Religion is an intrinsic element of our cultural mind-sets that implicitly impacts how we communicate, not only at work but also in the classroom. Indeed, there is a general consensus in the management literature that religious dimensions within a wide range of work and learning contexts are important variables which impact our communication and leadership. This article fills a gap in this literature by exploring how different religious and cultural based norms may specifically impact the student-teacher (and also student-student) interaction in a higher education empirical setting. A brief discussion of fundamental values within five world religions is first offered in order to explore how these values may manifest themselves in differing cultural contexts. The article then reflects upon real classroom experiences in a business school setting. Based on these classroom cases, a five-point plan is provided to offer practical guidelines which can be applied by teachers to make the most of religiously and culturally diverse learning environments. By knowing yourself, acting with authenticity and actively seeking out interaction with different others we can practise what we preach and develop personal mindfulness as learning facilitators – this is the art of dealing with religiously and culturally diverse classrooms.
Warner-Søderholm, Gillian and Mark Kriger. 2014. "The art of dealing with religious and cultural diversity in the classroom." International Journal of Business and Management, 9(10):149-160