Increasing migrations across the world mean leaders at all levels need to become more competent in working across cultures. During the past 30 years, program designers, researchers, and others have investigated intercultural competence (ICC), often described as the capability to accurately understand and adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities. Tertiary education programs (TEP) are accepting these challenges by offering experiences (such as coursework, study away, study abroad, cultural events, etc.) that are intended to produce culturally competent graduates. The teaching and learning experiences described in this study at a midwestern American university may inform others. This study examined archived data from two courses designed to enhance undergraduates’ ICC. Researchers expected that students who completed a course, called Critical Race Theory in Education (CRT), would show statistically larger gains during a second course, called Human Relations in a Multicultural Society (HRMS). At the beginning and conclusion of HRMS, students completed the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). Researchers used the two-sample t-test to compare the pre-HRMS scores of students who had completed CRT and students who had not completed CRT. Analysis showed students who took CRT before HRMS had statistically significantly higher beginning scores than students who had not completed CRT before they enrolled in HRMS (p = .042). Although students who completed CRT started HRMS with the higher IDI mean score, those individuals did not make statistically significant gains in their ICC during the HRMS course (p = .130). However, the students who had not completed CRT before HRMS did make statistically significant gains in their ICC during the HRMS course (p < .001). These results, with additional research, could be used to redesign the courses or to design other curricula approaches.
Elementary and Literacy Education Department
International Journal of Multiculturalism
Lindmeier, L., Hashimoto, R., & Sandell, E. J. (2023). Impact of two courses on intercultural competence of undergraduate students. International Journal of Multiculturalism, 4(1), 35-51. DOI: 10.30546/2523-4331.2023.4.1.35
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