Understanding the relationship between global and diversity learning practice types, critical thinking and awareness of self and others in college students
The ability to think critically and complexly amid novel experiences that require self- and other-awareness is something that leaders in an array of social institutions seek to develop in their communities. Global and Diversity Learning (GDL) practices, one category of high impact practices (Kuh, 2008), aim to increase students' awareness of self and others and imbue critical thinking skills that will help students see how their own background and experiences interact with those of peers. This study aims to understand the relationship of four GDL practices (education abroad, multicultural programming, intercultural living-learning communities, and global studies coursework) to desired learning outcomes. Through completing ANCOVAs and multiple regression analyses on an existing dataset of GDL participants, this study demonstrates the influence of gender, socio-economic status, and citizenship within GDL practice types. The study findings also reveal significant differences between group members' other awareness and critical thinking capacity. Understanding how different GDL practice types affect capacity development will allow university leadership to direct collaboration between departments and align programming, to allocate resources more effectively, and communicate potential outcomes based on empirical data.
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