Beyond Cultural Self-awareness: Enhancing Intercultural Learning Among Educational Leaders Through Cultural Field-Awareness
Educational leaders, notably ESL/EAP leaders, must be able to engage with increasingly diverse social contexts. Although these people tend to have considerable international experience, they may seek to further enhance their intercultural skills through various professional development (PD) opportunities, especially those offered by prominent organizations in their field. The theoretical or conceptual approaches to interculturality were examined for PD offerings in the Ontario (Canada) ESL/EAP context, as well as other approaches in the literature. Since these approaches fail to account for sociopolitical field, what is missing is an acknowledgement of the tension leaders may experience between authentic leadership ideals and actual practice. Applying Bourdieu’s concepts of field and intercultural capital, this paper presents a call to move beyond the typical emphasis on cultural self-awareness to cultural field-awareness to enhance the intercultural learning of educational leaders in the ESL/EAP sector.
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