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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Understanding Faculty Cultural Introspection at Mesa Community College and the Application to a Reflexive Instructional Practice
by Garvy, Megan Karns, Ed.D., Northern Arizona University, 2020, 180; 27961578
Abstract (Summary)

The integration of personal and social responsibility is evident in the mission and value statements of colleges and universities across the nation; however, the development of faculty values, beliefs, and attitudes for a shared and intentional practice of intercultural knowledge and global learning is not prescribed in higher education and may not be evident in student learning experiences. Research suggests there is a significant correlation between the beliefs, intentions, and personalities of instructors and the success or failure of students. Moreover, the beliefs and intentions of instructors matter even more so than the curriculum, materials, class size, or pedagogical skills (Manheim & Obidah, 2008; Bensimon, Pena & Castillo, 2004). So, there is a need for understanding faculty perspective to engage with diversities and commonalities among people. This work is relative to the cultural responsiveness of community colleges serving a diversifying student body. It also aligns to college-wide assessment of priorities and outcomes to advance liberal education as a global necessity.

In this qualitative action research project, seven faculty self-selected to participate in research aspects of a professional development ideation circle by completing a pre- and post-survey, sharing journal entries and notes, and engaging with a post-ideation circle interview. I am faculty instructional designer at the college, so I was researcher in my role as designer while I facilitated the ideation circle. I used an inductive approach to action research to identify activities to prompt reflective discussion and writing. Faculty transformation of a more global perspective occurred through reading and discussing the Chávez and Longerbeam (2016) book Teaching Across Cultural Strengths: A Guide to Balancing Integrated and Individuated Cultural Frameworks in College Teaching, engaging in cultural development activities, discussing our experiences as teachers and learners, identifying evidence of our unique cultural lens in our practice, and exploring ways to integrate aspects of cultural and global engagement into instructional practice.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion is a strategic priority at the MCC and cultural and global engagement is one of four institutional student learning outcomes. College-wide data reports a significant difference between the experience and outcomes of students of color compared to White students. Additionally, cultural and global engagement is reported as the lowest frequency integration of a student outcome into course assessment and student outcome scores for cultural and global engagement needs improvement. This research was developed to explore faculty self-awareness and cross-cultural knowledge through intercultural development. Three theoretical lenses were employed in this study: transformative learning (Mezirow, 1991, 2000, 2003), global perspective (Nair & Hennig, 2017), and cultural responsiveness (Gay, 2010). The study is situated in the discipline of psychological research of cognitive style (Sternberg & Grigorenko, 1997) and multicultural counseling competencies (Sue & Sue, 1990). Since faculty perspective is evident in instructional practice, this project encourages the institution to integrate faculty intercultural development (quality enhancement) into strategic planning to increase quality assurance of institutional outcomes for global learning. This project is also a call to action for faculty developers to engage with their own intercultural development for being culturally responsive to the faculty and staff that we serve.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Castagno, Angelina
Commitee: Longerbeam, Susan, Riemer, Francs, Munene, Ishmael
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Multicultural Education, Educational psychology
Keywords: Action research, Cognitive theory, Culturally responsive pedagogies, Global perspective, Multicultural counseling competencies, Transformative learning
Publication Number: 27961578
ISBN: 9798641053233
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