions,” “core values,” “family values,” etc. in order to break down the many things that comprise the cultural implications of religion.

      Reply
  • 31. December 2017 at 03:37
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    Hi I would like to use you iceberg diagram in a school project for an ELL course. How would I cite it? If that’s okay with you?

    Reply
    • Janine
      29. January 2018 at 04:06
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      Hi Shannon,
      That would be fine. Please reference my full name (Janine Slaga) and the website (www.janinesmusicroom.com). I am glad to hear that my iceberg will be helpful.

      Kind regards,
      Janine

      Reply

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