Learning to Walk the Walk: Narrative Exploration of Diversity Training for Higher Education Teaching
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Today’s higher education classrooms are made up of an increasingly wide variety of students with varying life and cultural influences, learning styles, ages, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and spiritual beliefs. A large and increasing proportion of the student population in the United States come from homes that are culturally and linguistically diverse. If the benefits of diversity in higher education are to be realized, close attention must be paid to the institutional context in which diversity is enacted. While it is well established that the ability of teachers to build cultural awareness is a critical aspect of their work, especially in urban and highly diverse settings, the kinds of experiences that help them build cultural awareness is less clear. In an effort to advance the research relative to diversity training and the use of culturally responsive pedagogy among faculty in higher education, this research uncovers the lived experience of one faculty’s participation in a diversity training program. Specifically, this study seeks to explore the experiences of a White female participating in a diversity training workshop in terms of the development of her personal practical knowledge. The premise of this dissertation is that this White teacher was able to build cultural awareness as a result of using narrative inquiry self-study as a mechanism for self-discovery. The author learns about her own racial identity and about the role that her personal values, beliefs, and attitudes play in her personal and professional interactions with respect to the needs of students from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds. Insights gained into the influential role of faculty development in developing the teaching pedagogy of faculty is also presented. Insights gained from this research serve to inform faculty and administration about one White female faculty member’s experiences with diversity and culturally responsive professional development.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Theoretical frameworks -- Literature review -- Methodology -- Data analysis and finding discussion -- Conclusion -- Appendix A. Semi-structured colleague interview question list
Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)