One of the stated purposes of multicultural and diversity classes is to provide students of color with positive educational experiences. Little is known, however, about how students of color experience multicultural education, particularly in the undergraduate diversity classes that are increasingly prevalent on college campuses. Using constructivist grounded theory and critical race theory, this study examined multicultural education as experienced by undergraduate students of color. Specifically, this study investigated what characterized positive and negative experiences in multicultural classes and how students of color felt about multicultural education through interviews, a focus group, and an online survey with 17 undergraduate students of color. Many themes emerged, including the importance placed by students of color on discussions about racial inequality and the role of the professor in creating a safe environment in which students felt their personal experiences and knowledge were valued. Students of color discussed both the harmful consequences of negative experiences of multicultural education and the potential for positive multicultural education experiences to uplift and transform. Students, despite criticisms of the ways in which multicultural education is currently implemented, voiced overwhelming support for the inclusion of multicultural and diversity classes in the curriculum. Included in the discussion are limitations of the study and implications for future research, practice, policy, and social justice.
|Advisor:||Morrow, Susan L.|
|Commitee:||Davies, David Robert, Metz, Amy Jo, Pompa, Janiece, Smith, William A.|
|School:||The University of Utah|
|School Location:||United States -- Utah|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/06, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Multicultural Education, Educational psychology|
|Keywords:||Education, Higher, Minorities, Multicultural, Qualitative, Students of color|
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