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ERIC Number: EJ818809
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Aug
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-1551-2169
Teaching and Learning in Diversity Classes: The Significance of Classroom Climate and Teacher Credibility
Holland, Lauren
Journal of Political Science Education, v2 n2 p187-203 Aug 2006
This study examines the pedagogical conditions that contribute to a productive teaching and learning experience in diversity courses, using the University of Utah (UU) as the case study. The purpose of this research is to assess whether diversity courses are effective (successful) in helping students gain more information about nondominant groups that might influence their attitudes about and behavior towards disaffected members of American society; or, whether diversity courses engender student resentment. A survey of the literature identifies classroom climate, course content, and teacher credibility as having explanatory value. These constitute the study's independent variables. Two dependent variables are measured, "successful teaching" and "student resentment." A random sample of 26 diversity courses (including five political science classes) was selected for analysis. The methodology includes classroom visits, quasi-structured surveys of faculty and students, interrogation of student course evaluations, content analyses of syllabi, textbooks, exams, and other teaching materials, and aggregate data analysis. Findings support the significance of classroom climate and teacher credibility, the importance of course size and instructor rank, and the weak influence of course content. Of the total sample, political science courses are the least successful in delivering the diversity message. Despite concerted efforts to promote diversity in their teaching and an intellectual bias towards tolerance, teachers in the discipline often fail to create an environment that models respect for difference in practice. (Contains 4 tables and 5 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A