American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Infused Course Approach

According to Stockman, infusion can be viewed as an action outcome that mixes together as if by melting or blending two or more entities; that is, to infuse is the act of bringing one entity into another with the goal of blending or integrating the two to make a whole. The resulting product is different than what is obtained by treating two separate things in isolation of one another.

The above definition of infusion implies the following:

  • Infusion of multicultural content into the curriculum is more than inclusion. The latter term, inclusion, refers to an outcome that can result from containing information about one entity within the boundaries of another entity. It is not required that the two included elements are integrally connected. They can exist side by side in the same time and space and be treated as uniquely separate things. An educational program can meet the requirement of including multicultural content into the curriculum as long as any element of the curriculum or a course mentions something about multicultural issues.
  • Infusion of multicultural content into the curriculum is more than annexation. The latter term, annexation, refers to the act of joining, appending, or attaching an entity to a larger or more significant entity included within the same boundary; it connotes the attachment of an auxiliary or secondary entity to a larger more significant entity. An educational program can meet this requirement of   including multicultural content so long as a singled out or recognized unit of instruction is included as a separate part of a course, lecture, or caseload.

Infusion as an integral part of course content means that every aspect of course content considers the cultural context as a relevant variable in the construction of knowledge about that content.  This view is grounded in the assumption that communication is an inherently social/cultural experience. Culture is an inescapable aspect of human experience. Human characteristics (physical-biological, mental, social, linguistic, emotional) are influenced by experience and therefore, the cultural context of experience. Therefore normal communication behavior is culturally bound and the functional expression and impact of communicative disorders are culturally dependent. At the very least, multicultural issues become relevant when the provider or recipient of clinical services is a variable in both the science and application of knowledge about normal  communication processes, its disorders, and clinical service delivery practices.

Stockman, I.J.  (2003). A perspective on what multicultural curricular infusion could mean. 

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