An ambiguous object and pictures of different cultural settings are introduced to the students. Students explore them by means of the D.I.E. technique (description, interpretation, evaluation).
Aims and objectives
- to clarify the differences between description (D), interpretation (I) and evaluation (E)
- to demonstrate that people tend to begin with interpretation and evaluation, rarely description
- to demonstrate how personal experience and cultural values influence our interpretation and evaluation
- to provide practise in describing, stressing the importance of observation
- to develop skills for a "a life with each other" instead of "a life next to each other"
Reflection for the students / questions for debriefing
- Which description/interpretation/evaluation was the most difficult or easiest one? Why?
- How did you feel when you were asked to describe without interpreting or evaluating?
- What did you learn?
- How might personal and cultural values influence the interpretation or evaluation?
- How can you use what you learned in your everyday life?
Some debriefing conclusions:
- People tend to jump to interpretation and evaluation without first describing and also without entertaining alternative interpretations and evaluations.
- Our interpretations and evaluations are based on our own experience and cultural learning.
- When we can first describe, then look for alternative interpretations and evaluations, we are likely to be more accurate and more effective cross-culturally.
Reference / original source of the method
This method was used by Gertraud Steininger in her workshop “The methodical roundabout of intercultural dialogue” at the aces Kick-Off Meeting 2008 in St. Virgil, Austria.