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Morris, Richard B. S. (2006) THE IMPACT OF RACIAL AND ETHNIC DIVERSITY ON FACULTY PERCEPTIONS OF THEIR INSTRUCTIONAL ROLES. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The classroom is a dynamic social space. When faculty members and students enter that space for purposes of teaching and learning in a racially and ethnically diverse context, there are many actors that come into full participation: faculty members, students, the curriculum, cultural and ethnic diversity, challenges associated with racial and ethnic diversity such as culturally-based learning styles, prejudices and stereotypes, expectations between faculty and students, among other things. The extent to which faculty members are effective in conducting their instructional roles is impacted by their awareness of the classroom dynamic, the opportunities and challenges it provides for teaching and learning, and how adequately they are prepared to overcome the effects of the challenges and optimize the teaching and learning opportunities. This dissertation set out to explore, using faculty experience (in number of years), how culturally-based learning styles/preferences impacted faculty instructional roles: how faculty perceived their roles, their choice and use of course content, and their choice and use of teaching and evaluation methods. To gather such data, forty out of seventy faculty members teaching in one of the most racially and ethnically diverse higher education institutions in the continental United States responded to a survey, and fifteen were interviewed. The result shows that while teaching experience is important to understanding a classroom context, in the racially and ethnically diverse classroom, numbers are not an adequate measure of experience. Experience involves understanding and adequately responding to the racially and ethnically diverse classroom. It consists of intellectual, personal, and relational dimensions. To acquire these, faculty must be committed to acquiring self-knowledge first, and then understanding their need to develop sensibilities for understanding and interacting with race and ethnicity. This yields credibility with students and, eventually, instructional effectiveness. Except for a few instances, years of teaching experience in the racially and ethnically diverse classroom did not have direct affect on how faculty perceived and performed their instructional roles, and faculty preferred to view their commitment to racial and ethnic diversity as a better measure of experience rather than the number of years they have taught in such contexts.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Morris, Richard B.
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWeidman, John Cweidman@pitt.eduWEIDMAN
Committee MemberMartin, Dondomartin@pitt.eduDOMARTIN
Committee MemberDittmar, James
Committee MemberThomas, Williamwbt@pitt.eduWBT
Date: 27 April 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 11 April 2006
Approval Date: 27 April 2006
Submission Date: 25 April 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: benefits; challenges; faculty roles; instructional roles; learning preferences; learning styles; limiting factors; race; racial and ethnic diversity; racial diversity; students of minority status; teaching and learning
Other ID:, etd-04252006-103828
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:42
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:42


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