In nursing cultural safety is paramount. It is included in our competencies to be a Registered Nurse. Generally I think as a profession we are very aware of these issues and to the best of our ability try and treat our patients as individuals and respects any differences. Sometimes our students think at first it is about nursing Maori clients. However it doesn't take them long to learn culutral safety is a lot broader. It also incorporates such things as gender, disability, race, sexuality, socioeconomic status,age...We quickly teach them to try and unpick the assumptions that we have about these different groups. I.e older people are all deaf so we speak louder and slowly...
It is very difficult in a classroom situation to address cultural sensitivity. This is because we are restriced to room size, multi-media vices available to us certain times that the institution, lecturer or classroom is available. Being culturally senstive may mean we need to give students extra times for assessment because of disabilities or even family committments. What comes to mind here is that I have observed often that in some cultures they place a much higher value on things such as extended family, roles and traditions and this is there priority.Sometimes these priorities can clash with us in education because we want assessments in on time and we think that the students should put a higher priority on there education. Our rigid structures and course outlines sometimes don't bend as easily to address specific needs. It also doesn't always bend to accomadate different learning styles which can be very different for people of different gender, culture, with disability etc. I also think we sometimes are culturally insensitive to people of lower socioeconomic status simply becasue of the cost involved in getting a education. I know scholarships is one way that we have tried to address this issue. I also beleive the learning centre is another excellent way of addressing some of these issues.
Hopefully I try as much as possible to be culturally sensitive to my students to help them meet there learning needs. Allowing students flexibility with head dress (because of religious reasons) when in uniform and helping them when going to theatre with this head dress is just one example. I also try to be considerate when considering requests for extensions because of family committments. However I beleive it will always be difficult as ALI said in her blog to be able to meet everyones different needs although I can certainly try when in one on one sessions with them to ascertain if they have any particular learning needs realted to culture
I think flexible leanring does have the ability to be more able to allow for cultural differences simply because of the 'flexibility' of it.