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The attainment of a cultural identity is a major challenge of social development for many children from minority groups in today's fast-changing multicultural societies. Culturo-metrics is a new area of research that teachers and researchers can use to measure cultural identity and to explore culturally preferred behaviors of children and teachers in multicultural classrooms. Multiculturalism has made ethnicity, as a nominal category, an unreliable indicator of cultural identity and culturally determined behaviors. This is because ethnic groups within multicultural societies influence each other's identities and culturally determined behaviors. This finding has emerged from a 4-year comparative ethnographic study of English teaching practices between Fiji's two main ethnic groups, the indigenous Fijians and the Indo-Fijians. For example, children and teachers in one cultural group borrow more effective behaviors from other cultural groups. One's cultural identity then becomes a composite identity evidencing the cultural influences from society's other cultural groups. This composite cultural identity is measured by the more sensitive Cultural Index (CI). The CI was first used to determine composite cultural identities of English teachers in Fiji and to assess the degree of cultural borrowing between native Fijian teachers and Indo-Fijian teachers to explain and predict their culturally defined teaching behaviors. (Author)

Descriptors: Cultural Context, Cultural Influences, Developing Nations, Diversity (Student), Elementary Secondary Education, Ethnography, Foreign Countries, Student Behavior, Teacher Behavior

Autor: Boufoy-Bastick, Beatrice


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