The enhancement of diversity in the educational context has become an increasingly important issue to study and to support empirically. However, almost no study seeks to understand the impact of diversity within younger populations and what research there is often measures diversity using a limited approach. Even so, previous research has consistently supported the link between increased diversity and a series of academic and non-academic benefits. This study investigated the effect of socio-cultural diversity within elementary classrooms on one such benefit, student motivation, through student characteristics (structural diversity) and teaching practices (curricular diversity). The aim of this study included the development of a new approach to measuring structural diversity based on student race, gender, socioeconomic status, language, family composition and religion, and the development of a psychometrically sound measure of teaching practices as they relate to promoting an understanding of diversity. This dissertation explored the relationship between socio-cultural diversity and motivation in a number of ways-through correlational relationships, hierarchical linear modeling and item-level relationships—and while the results typically were not statistically significant, this research provided valuable insight nonetheless. Specifically, significant contributions include a series of tools to measure diversity using a new, multi-faceted approach, within the unique environment of an elementary classroom.
|Advisor:||Ludlow, Larry H.|
|School Location:||United States -- Massachusetts|
|Source:||DAI-A 68/04, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Elementary education, Minority & ethnic groups, Sociology|
|Keywords:||Curricular diversity, Diversity, Elementary classrooms, Motivation, Structural diversity|
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