Teaching University Students for a Multicultural Society

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Throughout the world, populations of many countries are rapidly becoming more diverse than ever. Population composition is changing, whether measured by ethnicity or race, age or generation, immigration status, or internal displacement. Higher education institutions have an important role in preparing university graduates to interact with diverse groups. This focus guided our study: What teaching and learning strategies might enhance intercultural competence (ICC) among undergraduate students at a university? ICC was considered to be understanding of one’s own culture as well as the capacity to understand, interpret, and adapt to other cultures. Investigators wanted to collect a set of activities to foster growth in students’ ICC through knowledge, experience, reflection, and coaching. This project examined 278 scholarly articles to explore the teaching and learning strategies that appear to have made the difference. Using keywords such as multiculturalism, intercultural competence, diversity, higher education, coaching, reflection, service learning, and cultural partners, investigators used academic databases to locate related materials. Research articles were analyzed to locate effective pedagogical practices. The study reported evidence from academic literature about intensive, intentional, and reflective cross-cultural educational experiences that could have a positive impact on the ICC of undergraduate students. Impactful teaching and learning experiences include elements of knowledge, experience, coaching, and reflection. The author suggested specific teaching and learning activities that combine all four elements and may be customized to enhance almost any academic or professional preparation program: cultural autobiography, diversity stories, cultural partnership, and service learning.


Elementary and Literacy Education Department

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International Journal of Multiculturalism



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.