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Our Intercultural Learning Framework

The AEF Intercultural Learning (ICL) Framework explores the balance between an individual’s intercultural understanding with the shared practice of intercultural capability in reaching learning outcomes together.  

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This ICL Framework is used across all AEF programs and resources to better identify and articulate the mindsets and skillsets of intercultural knowledge and experiences. 

Drawing on key outcomes from international research and curricula, the AEF ICL Framework identifies six dimensions of the challenges and strengths educators and students navigate and negotiate as intercultural learners: Assumptions; Stereotypes; Prejudice; Empathy; Respect; and Resolution. Each dimension has its own standards for Understanding and Capability across three levels of progress. 

Highlighting greater awareness of the negative barriers for individual understanding with positive abilities in working together across intercultural contexts and relationships, this ICL Framework is bordered by key practices in enabling partnerships and global citizenship to be effective, including taking responsibility, engaging in reciprocity, and dedicated time for reflection. 

Complemented by core learning processes, such as design thinking, and an indicative intercultural learning spectrum the AEF ICL Framework aims to help schools grow and deepen their work. 

AEF ICL Framework: Dimensions
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EMPATHY 
An ability to listen, observe and question with minimal bias. Empathy creates strong, lasting connections with other cultural contexts. 

RESPECT 
An ability to use appropriate cultural practices. Respect is an acknowledgement of other cultures and an openness to learn more. 

RESOLUTION 
An ability to reach a mutual outcome through intercultural learning. Resolution of a collaborative effort that builds long-term impact and relations. 

ASSUMPTIONS 
A lack of knowledge or experience. Assumptions are constant indications of learning gaps, interpretations and information needs. 

STEREOTYPES 
A generalised understanding of cultures. Stereotypes are somewhat useful but can be skewed and present persistent challenges. 

PREJUDICE 
A bias against other cultures seeded by ignorance and fear. Prejudice is not based on rational reason or experience and is a distorted identity of others. 


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AEF ICL Framework: Standards
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intercultural learning standards understanding

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