This study explored the intercultural sensitivity of 334 school counselors in international schools that were citizens of 39 nations and represented international schools in 74 countries. The purpose of the study was to identify personal and professional factors influencing intercultural sensitivity. The developmental model of intercultural sensitivity (DMIS), a six-stage progression model that depicts how individuals construe their experience with cultural difference, was the theoretical framework for the study. The study followed a quantitative, non-experimental design, and used the Intercultural Development Inventory®, version 3, a psychometrically valid instrument based on the DMIS, to measure intercultural sensitivity. A demographic questionnaire measured the personal and professional predictor variables. Multiple variable regression and path analysis were used to predict and posit a path diagram. Results from the IDI v3 revealed that school counselors in international schools are working from the minimization stage (N = 334, M = 99.5) a transitional placement that highlights cultural commonality that can mask deeper recognition of cultural differences. School counselors who had coursework in multicultural counseling, or professional development in intercultural competence or intercultural communication had statistically significant higher levels of intercultural sensitivity. School counselors aged 41-50 years had significantly higher mean IDI developmental orientation scores than those aged 22-30 years. The length of time school counselors studied abroad and the total years spent outside of the school counselor's passport country were significantly correlated with intercultural sensitivity. The results also indicated that the Intercultural Development Activity Index was significantly correlated with higher levels of intercultural sensitivity. Specifically, paying attention to cultural differences during travel, and frequency of personal interactions in which one tries to understand the cultural perspective of a culturally different person, were the most significantly correlated variables to intercultural sensitivity. The results of the regression to predict intercultural sensitivity indicated a combination of variables explained 14% of the variance depicting a statistically significant model with a small effect size. A path diagram shows the relationships of the personal and professional predictors of intercultural sensitivity development. Positive influences and challenges of school counselors' intercultural development and implications for practice are discussed.
University of Minnesota Ed.D. dissertation. October 2014. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisor: Gerald W. Fry. 1 computer file (PDF); xiii, 212 pages.
Steuernagel, Jeffrey Alan.
Factors that contribute to the intercultural sensitivity of school counselors in international schools: a path analysis.
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