Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Effects of International Service Learning on Development of Intercultural Competence
by McCloskey, Sharon M., Ed.D., University of Hartford, 2019, 175; 13881694
Abstract (Summary)

As the United States becomes an increasingly multicultural society (Colby & Ortman, 2014; Perez & Hirschman, 2009), there are greater opportunities for cross-culture interactions, especially in settings for healthcare practitioners. The profession of occupational therapy demands future practitioners understand culture and become skilled in the delivery of culturally competent care (AOTA, 2014). The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of international service learning (ISL) on the development of intercultural competence in graduate occupational therapy students. Inquiry for this research followed a mixed-methods explanatory sequential design. Study participants were graduate occupational therapy students who engaged in an international service-learning experience. The quantitative data were collected utilizing a self-report measure, the intercultural developmental inventory (IDI; Hammer, 1999, 2009, 2011). This instrument is aligned with the developmental model of intercultural sensitivity (DMIS; Bennett, 1986, 1993), and identifies specific orientations that range from an ethnocentric mindset to a more ethnorelative, or intercultural mindset. The qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interviews and reflective journals, examining the participants' perceptions about the ISL experience and the development of intercultural competence. Grounded theory data analysis protocols were utilized to systematically analyze the qualitative data and further explain the quantitative findings.

The findings of this study were mostly derived from the qualitative data. Except for a few changes in specific orientations of intercultural competence, the quantitative findings revealed the group's developmental level of intercultural competence remained relatively unchanged before and after the ISL. The qualitative phase of the study revealed a number of interesting findings about the effects of an ISL experience and confirmed an ISL's influence on the development of intercultural competence. From participant perspectives, an ISL experience is considered a valuable and transformative pedagogy in occupational therapy education. The ISL experience did result in perspective-shifting for participants. The grounded theory model that emerged revealed four interdependent components, cultural consciousness, cognitive dissonance, connecting, and confidence, that influence and shape the core theoretical category, intercultural competence development through relatedness. Results of this study have implications for occupational therapy education. Recommendations for future research include further inquiry of ISL as a pedagogy, and the development of intercultural competence, with use of this emerged grounded theory model.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Loya, Karla I.
Commitee: Sweitzer, H. Fredrick, Solomon, Lenore D.
School: University of Hartford
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Connecticut
Source: DAI-A 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Occupational Therapy, Education, Pedagogy
Keywords: Cultural competence, Grounded theory, Intercultural competence development, International service learning
Publication Number: 13881694
ISBN: 9781085600019
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