Culturally Competent and Diversity-Sensitive Practice and Cultural Humility 57 In the chapter, we share our own social positions and what these mean for us and for understanding others’ place in the larger social structure. Instructors may need to do this in class to initiate this discussion. Students may acknowledge feeling guilty. They also can be asked to share their reactions to being in devalued and marginalized positions, which can lead to expressions of resentment. Despite the potential for these discussions to be tense and divisive, we have found that the opposite is usually the case—students’ ability to engage in honest discussions with one another enhances their understanding of one another and of their clients. As we noted in part I, instructors will need to attend to students’ verbal and nonverbal reactions in class, using group work skills. We find this is critical to ensuring that this discussion is productive. 4. Ask students to complete the following self-reflection exercise. It is not to be submitted or graded, but used solely to prompt class discussion. Ask them to bring the assignment to the next class. 1. What is your ethnic/racial background? 2. With what other social identities do you identify? 3. Which social identities do you identify with most strongly? Could any of these social identities be hidden from others? 4. What are the most significant experiences—both positive and negative—that shaped your awareness of your various social identities? How has your sense of self been shaped by these experiences? 5 What were your earliest images and understanding of the social identities with which you identify or that are most important to you? 6. How have your experiences in your various social identities shaped your attitudes about yourself and others? 7. How have your experiences influenced your interactions with classmates and instructors and in beginnings with your field instructor and clients? Break the class into small groups and have the students share their experiences. Upon completion of this small-group exercise, ask students to generalize key insights and share them with the entire class. After all the groups make their presentations, the instructor can summarize and lead a discussion on the implications of these findings for their practice. Engaging with Diversity in One’s Personal Life Regardless of their social identities or whether they occupy privileged or marginalized social positions, students often are unaware of the extent to
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