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Migration: An Empathy Exercise

According to Maureen Ryan (n.d.), "Migration: An Empathy Exercise is a multi-step reflective exercise designed to build empathy and personal insight into processes of loss, change, and reconnection associated with the disruption of personal and cultural connections to landscape. In the first step, students reflect individually on their experiences in unfamiliar landscapes and how they might feel were they to move away from a home landscape. Second, they envision personal means of building connection with new or unfamiliar landscapes. Having considered these questions at a personal level, students read or are presented with case studies of human movement and their consequences (historical or current). Finally, students reflect on new questions that arose as they considered case studies after thinking about migration or displacement at a personal level."

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Scenery, Machinery, People

Based on the work of Polish anthropologist Alicja Iwanska , Jones (2017) has written an interesting blog called "Scenery, Machinery, People--Rethinking our view of humans." After reading the blog, participants are asked to enter into a discussion concerning the people in their lives who fall into various categories, as well as the various categories participants fall into when looked at by other people.

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Tools for Developing Student Emotional Resilience (Grit and Comfort with Ambiguity)

Much is being talked and written about as to how we can develop "grit" in our students. Recently in a eulogy for Tyler Trent, the Boilermaker perhaps most often in the news during the Fall of 2018, Purdue's President Mitch Daniels (2019) defined grit as "diligence, persistence and the resilience to face life's inevitable adversity with fortitude." Daniels said that Tyler Trent was "grit personified.  Dealt a hand worse than anyone here is facing, or God willing ever will, never stopped working, or fighting, or moving ahead." This is what we mean by grit.

For more on grit, Hoerr's 2012 article for Educational Leadership, entitled "Got Grit?" is a good place to start. He begins, "Every child needs to encounter frustration and failure to learn to step back, reassess and try again" and then goes on to explain why.  

In intercultural learning, we often talk about emotional resilience, which seems to be a combination of grit and comfort with ambiguity.  Abarbanel (2009) advises that students who travel abroad need to have "an 'emotional passport'" to help them to "regulate intense emotional challenges experienced in cultural transitions."  Waters (2013) provides a list of the "10 Traits of Emotionally Resilient People" which is useful whether or not one is in an education abroad context.

What follows is a collection of tools found in the Intercultural Learning Hub (HubICL) for the teaching of emotional resilience, which might be used to increase the grit and comfort with ambiguity of our students.

 

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