Teaching Cultural Humility Using an Innovative Poster Hall Approach


Principles of cultural humility are essential for physical therapist (PT) education. Clinicians must consider patientsÕ cultural differences and are ethically bound to provide compassionate physical therapy services.1,2 Cultural awareness in rehabilitation has traditionally reflected stereotypical views; underscoring the need for an intercultural pedagogical framework that is complex, dynamic, and provides a scaffold of key values.3,4,5 To move PT students beyond a superficial examination of cultural humility, it is important to acknowledge the environmental influences of human interaction and the complexity of intercultural thought.5 Integration of the human ecology theory and five core tensions of intercultural pedagogy into an interactive poster hall session represents a pedagogical method through which the principles of cultural humility can be meaningfully conveyed. The purpose of this study was to understand student and faculty member's perceived value of an interactive poster hall format for teaching principles of cultural humility to entry-level DPT students.


Action research was conducted to explore student perceived learning about cultural humility. Participants included 60 students enrolled in a Psychosocial Aspects of Healthcare course. An interactive, reflective assignment was designed to encourage in-depth thought about culture in healthcare delivery. Student groups of 3-5 collaborated on a paper describing a patient case with perplexing trans-cultural healthcare interactions. Cases were generated from previous experiential learning opportunities. Key elements of the paper were displayed on a tri-fold poster at an in-class poster hall modeled as a professional conference poster session. Students participated in an informal inquiry requiring them to discuss and analyze key cultural elements present on their peers' posters. An outside faculty member observed the poster hall activity and interviewed the course instructor to understand her perceptions on its value. Eighteen percent of the students were purposefully sampled and asked, via email, to describe their learning: 1) Based on your experience during the poster hall activity, what was your greatest take away with respect to cultural humility? 2) Based on your experience during the poster hall activity, how did your thinking about cultural humility change?


Faculty interview and student reflective comments were analyzed for common themes using qualitative, thematic, inductive techniques. Data analysis resulted in 4 themes: challenge cultural assumptions, opened mind and broadened perspective, cultural humility is integral to quality patient care, and lifelong process. Faculty observation revealed student feedback was critical for course refinement that enriched the educational experience and depth of learning. The assignment provided them a framework for conceptualizing the impact of culture on patient care.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme:

Student feedback fostered professor impetus for reframing and refining of pedagogy for teaching cultural humility. Encouraging diversity of thought is antecedent to incorporating culture into patient care approaches and can potentially improve the "patient experience through educational strategies."

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  • Control #: 26746
  • Type: Poster Presentation - Research Type
  • Event/Year: ELC2020
  • Authors: Debra Bangs
  • Keywords:

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