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С ЧЕГО НАЧИНАЕТСЯ КУЛЬТУРНАЯ КОМПЕТЕНЦИЯ: ОЦЕНКА МЕЖКУЛЬТУРНОЙ КОМПЕТЕНЦИИ СТУДЕНТОВ

Элизабет Дж. Санделл

С ЧЕГО НАЧИНАЕТСЯ КУЛЬТУРНАЯ КОМПЕТЕНЦИЯ: ОЦЕНКА МЕЖКУЛЬТУРНОЙ КОМПЕТЕНЦИИ СТУДЕНТОВ

В настоящее время потребность в межкультурных знаниях, умениях и навыках является общепризнанной, а интерес к высшему образованию как способу обеспечения достижения педагогами межкультурной компетенции постоянно растет. Данное исследование нацелено на изучение уровня выходных культурных ориентаций студентов в образовательном процессе в целом и построено на основе возрастной модели межкультурной восприимчивости ВММВ [Bennet, 1986]. Используется три версии оценки межкультурного развития студентов [Hammer, 2009а; Hammer, 2011] для определения позиции студентов по отношению к представителям иных культур. Данные, полученные в результате исследования студенческой культурной позиции, показали, что в первые годы обучения в университете студенты склонны к минимизации культурных различий. Результаты исследования будут использоваться в процессе планирования требуемых действий на уровне, соответствующем начальным ориентациям студентов. Университет также может использовать данные материалы при оценке эффективности обучения, нацеленного на развитие межкультурной компетенции, в частности на педагогическом факультете, и формирования у студентов более межкультурного/глобального (межэтнического) мировоззрения.

Ключевые слова: Культурно значимая педагогика, диверсификация, мультикультурное образование педагогов, подготовка педагогов, культурная компетентность, межкультурное развитие, культурная ориентация.

 
Like many other industrialized countries, the population of the United States is increasingly diverse, welcoming a wide variety of cultural, racial, and ethnic groups. The diversification of America has resulted in a wideningsocio-cultural gap between the teacher population and the student population. The teaching population continues to be predominantly Caucasian, female, middle-class, and monolingual. According to Gollnick and Chinn (2009), students of color comprise approximately 40 % of all students in primary and secondary public schools in the United States. Their research showed that 85 %of teachers are white and 75 % are female. By 2020, students of color will account for nearly one-half of school populations. In Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, and Texas, students of color already represent more than 50 % of school populations.

Teachers play a critical role in educating students to be productive citizens who can function well during times of increasing globalization and domestic diversity. Teachers' knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes toward students, especially those who are different from themselves, influence the curriculum and environments for teaching and learning (Sleeter, 2001). Research on teacher expectations and student success suggests that teachers' beliefs about students lead to differential expectations and treatment of students. Therefore, teachers should exemplify culturally appropriate knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes necessary for success for their students and communities.

The demographic disparity between students and teachers calls for the responsibility of teacher education programs (TEP) to ensure that pre-service teachers are well prepared for the socio-cultural contexts in public schools (Bennett, 2004). The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) includes 12 sources of cultural identity in its standards (e. g., ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, exceptionalities, language, religion, sexual orientation, and geographical area) (NCATE, 2008). In brief, teachers should exemplify intercultural competence (ICC).

Definitions

Here are definitions for several key terms, including culture, empathy, intercultural experience, intercultural differences, worldview, and intercultural competence (ICC).

a) Culture: "All knowledge and values shared by a group" (AACU, 2012, page 15).

b) Empathy: «Empathy is the imaginary participation in another person's experience, including emotional and intellectual dimensions, by imagining his or her perspective (not by assuming the person's position)» (Bennett, J., 1998).

c) Intercultural experience: "The experience of an interaction with an individual or group of people whose culture is different from one's own" (AACU, 2012, page 15).

d) Intercultural or cultural differences: "The differences in rules, behaviors, communication, and biases based on cultural knowledge or values that are different from one's own" (AACU, 2012, page 15).

e) Intercultural sensitivity: Sensitivity to the viewpoints of people in cultures other than one's own (Bhawuk & Brislin, 1992) (may or may not involve subsequent behavior).

f) Worldview: "The cognitive and affective lenses through which people understand and interpret their experiences and make sense of the world around them" (AACU, 2012, page 15).

g) Intercultural Competency (ICC): The ability to accommodate cultural differences into one's reality in ways that enable an individual to move easily into and out of diverse cultures and to adjust naturally to the situation at hand (Bennett, 1993). Hammer (2009b; 2011; and 2012) defines intercultural competence as the capability to shift cultural perspective and appropriately adapt behavior [emphasis added] to cultural differences and commonalities.

During the past 20 years, many investigators have looked at the development of intercultural competence, its consequences, and its implications for individuals and groups. These studies have included examining the conducting of "business as usual" in higher education, investigating the impact of study abroad elements of teacher preparation, implementing domestic intercultural education (immersion experiences), and assessing outcomes of teacher education programs.

Business as Usual

Several investigators have examined the consequences of "business as usual" in higher education on the development of ICC for pre- service teachers. Results may be interpreted to indicate that Teacher Education Programs (TEPs) need to examine, revise, and evaluate their teacher preparation programs.

Ambrosio, Seguin, Hogan, & Miller (2001) suggested that student-generated classroom lesson plans could be used as a means of evaluating multicultural/diversity learning outcomes for pre-service teachers. The investigators developed a rubric to conduct a structured evaluation procedure to effectively elicit meaningful data for program and student feedback. Results indicated that only about 50 % of teacher education candidates demonstrated at least minimal skills in creating an effective and meaningful multicultural/diversity lesson plan.

Carter-Merrill (2007) focused on the effects of students' background characteristics, precollege experiences, and college experiences on development on ICC as defined by Bennett's (1993) Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS). This mixed- method study assessed the intercultural competence (measured by the IDI) for one group of students before they entered the university and again prior to their graduation. Students also completed the Cooperative Institute Research Program's (CIRP) Freshman Survey (CIRP, 2005) with the pre-test and a locally-designed activity inventory with the post- test. Results indicated that the following activities contributed to ICC: study abroad, participation in discussions, relationships with people different from self, exposure to a diverse campus (especially international students), community engagement and involvement in general, and participation in a student media organization. Fraternity or sorority membership had a negative influence on the development of ICC. Few students shifted beyond the minimization orientation on the IDI. The investigator noted that significant characteristics and experiences appeared to be related to student growth only within ethnocentric stages.

Riley (2007) addressed the connection between ICC (measured by the IDI) and university students' campus and community engagement, measured by the Community College Survey of Student Engagement [CCSSE] (CCCSE, 2005), as well as survey items pertaining to frequency and quality of contact with diverse others. There was a strong correlation between IDI scores and CCSSE measures of Active and Collaborative Learning, Academic Challenge, Student-Faculty Interaction, and Student Effort, as well as survey items pertaining to intercultural contact and intercultural competence. A weaker correlation was found between IDI scores and the CCSE measure of Support for Learners. There were few meaningful differences between any of the subgroups (gender, ethnicity, full-time status, first-generation status, and length of time in college) when compared on the basis of students' engagement and intercultural competence. Students valued group work contributions toward engagement and intercultural competence above all other activities on campus outside the classroom as well as above all other engagement strategies. The study reported that students also found value in international events and sharing of traditions, service learning and engagement in the community, a diverse faculty and student body, and opportunities for study abroad.

Critical Aspect of Cultural Competence for Teachers

For educators, cultural competence is the ability to effectively respond to students from different cultures and classes while valuing and preserving the dignity of cultural differences and similarities between individuals, families, and communities. Cultural competence involves an understanding of the hidden rules within different economic and cultural structures in order to have productive relationships with students. Students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds often do not fare well in public education and are plagued by problems such as the achievement gap, overrepresentation in special education, high suspension and expulsion rates, and high drop-out rates (Jencks & Phillips, 1988; Losen & Orfield, 2002; Townsend, 2000).

In spite of the value of cross-cultural experiences, many students cannot take advan-tage of residential cross-cultural programs, such as study abroad or study away. Therefore, it is important to design and to assess the value of intercultural education within the students' home countries, particularly in regard to teacher education outcomes.

Assessing Outcomes of Teacher Education Programs

Because of the critical nature of culturally sensitive and relevant teaching, the NCATE has established standards to provide accountability and improve teacher preparation (NCATE, 2008). In particular, TEPs are challenged by two NCATE standards: composition of candidates for licensure and the composition of the faculty (Gallavan, Troutman, & Jones, 2001).

Liang and Zhang (2009) identified and examined several indicators to evaluate cultural competence of pre-service teachers in teacher education institutions. Results indicated that cultural competency consists of four factors: (1) teachers' professional beliefs; (2) self- reflections; (3) teachers' expectations; and (4) actions to challenge and ameliorate prejudice and social injustice. The researchers discussed possible adaptations of a multidimensional approach to explain and assess the cultural competence of pre-service teachers.

Despite the importance of ICC, teachers may not be adequately prepared either through pre- service or in-service development to respond to the realities of culturally diverse students and communities. Kea, Trent, and Davis (2002) hypothesized that teachers' limited knowledge about culturally and linguistically diverse students with or without disabilities may affect patterns of interaction and the use of effective practices with these students. Such situations may be true across and within racial-ethnic groups. Investigators studied 43 African American student teachers. Results indicated that 80 % or more of the student teachers felt highly competent to teach culturally and linguistically diverse students. However, more participants believed they understood to the greatest extent the culture of students who were members of their own racial group, had more interactions with students who were members of their own racial group, felt most prepared to teach this group, and knew more about the contributions of this group. No student teachers believed that they were «very much prepared» (highest possible rating) by their TEP to teach any group that included culturally and linguistically diverse students with disabilities. They acknowledged a need for more content in the areas of human growth and development from a cross-cultural perspective, historical knowledge about various cultures, and accessing family and community resources.

Garmon (2004) concluded that self-reflection on one's own belief system is a key factor related to pre-service teachers' cultural competence. He suggested that self-reflection relates to being willing and able to think critically about one's own beliefs, values, and attitudes. Other factors listed were personal beliefs, professional beliefs, intercultural experiences, and educational experiences.

Theoretical Framework

From the perspective of a process of developmental learning and in an effort to establish a basis for in-country intercultural education, this study focused on the entry-level cultural competence of university students. To further the understanding of the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs, this study sought to establish a statistical picture of intercultural competence for students at the beginning of their professional education studies.

The Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) was originally described by Bennett (1986; 1993) [see Figure 1]. With concepts from cognitive psychology and constructivism, Bennett defined ICC as a developmental phenomenon consisting of discrete stages or levels, each with its distinct cognitive structures, affective orientations, and behavioral capacities. Bennett described ICC as the way a person understands, feels about, and responds to cultural differences. The DMIS presented predictable stages through which people progress as their cultural competency increases. The DMIS includes two main categories: ethno-centrism and ethno-relativism. (See Figure 1).

Ethno-centrism leads people to believe that their culture or ethnic group is superior to all other groups. This category includes stages of Denial and Defense/ Reversal. Individuals in stage one, Denial, see their culture as the only real culture and limit their exposure to different cultures. They may recognize more observable differences (such as food or costume) but be oblivious to deeper cultural differences (such as resolution of conflicts). Persons in stage two, Defense/Reversal, may either take an uncritical view toward their own cultural values and practices or take an uncritical view toward the cultural values and practices of other persons. This stage is characterized by the sorting of people into "us and them." Differences are often seen as divisive and threatening.

Minimization is a transitional stage in which individuals shift from more mono-cultural or ethnocentric orientations to the more intercu- ltural or ethno-relative viewpoints. Ethno- relativism leads people to believe that their culture is one of many different cultures and that one is not superior to the other. This category includes stages of Acceptance, Adaptation, and Integration. Individuals in stage four, Acceptance, view their culture as just one of the many complex and rich cultures in the world. They actually appreciate complex patterns of cultural differences. In stage five, Adaptation, individuals are able to take the perspective of the "other." They can and do adapt their behaviors and communication styles to better fit into another culture. These adaptations are culturally appropriate and graceful. In the DMIS, Bennett included a stage six, Integration. He suggested that, in this last stage, individuals or groups can and do move easily between cultures and adjust naturally to the unique situations and expectations.

Based on the DMIS, Hammer and Bennett (1998) created the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) [see Figure 2]. The IDI measures ICC and points to stages of development for learning about and experiencing cultural differences and similarities. The IDI is a theory- based test demonstrated to be valid and reliable. Cross-cultural validity testing of the IDI has been extensively conducted with thousands of people throughout the world (Paige, Jacobs-Cassuto, Yershova, &Dejaeghere, 2003; Hammer, Bennett, & Wiseman, 2003; Hammer, 2011).

Confirmatory factor analysis indicated the following:
1) Bennett's basic orientations toward cultural differences reliably describe categories: Denial, Defense, Reversal, Minimization, Acceptance, and Adaptation;
2) The IDI provides an overall Developmental Orientation (DO) scale and an overall Perceived Orientation (PO) scale;
3) The IDI is appropriate for students age 15 or older or individuals with a grade ten reading level;
4) The IDI has strong content and construct validity across culture groups; and
5) The IDI has strong predictive validity toward achievement of diversity and inclusion goals.

Recommendations for Future Research

In order to nurture teachers who are culturally competent, teacher educators need to begin at the level of the students' cultural orientations and challenge their subsequent growth. This baseline data will be used by the College of Education to plan interventions and to evaluate effectiveness of teacher preparation programs. Results will be used by the local university to facilitate strategic initiatives to educate undergraduate students in multicultural diversity. Researchers expect that students at MSU, Mankato, will show positive gains in overall intercultural competence. The research will provide students and faculty members at MSU, Mankato, with collaborative, critical reflection about culture and education in diverse environments.

Faculty members themselves should practice self-understanding and self-reflection on theirown cultures. Mentoring provided by the faculty members should lead TEP graduates to enhanced cultural competency, combined with affective commitment so that classroom teachers become increasingly effective in the classrooms, cafeteria, and other school settings. Faculty members may use data from the IDI to develop goals, adopt assessments, document progress, create self-reflection, and design mentor feedback. Cultural immersion experiences may encourage new educators to not only learn about others, but also learn from and with others.
Future data analysis should collect and analyze data to:
(1) Compare IDI scores among students to explore the specific details of the interaction effects for academic classification and academic major.
(2) Compare IDI scores with analysis of qualitative data from reflection papers generated by students.
(3) Compare quantitative data in IDI subscales, e.g., denial, disinterest, avoidance, defense, reversal, adaptation, and cultural disengagement.
(4) Compare IDI scores as a result of variations in teaching strategies.

Author

Elizabeth J. Sandell is an associate professor in the College of Education at Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN. She received her B. A. (Social Work), M. A. (Educational Administration), and Ph. D. (Education) from the University of Minnesota. She has traveled to all 50 states and to 6 continents. Her research agenda includes development and evaluation of approaches to multicultural and diverse education in Minnesota and in the Russian Federation. During the past six years, she has mentored more than 15 undergraduate students (including four from Russia) who have presented oral and poster sessions at the MSU Undergraduate Research Symposium and at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research
 
Figure 1


 
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Вестник Северо-Восточного государственного университета
Магадан 2013. Выпуск 20

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