Other Articles of Interest to Multicultural Faculty Developers

Published in To Improve the Academy


Afolayan, Johnson A. The Implication of Cultural Diversity in American Schools. To Improve the Academy. 1994; 13: p 135-146.

The purpose of this article is to analyze the major factors responsible for the cultural diversity in America and their implications for professional educators. These factors include immigration, communication, linguistic diversity, cultural values, and desegregation. While some educators look to the demographics of the new student population, others consider historical clues as a method of understanding American diversity. Statistics about school achievement and dropout and graduation rates show the disparity among the ethnic groups. The new immigrants and ethnic groups may experience conflict as a result of cultural attitudes of teachers and peers. Individuals cannot be understood unless they are seen against the cultural history from which they have come and in terms of the situation in which they currently live. Because of the diversity in the American population, educators need to be sensitive to the cultural elements that may affect students' performance and self-esteem.

Awbrey, Susan M.; Scott, David K. Knowledge Into Wisdom: Incorporating Values and Beliefs to Construct a Wise University. To Improve the Academy. 1994; 13: p 161-176

Philosopher Nicholas Maxwell argues that universities today are founded on a philosophy of knowledge that is too narrowly focused on solving the technical problems of specialized academic disciplines. Maxwell believes that the foundation for the university should be a new type of inquiry that would have as its aim the improvement of not only knowledge but personal and global wisdom-a type of inquiry that would help us address the larger, complex problems that threaten our society. The authors agree with Maxwell but submit that the university has already begun a transformation to the philosophy of wisdom. As evidence of this organizational transition, current debates within the academy which relate to the components of wisdom are analyzed. A model for the development of wisdom is presented and its stages compared to the historical development of the university. The authors argue that universities should both exemplify and foster wisdom. Instructional implications of the philosophy of wisdom are explored.

Butler, Johnnella E. A Report Card for Diversity. To Improve the Academy. 1994; 13: p 147-160

This article was originally prepared for and presented as the keynote address for the 1993 POD conference. As an assessment of where we are and need to go intellectually in efforts to incorporate diversity into the liberal arts curriculum, it argues for the recognition of the multiple, connected stories in our national story, in order to allow for a transformation in our teaching, our curricula, and in the structure of colleges and universities that moves us to an individualism defined and supported by collective, shared memory, thereby promoting the generative learning necessary to the evolution of a just, plural society.

Collett, Jonathan. Reaching African-American Students in the Classroom. To Improve the Academy. 1990: p 177-188.

Citing grim statistics on the attrition rate of African American college students, the author argues that the most critical challenge for faculty development programs is to focus attention on the effects that teaching and learning dynamics can have on the persistence of African American and other underrepresented minority students. Collett points out that traditional expectations about education discriminate against various groups according to gender, class, and race. He then outlines teaching strategies that account for culture-based learning styles. Some of these strategies include: becoming aware of our own culture-bound learning styles; being tolerant of disorder and emotion; conveying high expectations of students to build their confidence; offering support both in and out of the classroom; discussing cultural diversity in the classroom; having frequent class evaluations; and varying the pedagogical approaches to meet diverse learning styles.

Cooper, Joanne E.; Chattergy, Virgie. Developing Faculty Multicultural Awareness: An Examination of Life Roles And Their Cultural Components. To Improve the Academy. 1993; 12: p 81-95

This articles describes the use of narrative to develop multicultural awareness. Faculty were asked to examine their own "internal multiculturalism": how their various roles and statuses reflect differing and sometimes conflicting cultural imperatives. Findings explore points of connection and conflict experienced by faculty within the university culture and foster the negotiation and understanding of various cultures in all members of the academy.

Flannery, Barbara; Vanterpool, Maureen. A Model for Infusing Cultural Diversity Concepts Across the Curriculum. To Improve the Academy. 1990: p 159-175.

The authors propose a model for infusing cultural diversity concepts across the curriculum. The first framework targets learning objectives in the cognitive and affective domains emphasizing the student learning process and resistance or receptivity to cultural diversity concepts. Employing Bloom's taxonomy, the authors show how educators can identify cognitive and affective levels of their instruction in order to determine levels of receptivity or resistance to cultural diversity concepts. The second framework examines the importance of personal relevance to student learning. The authors compare two programs at Miami University: the first, a teacher education program in which students demonstrate high receptivity to cultural diversity concepts; the second, a housing and interior design program in which students show low receptivity to cultural diversity concepts. The authors suggest ways to make cultural diversity concepts more personally relevant for students. From this, they show how students can extend outward and see the relevance of cultural diversity in the larger community and in the global community.

Hilsen, Linda; Petersen-Perlman, Deborah. Leveling the Playing Field. To Improve the Academy. 1994; 13: p 221-233.

To promote equity in education, the authors contend that teachers must: 1) hear all the voices in their classroom, 2) distribute power so students can vocalize, 3) establish ground rules with students on how to interact in the classroom, and 4) use active teaching and learning strategies in their classrooms. By employing each of these four strategies, the authors believe the educational playing field will become level, enabling all to participate equitably in attaining educations.

Johnston, Mary Anne. Increasing Sensitivity to Diversity: Empowering Students. To Improve the Academy. 1994; 13: p 213-220.

This paper describes a model program for increasing sensitivity in an academic environment. To improve the learning environment for students, faculty developers provide educational programs that enhance the faculty's understanding of differences related to gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, and physical abilities. This report highlights the process of working closely with students to design and implement an orientation program for first-year students to increase an awareness of the influence of diversity on their learning and working together.

Knoedler, Andrew S.; Shea, Mary Ann. Conducting Discussions in the Diverse Classroom. To Improve the Academy. 1992: p 123-135.

In this article the authors focus on conducting discussions in diverse classrooms. They begin by examining three cognitive frameworks that can help instructors appreciate the diversity of learning styles among students. These frameworks are Felder and Silverman's (1988) learning styles, Perry's (1970) cognitive development theory, and Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, and Tarule's (1986) "women's ways of knowing". The authors then review specific strategies that can be use not only to make classroom discussions more inclusive but also to foster diversity through discussions.

Knowles, Trudy; Medearis, Cheryl; Snell, Anne. Putting Empowerment to Work in the Classroom. To Improve the Academy. 1994; 13: p 203-211.

At Sinte Gleska University, a tribal college on the Rosebud Sioux reservation, the authors are empowering students through teaching methods and curricular choices. The authors identify three areas as important ingredients in empowering students: validating culture, teaching to learning styles, and utilizing teaching strategies resulting in self-directed learning. These three elements of empowerment can open up avenues of knowledge that have been previously closed to students on the Rosebud Reservation. As students discover that knowledge is powerful, they begin to learn because they want to. Change in the fundamental ways we view ourselves as teachers is necessary in order to empower students. In addition, changes in the way we teach, assess and interact can have a profound impact on our students.

Lewis, Richard F. How Attitudes Change: A Primer for Faculty Developers. To Improve the Academy. 1991: p 35-45.

The author argues that professors' attitudes can make successes or failures out of elaborate faculty development plans and programs. He reviews several attitude change theories, such as classical conditioning, reinforcement, modeling, message learning, balance, impression management, cognitive dissonance, self-persuasion, and probabilogical. The author gives examples of how faculty developers can employ each theoretical framework to encourage professors to change their attitudes about faculty development. He writes that the role of the faculty developer is to persuade professors to change their attitudes to those that will improve their vitality.

McGinnis, Karin; Maeckelbergh, Kenneth. Do You See What I See? To Improve the Academy. 1994; 13: p 191-201.

This paper explores the role of visual perception as a value-laden learned behavior. Through example, including visual conventions, it describes the relationships between perception, culture, and experience as well as the impact visual imagery has in the academic community. Methods for developing critical visual inquiry (visual literacy) are included.

Mintz, Jacqueline. Challenging Values: Conflicts, Contradiction, and Pedagogy. To Improve the Academy. 1994; 14: p 177-190.

The current crises of economics, demographics, retention, and disgruntled faculty, along with the neglect of the national mission to educate our citizenry for a democratic society, offer an opportunity on the cusp of the millennium to reflect about our values and the values of traditional American education. The literature of travel and cultural studies provides new lenses to help us and our institutions expose deeply held beliefs, assumptions, and the actions that have been taken in their names. Uncovering these beliefs can enable us as educators to reconstruct a common mission through developing a dynamic pedagogy for today's students bolstered by the energies and informed by the voices, experiences, and values of all our citizens.

Olsen, Deborah. Gender and Racial Differences Among a Research University Faculty: Recommendations for Promoting Diversity. To Improve the Academy. 1991: p 123-139.

Understanding differences among faculty groups is particularly useful to faculty developers whose task is to help all faculty perform to their fullest, reaching a successful balance between personal proclivities and interests, and institutional expectations. This paper describes a study carried out to provide a broad and systematic basis for policy and program recommendations for the recruitment and retention of women and minority faculty. The author wanted to better understand what aspects of faculty experience are common to all faculty at a major research university, and what features of the experience differ by race and gender. During interviews with 146 minority, white female, and white male tenure-track faculty, the researchers asked about research, teaching and service; relationship with colleagues and with the university; and about inevitable conflicts between academic and personal lives. The author concludes that faculty overlap broadly in their expectations, goals, and achievements, but, despite intense socialization and selectivity pressures, differ in significant ways.

Simpson, Edwin L. Gender Differences in Faculty Perceptions of Factors that Enhance and Inhibit Academic Career Growth. To Improve the Academy. 1992: p 49-57.

This study explored the perceptions of 139 higher education faculty regarding influences related to career vitality. Users and non-users of an individualized career development program participated. Significant differences were discovered between men and women related to reasons for choosing their career, sensitivity to mentoring, and sources of career satisfaction.

Van Der Bogert, Virginia; Brinko, Kathleen T. ; Atkins, Sally S.; Arnold, Ellen L. Transformational Faculty Development: Integrating the Feminine and the Masculine. To Improve the Academy. 1990: p 89-9 8.

The authors cite key research on gender differences in thinking and personality, to highlight the differences in the way women and men perceive their social environment, develop morally, and express their epistemological premises about the world. Recognizing these differences, the authors suggest that faculty development, which traditionally has had an individualistic (masculine) orientation, should strive to incorporate both feminine and masculine styles in practice. This approach, called "transformational faculty development," promotes and "generative" style that emphasizes the commitment to fostering productivity, creativity, and a sense of self-esteem in others. Faculty development should focus not on merely providing services; rather, it should facilitate personal, professional, and organizational change.

Wadsworth, Emily C. Inclusive Teaching: A Workshop On Cultural Diversity. To Improve the Academy. 1992; 11: p 233-239.

Although higher education has become more accessible for non-traditional students over the last two decades, it has not necessarily become friendlier. In fact, culturally diverse students frequently find that the most difficult thing about college is learning how to learn in the dominant U.S. way. The author argues that many faculty know little about the effects of culture or communicating across cultures. Because culture is ingrained in every aspect of human life, it is crucial that faculty become more knowledgeable about culture and cross-cultural communication. This article presents ideas for a workshop designed to address the issue of cultural diversity among students. With a greater awareness of cultural differences, faculty can teach in more culturally sensitive ways. This article includes an appendix with two sample cases that could be used as catalysts for discussion.

Wilkerson, LuAnn. How Can I Be Heard? To Improve the Academy. 1992; 11: p 283-285.

This short (two-page) piece provides an example of problem-based learning that involves students in discussions of cases drawn from actual experiences. "How Can I Be Heard?" is written for a 1-1/2 hour workshop/tutorial in the first course of a first-year medical student curriculum at Harvard. It focuses on increasing attention to group process and is intended to provoke discussion of group interaction, the role of gender and age in influencing student interaction, and the strategies that can be used by faculty to resolve conflict among students.

Winter, Deborah. The Feminization of Academia. To Improve the Academy. 1991: p 115-121.

The author explores the feminist basis of faculty development and suggests that the survival of faculty development will not only depend upon the continued manifestation of feminist values, but also on the feminization of higher education itself, a trend that is already observable. Faculty development is a feminist enterprise, as it provides "help" (a concept that is a feminine value), and emphasizes teaching and collaboration. The author argues that because faculty development threatens the existing patriarchal order, it is often marginalized in institutions. However, to view faculty development in feminist terms is advantageous. First, feminism offers a structural explanation for why many of the values espoused in faculty development have been undermined. Second, feminism offers and historical explanation for the feminization of academia. And finally, feminism empowers faculty development because it encourages the natural abilities and values of many practitioners in the field.

Wunsch, Marie A.; Chattergy, Virgie. Managing Diversity Through Faculty Development. To Improve the Academy. 1991: p 141-150.

Acknowledging the drastic demographic changes that are affecting higher education, the authors write that institutions must respond comprehensively to the moral, social, and political issues of diversity and multiculturalism as they affect individual institutions. Diversity, they argue, must be dealt with as part of the normal business of the university and basic to the commitment to educational opportunity and excellence. For faculty development programs, this means infusing and integrating the search for equity and excellence into the normal development practices like new faculty orientation, TA training, department chair leadership training, instructional development, incentive/reward programs, and research. The authors describe how the integration of diversity into normal faculty development practices is being done at the University of Hawaii. In orientations for new faculty and teaching assistants, for example, presentations are made on campus demographics and cultural interactions, and the impact these have on curriculum and climate. A Junior Faculty Mentoring Program pays special attention to the retention of junior and minority women faculty; and an Educational Improvement Fund provides faculty grants to those who are working on projects related to the diversity theme.

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