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Discuss about the Reflections on the Cultural Plunge.

A cultural plunge is the exposure done by someone to dwell in a minor group or being marked as the other (Green, Walters & Walters, 2016). It is a life of adapting a different culture, language, tradition, status. I have done this cultural plunge to get the experience and insight the ‘other’ people have and lead a strange life in a familiar way. The experience of cultural plunge gave me the idea about the reason, which influences my formation, how I became what I am today and how to change the behavioural aspect sob that I do not turn into a negative person. I have learnt belonging to a certain status is never the choice of an individual and nor it is in their hands. It is always the things like rearing up, education, culture and religion, which influences the identity and status of the individual (Hare Landa, Odòna-Holm & Shi, 2017).

I have chosen the cultural plunge because I have already learnt the various kinds of diversity and its effect on early childhood education. I have explored various ways, which is related to cultural diversity and the important reason of experiencing the cultural plunge is to know how general people dominate the other minor groups and how they live their life. The cultural immersion of the cultural plunge created self-awareness in me. I have had a direct interaction with the black people and have chosen this particular group as I wanted to live the life of a ‘black’ as marked by others who are effectively ‘white’ by their colour to experience how they feel and experience how others think of the ‘black’. I have gained the knowledge of the ‘turfs’ of the ‘black’ people and gained insight about all the circumstances that they face and all the characteristics they have as an individual. I chose to experience the cultural plunge to feel how it is to live an unfamiliar life with all unknown people around and fully in a different circumstance. Cultural Diversity is a very difficult and growing system of the world (Geary, 2014). I have learnt that this system will never end and nor will it allow the minds of the individual to be free from all these kinds of thoughts. The critical learning pedagogy has kept me insight accessible so that I can understand everything better and evaluate them accordingly in the end. In this paper, I will discuss my experience as a ‘black’ person and highlight the implications of the practise.

Description of the cultural plunge

I am aware of the fact that the church is the second home of many people. Hence, I felt that in case I truly want to experience the life of a black, I will have to be a part of the church and that is when my journey as a black started. As I am an early childhood educator, my intention was to learn the more about diversity and its affect in early childhood education. The warmth that I got from them and the behaviour they showed up made me the happiest one. I was the alone ‘white’ among them and still they were so much happy to have me. According to the world that we belong, I had a thought that as the ‘black’ people are always discriminated among the whites, I will get the same approach from them but to my surprise they turned to be the most welcoming ones. After meeting them even I had the doubt that if any one among them went t our church would I also such amount of warmth towards them. The answer is still unknown. However, the thought that the blacks have the same thought about the whites tore me into pieces and I felt ashamed of the fact that I have been taught to hate the blacks. The experience changed my way of thinking and I felt that I have turned into a better person. Standing between them I understood that it is never the fact about which colour we belong, it is always about the values, beliefs that we have in our heart and soul and only that can differentiate a person and not colour or status. The people taught me with their behaviour that thinking about other people is a part of life and they are human being as I am. We have the thought that if a person is black then it is the person’s fault and we believe that being black is a kind of ‘big sin’ (Byrne, 2017). We hate the person for being black and prefer not to have any communication to them and gradually mark them as ‘others’. This is completely a wrong concept because it is not their fault that the colour of their skin is black and nor it is their choice. We cannot blame and mark them as ‘unwanted’ or ‘others’ just because they do not have bright colour. I interacted with them and they were very happy to tell me their story because they knew that their stories are always kept unknown and when they got the chance to narrate their part they did not want to let the chance go. They narrated me how ‘white’ people just because of their colour dominates them and how they feel when they receive such kind of behaviour. They told me that their kids cannot get admitted to famous schools as they are black and they are always discriminated in every circumstances because of their colour. They told me of how they are kept aside from the world and how they feel when they are judged for their colour of the skin. Even they believe that the colour of the skin is not their fault. They asked me a question after which I was unable to move. The question was ‘why is the colour of the skin more important than the person?’(Christopher et al, 2014) Even I have the same question to ask to every people who believe in cultural diversity that how can the value of the skin colour be more than that of a person.

Reflective on my plunge

The cultural plunge was a meaningful experience for me and it provided me with a critical thinking and clear insight. This experience gave me the knowledge that irrespective of my status, class, gender and colour I will be accepted as a human. I have also learned the same and will always keep it in mind that I judge a person by their thinking and values not by the colour of their skin. My experience of the cultural plunge was the best one. I have never received such warmth from other people that I got from them. The experience taught me to be a better human being and treat others in a welcoming way. The experience of the cultural plunge taught me that cultural diversity has not killed humanity completely. I had a surprising experience and before experiencing the plunge, I never had any idea about the other people’s struggle for existence, culture and mankind. I never knew what the people feels who are treated as ‘other’ and are discriminated. Living between them and getting to know their culture and thoughts gave me an idea of their consequences in life (Kolb, 2014). I came to know through the plunge that their life is tougher than others are and they still try to find happiness in every sector of their life. The people I was with taught me that it is very important to be a human and not a racist because being a human is what matters the most. This experience injected in me the negativity of cultural diversity. The experience introduced me to the entire problem the other have regarding their life. I am an early childhood educator; I know the importance of education in our life. It was very shocking to know that those people were upset that their children are not able to get a good education as many schools reject them for being black (Clark, 2015). Their pain was visible in their eyes. Those eyes were telling me that they wanted to be treated as humans and not as black. They wanted to be accepted thee way they are, they wanted to be like the way a normal people lives. The experience taught me about myself that the truth of life is what kind of human being we are and not what colour we have in our skin. We all have blood in our veins and the colour of blood is the same in a white person and a black person. It is our insight how we see and treat people and we are responsible for the diversification of culture (Banks, 2015).


I, through the plunge experience have learnt the truth of life, life is a challenging platform and we must have the humanity in us and face all those challenges without taking the back door. I have never had this kind of experience and if I would not have experienced the plunge I would still be in the dark side of life. I took the pledge that I will accept everyone without any discrimination and I will tell others to do the same so that they will be able to look into the matter with the sense of humanity. If I would not be a part of the plunge, I would not have the knowledge of the prejudices and practices, which are engraved in me. The experience the plunge gave me is my lifetime achievement and it will be my asset as an educator and more as a human being. As I am an early childhood educator, I have seen the diversification of culture among the students and hence this plunge is totally a part of the class readings. The learning activities through experiencing plunge that got has made me aware of every aspect of life and taught me to believe in humanity. Critical thinking is a continuous journey; it is not one-day learning. It needs time, patience, and mostly the interest to learn (McPeck, 2016). The learning objectives of cultural diversity enhanced my desire to learn more about it and made me aware of the lives of the back people. After reflecting my knowledge, I realized that I was to some extent prejudiced about the black people as I had less idea about them and their life style. Earlier even, I used to treat them as ‘other’ people and my thoughts about them were not open. Now I know that they are humans just as everyone else and there is no need of discriminating them or marking them as ‘other’. The experience changed my views about discrimination and the insight that I achieved helped me y grow personally. Now I believe that every human has the same right to live and cannot be marked with any other name because of the colour of their skin. Discrimination is and will be a bad practice even in the future (Ang & Van Dyne, 2015). 

After all the discussion, I have concluded that as an early childhood teacher I have to reflect the academic knowledge and customs so that the societal justice and the equity are promoted. Experiencing the cultural plunge has made me go through the process of enculturation, which introduced me to new aspects of thinking, understanding and even with the knowledge of being a human. As an early childhood educator, I had to undertake a critical stance that provided me with the perspectives of early childhood education. I have known that early childhood education is consisting of different beliefs and understanding, which shapes the thoughts of an individual. In the above discussion, I have taken into consideration the practise of childhood, which are right and ethical. I have learnt that dominant thinking can affect a particular group or person in a negative way. By critically experiencing, the cultural plunge I have went through many social and political factors, which dominate a group and people, and that is how the plunge occurs. By adapting the life of the other, I have come through many experiences like how the people lead that kind of particular life and how much they suffer by living such a life. I have also learnt the formation of myself and even made me aware of the roles of the agents in the formation. The cultural plunge that I experienced gave me the knowledge about how the dominance of other culture and status of people affects the life of the ‘other’ group of people.

References:

Ang, S., & Van Dyne, L. (2015). Handbook of cultural intelligence. Routledge.

Banks, J. A. (2015). Cultural diversity and education. Routledge.

Byrne, C. (2017). Weconnect: A global youth citizenship curriculum.

Cavanaugh, S., & Corbett, L. J. (2014). A successful model for short-term international teacher education programs. The Field Experience Journal, 1, 1-11.

Christopher, J. C., Wendt, D. C., Marecek, J., & Goodman, D. M. (2014). Critical cultural awareness: Contributions to a globalizing psychology. American Psychologist, 69(7), 645.

Clark, R. M. (2015). Family life and school achievement: Why poor black children succeed or fail. University of Chicago Press.

Geary, D. (2014). Taking the plunge into culture shock: Study abroad elements impelling cultural adjustment.

Green, M. R., Walters, L. M., & Walters, T. (2016). SHAPING A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. A Reader of Narrative and Critical Lenses on Intercultural Teaching and Learning, 185.

Hare Landa, M., Odòna-Holm, J., & Shi, L. (2017). Education Abroad and Domestic Cultural Immersion: A Comparative Study of Cultural Competence Among Teacher Candidates. The Teacher Educator, 52(3), 250-267.

Kolb, D. A. (2014). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. FT press.

McPeck, J. E. (2016). Critical thinking and education. Routledge.

Pedersen, P. B., Lonner, W. J., Draguns, J. G., Trimble, J. E., & Scharron-del Rio, M. R. (Eds.). (2015). Counseling across cultures. Sage.

Posti-Ahokas, H., Janhonen-Abruquah, H., & Longfor, R. J. (2015). Urban Spaces for Intercultural Encounters: Teacher Students’ Reflections on the Cultural Plunge. World Studies in Education, 16(2), 45-55.

Posti-Ahokas, H., Janhonen-Abruquah, H., & Longfor, R. J. (2017). GET OUT!. Silent Partners in Multicultural Education, 147.

Walters, L. M., Green, M. R., Walters, T. N., & Wang, L. (2015). The Examined Life. In Teaching at Work (pp. 211-233). SensePublishers.

Young, G., & Davis-Russell, E. (2014). The Vicissitudes of Cultural Competence. Diversity, Social Justice, and Inclusive Excellence: Transdisciplinary and Global Perspectives, 33.

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