This project investigated the research question: How do changes in inter-cultural competency (ICC) compare among pre-service teachers at three data collection points? Intercultural competency was defined as “the capability to accurately understand and adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities” (Hammer & Bennett, 2010). The study was based on the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (Bennett, 1986), which identified five orientations toward cultural differences: denial, polarization, minimization, acceptance, and adaptation. Data was collected from 48 undergraduate students who majored in elementary education. Investigators hypothesized that students would have a statistically significant change in their ICC from the beginning of their academic studies until just before student teaching. Subjects completed the Intercultural Develop-mental Inventory (IDI) (Hammer & Bennett, 2012), which calculates a score that reflects capacity for cross-cultural adaptation. The IDI is based on Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sen-sitivity (1986). Results showed that (1) students who completed the one-semester course (Human Relations) improved their ICC by an average of 5.874 points and (2) students who completed the professional education program (three more semesters) improved their ICC by an average of 15.805 points. Most importantly, students improved their ICC by an average of 21.679 points from the beginning of their academic studies until the beginning of student teaching. The data analysis showed that students did have a statistically significant change in their ICC, and results suggested that the program’s content, pedagogy, and mentorship have a positive impact on pre-service teachers. Outcomes are being shared with MSU’s faculty to help determine the efficacy of teaching methods used by the instructors to develop cultural competency. Data and information will be reviewed with administrators for program planning, implementation, and assessment.
See also: https://youtu.be/t1N_947yh2o
O'Rourke, S., & Arndt, J. (2019, May 23). Preparing teachers for a diverse classroom. Presented at the 2019 World Congress on Undergraduate Research, Oldenburg, Germany.
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