Research Related to Diversity

The instructor of EDUC 1151, Culture and Schooling, conducts noteworthy research in this area.  One recent article, Schul, J. (2011) In Another American Skin: Development of Empathy Through Desktop Documentary Making. Social Studies Research and Practice, 6(3), is an example of his work which has integrated his research with his ONU course instruction.  This article analyzes a classroom project that integrated desktop documentary making with an educational foundations course in order to foster empathetic development in pre-service teachers toward unfamiliar cultural groups. The project required each tertiary student in the course to create a desktop documentary about the school experience of a cultural group with which they did not immediately identify. The findings indicate that half of the candidates in this project displayed empathetic development with regard to their chosen topics, using their encounters with imagery and stories to link their world with that which was unfamiliar. Additionally, as a result of the compositional process, several candidates became advocates for their assigned cultural group, carrying this sentiment with them as they progressed to become teachers. Implications of this study, including possible approaches toward improving this project’s effectiveness in achieving its aims, are discussed.  For a more recent article, Are We Really Committed to Diversity? Resynthesizing a Teacher Education Program's Commitment to Diversity (pending publication), this same faculty member collaborated with the Director of Multicultural Development and two other professional education faculty to reflect on the unit's progress related to this commitment.