Tapping cognitive dissonance experienced by international students
Cognitive dissonance refers to an experience of incongruity between an entrenched understanding of a phenomenon or concept and a new piece of cognition. If unaddressed, dissonance can be at the heart of international students’ unresolved dilemmas, unspoken feelings, and unshared stories, facts and experiences. In response, pedagogy needs to tap cognitive dissonance that issues from cultural diversityinduced viewpoints, cognitive perceptions, and beliefs on the part of international students, enriching and equalizing the learning environment. Within the framework of postmodernism and social constructivism, this paper offers multiple strategies for the utilization of cognitive dissonance. It is based on three data sources. First, following approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the informed consent procedure, interviews instructors at a university in a mid-West American city highlight instructors’ experiences with and strategies pertaining to engagement of dissonance. Second, the author’s first-hand experiences of dissonance in the United States have been incorporated. Third, the existing literature relevant to the study has been used.
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