This study explored the intercultural sensitivity of 233 elementary teachers working in five bilingual schools in an urban Texas school district. The purpose of the study was to assess teachers' intercultural sensitivity and to determine whether there were differences in intercultural sensitivity in terms of certain demographic and background variables related to their intercultural experience.
A quantitative, non-experimental design was used for the study. The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), version 2, a psychometrically valid instrument based on the Development Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS), was used to measure intercultural sensitivity. A seven-item demographic and background information sheet was used to gather the information needed to determine whether the dependent variables (IDI developmental and scale scores) differed for teacher groups in terms of the independent variables: gender, age, level of education, years living in a bicultural setting, years teaching in schools, years teaching ethnically diverse students, and years teaching in a bilingual classroom.
The IDI results revealed a mean developmental score of 95.09 for the group of teachers. This score placed the teachers in Minimization, an ethnocentric stage on the DMIS. This suggests that while the group of teachers may have a familiarity with different cultures and be aware of differences in cultural patterns such as values, beliefs, and communication styles, they may minimize student cultural differences and apply universal values and principles in their educational practice.
The results also indicated a significant difference between the mean developmental score for teacher groups examined for two of the variables: years teaching in schools and years teaching ethnically diverse students. For both of these variables, the group of teachers with over 10 years experience had a higher mean developmental score than the group of teachers with fewer years experience. There were no significant differences in the scores between teacher groups for the other variables: living in a bicultural setting, years teaching in a bilingual classroom, age, gender, or level of education.
University of Minnesota Ed.D. dissertation. March 2009. Major:Educational Policy and Administration. Advisors: Dr. Joan DeJaeghere and Dr. Deanne Magnusson. 1 computer file (PDF); xiii, 140 pages, appendices A-B.
Bayles, Peggy Porterfield.
Assessing the intercultural sensitivity of elementary teachers in bilingual schools in a Texas school district..
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