Sharing Cultures also has its origins in a deep recognition of the need to enhance the cultural and global perspectives, literacies, and competencies of faculty at both CCC and UPE by providing sustained and focused opportunities for international exchanges. Through Sharing Cultures, teachers are challenged to use technology in innovative ways and to adapt instruction to a wide range of student needs. These technological challenges, in turn, provoke a re-examination of fundamental assumptions about how students best learn to read and write within specific cultural contexts. In order to lead students, especially under-prepared students, to more profound and complex understandings of themselves and their places in the world, teachers have to risk their own questionings and discoveries about identity, community, and education.
Sharing Cultures works, in its own modest ways, to advance the agenda for education articulated by the African National Congress in their 1993 Draft for a New Constitution for South Africa: ?Education shall be directed towards the development of human personality and a sense of personal dignity, and shall aim at strengthening respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and promoting human understanding, tolerance, and friendship amongst South Africans and between nations.? As we move towards encounters between students at UPE and CCC that are actual, and not just virtual, we are heartened by how powerful even virtual encounters can be within a structured educational environment.