Social Transformation: Building Positive Intercultural Attitudes and Beliefs in a University Environment

By Debra Mullinnix and Jane Thielemann.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In order to achieve the goal of maximizing the academic achievement of all children, teachers must develop a keen understanding of the socio-cultural perspectives of the children they teach. Teacher preparation entities may best address this issue by applying specific strategies and methods to guide pre-service teachers in developing positive intercultural attitudes and beliefs during their professional development.This paper describes a best practice developed for pre-service teachers enrolled in a multicultural education course during their professional development. During the course, students were divided into small, ethnically diverse groups and given a specific assignment designed to help them experience the culture of an ethic group other than their own. Each member of the group developed and hosted an experience that would illustrate specific elements of his or her culture to other members of the small group. These experiences resulted in a positive transformation in attitudes and beliefs among members of the groups. Students formed a bond through these interactive experiences which resulted in a heightened sense of value and appreciation toward members of other cultural or ethnic groups.

Keywords: Ethnic Experiences, Social Transformation, Best Practices, Teacher Education Students, Prejudice Reduction

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp.101-112. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.143MB).

Dr. Debra Mullinnix

Associate Professor of Urban Education, College of Public Service, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA

Debra Mullinnix is an Associate Professor of Education in the College of Public Service at the University of Houston-Downtown, where she teaches courses in Multicultural Education, Multicultural Curriculum, and Science Education. She received an Ed.D. from the University of Houston and has been a member of the faculty at UH-D for 13 years. Dr. Mullinnix is a frequent consultant in Houston urban schools helping teachers incorporate multicultural strategies when working with diverse student populations.

Dr. Jane Thielemann

Associate Professor, College of Public Service, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA

Jane Thielemann is an Associate Professor of Education in the College of Public Service at the University of Houston-Downtown, where she teaches courses in Reading, Language Arts, and Educational Psychology. She received an Ed.D. from the University of Houston and has been a member of the faculty at UH-D for 18 years. As a teacher, consultant, and author, Dr. Thielemann has written two textbooks and numerous articles on teacher education, minority student enrollment in higher education, and business-education partnerships.

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