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Pieski, Mary Kay FlorenceDeveloping Intercultural Sensitivity Through Immersion Experiences in Unfamiliar Cultural Milieux: Implications for Teacher Education and Professional Development
PHD, Kent State University, 2011, College and Graduate School of Education, Health and Human Services / School of Foundations, Leadership and Administration

Educators play an important part in preparing students to understand and interact within a culturally diverse and interconnected world. Educators by their very profession are leaders. The word “educate” is derived from the Latin verb educare, meaning to lead out. Educators are responsible for the intellectual, moral and social instruction of their students. Culturally appropriate knowledge, behavior, and attitudes must be developed in both the educator and student of the 21st century. Despite this need to be more internationally minded, developing intercultural competence in pre-service educators is marginal at best. Developing intercultural competence is a life long journey. Accomplishing such growth means developing behavior, cognitive and affective skills which an enable an individual to interact effectively and appropriately with culturally diverse individuals or groups. Cultural immersion experience is one way for pre-service educators to develop intercultural competence.

The theoretical basis for this study is the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS; Bennett, 1986, 1993). This study explored the development of intercultural competence of six pre-service educators through immersion experiences in unfamiliar milieux. This mixed methods study used data from the Intercultural Development Inventory, (Hammer & Bennett, 2007, 2009), a measure of intercultural sensitivity grounded in the DMIS, as a pretest, post-test and post-post test, application form, pre- and post experience questionnaires, interviews and journals to ascertain development.

Findings from this study demonstrate that pre-serviced educators can benefit from developmentally effective immersion experiences. Several participants experienced a small gain in intercultural sensitivity as measured by the IDI after a regression upon re-entry. Intensive appropriate sequenced intercultural preparation prior, during, and after the immersion experience could enhance the impact of the experience on the intercultural competence development as measured by the IDI.

Committee:

Averil McClelland, Ph.D. (Committee Chair); Kenneth Cushner, Ed.D. (Committee Member); Rhonda Richardson, Ph.D. (Other)

Subjects:

Education; Inservice Training; International Relations; Teacher Education

Keywords:

intercultural sensitivity; pre-service educators; cultural immersion; developmental model of intercultural sensitivity

Chen, Hsiao-YinIntercultural Sensitivity Development Among Taiwan Business College Students
PHD, Kent State University, 2008, College of Education, Health, and Human Services / Department of Teaching, Leadership and Curriculum Studies

Globalization has led to increasing international mobility among business and education professionals over the past 50 years. When people have increased opportunities to interact with others from different cultures, intercultural sensitivity becomes important to create harmony among various cultural groups and reduce anxiety and cultural conflict. The purpose of this study was to examine Taiwan business colleges students' intercultural sensitivity and how they learned about different cultures from their daily lives and formal education.

The population in this study comprised Taiwanese citizens who were college seniors majoring in international business and management in Taiwan. The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and a demographic survey were employed in the first phase, a quantitative study. From a total of 195 students, 103 students (52.8%), 88 students (45.1%), and 4 students (2.1%) scored their intercultural sensitivity in the low-middle DD/R stage, high DD/R stage to low-middle M stage, and high M stage to low-middle AA stage respectively. Data analysis demonstrated no significant differences between students' intercultural sensitivity and gender, age, and foreign language capability, but significant differences emerged in students' intercultural sensitivity and international experiences, activities on campus, and future plans.

In the second phase, a qualitative study, phenomenological theory was used. Based on students' scores on the IDIs, 12 interviewees were selected. Interviewees' intercultural sensitivity inclined either toward the ethnocentrism or ethnorelativism, and gender balance was considered. Data analysis demonstrated students whose intercultural sensitivity leaned toward ethnocentrism primarily learned different cultures from multimedia, had no or few international experiences, were uninterested in participating in intercultural activities on campus, and preferred to work in Taiwan after graduation. To compare with those students, students whose intercultural sensitivity leaned toward ethnorelativism learned cultural differences from listening to others' international experiences, engaged in international experiences like short-study abroad, were interested in participating intercultural activities on campus, and preferred to pursue higher education overseas after graduation.

Various implications emerged for Taiwan business college seniors to enhance their intercultural sensitivity, for Taiwanese teachers to include their personal international experiences in curriculum design, and for business school leaders to consider appropriate programs to improve students' intercultural sensitivity.

Committee:

Kenneth Cushner, Ed.D. (Advisor); William Bintz, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Patrick O'Connor, Ed.D. (Committee Member)

Keywords:

INTERCULTURAL SENSITIVITY; TAIWAN; IDI; DD/R; international business; low-middle

Mao, YupingDoes Culture Matter? Relating Intercultural Communication Sensitivity to Conflict Management Styles, Technology Use, and Organizational Communication Satisfaction in Multinationals in China
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Ohio University, 2010, Communication Studies (Communication)

Communication is very complex in multinational companies due to the diverse body of employees with different social, cultural, and educational backgrounds. Organizational communication among employees in China branches of multinational companies remains largely unexplored in previous literature. Taking an Asiacentric approach, this study examines the relationships among intercultural sensitivity, organizational communication satisfaction, organizational conflict management, and use of technologies in China branches of multinational companies. This study also compares the organizational communication experiences of Chinese employees with overseas experience and those without overseas experience.

An online survey was conducted with Chinese employees of multinational companies. Comparisons were made between those with some degree of overseas living experience and those without any overseas living experience. The survey included the Intercultural Communication Sensitivity Scale (ISS) (Chen & Starosta, 2000), a revised version of the Technology Usage Scale (TUS) (Scott & Timmerman, 2005), the Organizational Communication Conflict Instrument (OCCI) (Putnam & Wilson, 1982), and the Communication Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ) (Downs & Hazen, 1977).The following pairs of variables were analyzed using Pearson product moment correlations: intercultural sensitivity and organizational communication satisfaction, intercultural sensitivity and conflict management styles, intercultural sensitivity and use of technologies, organizational communication satisfaction and conflict management styles, organizational communication satisfaction and use of technologies, conflict management styles and use of technologies. Significant correlations were found in the above six pairs of variables and their factors. Overall no significant differences between Chinese employees with overseas experience and those without overseas experience were found in the following key variables: intercultural sensitivity, conflict management styles, organizational communication satisfaction level, and use of technology in organizational communication. Although minor differences existed between those two groups of participants, in general, the two groups revealed similar organizational communication behavior.

This study is one of very few extant studies that focus on organizational communication in the Chinese context. This study enriches the literature on Asian organizational communication studies, and contributes to the development of the Asiacentric approach. The correlations among the variables identified by this study build the empirical foundation for future research to further develop communication models that include those variables and which will have significant theoretical and practical implications.

Committee:

Claudia Hale, PhD (Advisor); Andrew Ledbetter, PhD (Committee Member); Anita James, PhD (Committee Member); Gordon Brooks, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication; Organizational Behavior

Keywords:

Chinese employee; intercultural sensitivity; conflict management; organizational communication satisfaction; technology use; multinationals

Nieto, Claudia P.Cultural Competence and its Influence on the Teaching and Learning of International Students
Master of Arts (MA), Bowling Green State University, 2008, Cross-Cultural, International Education
The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which one's level of cultural competence impacts the teaching and learning process for both instructors and students at the university level. Specifically, this study examined whether there is a difference in the level of intercultural sensitivity between university instructors and ESL students, whether ESL instructors and non-ESL instructors vary in their levels of intercultural sensitivity, and the extent to which gender impacts cultural competence. Finally, an investigation was conducted to explore the relationships between the instructors' level of intercultural sensitivity and the challenges they face in instructing international students, in addition to the relationship between students' level of intercultural sensitivity and the challenges they face while pursuing a college degree in the United States. A mixed methodology, using Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (Chen & Starosta) found that instructors in this university reported a higher level of intercultural sensitivity than college students at the same institution; a significant difference between ESL instructors and non-ESL instructors in the area of interaction engagement was revealed; and, that females scored higher than males. Finally, while instructors revealed that culture and language were the challenges most faced in teaching international students, those same students did not reveal them to be significant challenges.

Committee:

Margaret Booth, PhD (Committee Chair); Patricia Kubow, PhD (Committee Member); Sheri Wells-Jensen, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Adult Education; Bilingual Education; Education; Higher Education; International Relations; Teacher Education

Keywords:

Cultural Competence; Intercultural sensitivity; Cultural Awareness; Second Language Acquisition

Shaheen, StephanieThe effect of pre-departure preparation on student intercultural development during study abroad programs
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2004, Educational Policy and Leadership
The question addressed in this project is whether pre-departure preparation can help students to gain intercultural competencies when they study abroad, especially on shorter length programs. Specifically, the following research questions were examined; 1) How does a pre-departure orientation course titled Intercultural Experiential Learning (IS 693) affect the cultural learning for students on study abroad programs? 2) How do the changes in intercultural learning of students on study abroad programs compare with students who studied abroad without the pre-departure orientation course, and with students who did not study abroad, as measured by the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) post-test scores on the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS)? 3) What dynamics or factors influence the nature of student learning about intercultural competence on study abroad programs? A mixed method comparative study using qualitative and quantitative research was conducted with three groups of students. A pre-test/post-test measured change in participant behavior. The IDI and DMIS scores showed change in intercultural development. Both qualitative (interviews and observations) and quantitative (IDI instrument and questionnaires) research methods were used to gain greater insight into the experience of the participants. The statistical analysis showed that students who had the treatment did not have significant increases on their post-test scores over non-treatment students, and no significant difference on post-test scores existed for students who studied abroad when compared with non study abroad students. The statistical analysis also showed that two different conditions increased the likelihood that students would have a significant increase in sensitivity: 1) having parents who have had overseas experiences and 2) being non-minority students (racial and ethnic minorities as well as international students). The qualitative data analysis illuminated other factors that encouraged intercultural growth including: 1) significant intercultural interactions with international peers, 2) not having prolonged negative experiences with international people, 3) having the goal of gaining cultural understanding and students seeing an applicable use in their future career for their experience, 4) the chance to speak with international peers in English on a variety of cultural topics, and finally, 5) being members of the majority race and ethnic groups in the U.S.

Committee:

Ada Demb (Advisor)

Subjects:

Education, Higher

Keywords:

study abroad; intercultural sensitivity; international education

Rychener, Melissa AnneIntercultural experiential learning through international internships: the case of medical education
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2004, Educational Policy and Leadership
From 1971 to 2000, 2,500 medical students at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health participated in a clinical internship program. Of these interns 231 worked in international settings and the rest participated in domestic internships. In 2002, a survey focusing on the participants’ perceptions of their intercultural sensitivity development and other aspects of the experience was mailed to all alumni of the international internship program and a stratified sample of domestic interns, yielding a return rate of 81% of the international interns and 55% of the domestic interns. Survey data was quantitative and qualitative in nature and demonstrated that international interns were significantly more likely to say that they developed intercultural sensitivity as a result of the internships than domestic interns. International interns were also more likely to demonstrate intercultural competency in medical practice in terms of their career and volunteer choices as well as their intercultural skills in working with patients from different cultural backgrounds. The study findings that international interns were more likely to demonstrate intercultural competence in medical practice may indicate that medical students who participate in an internship abroad are better suited to work with a diverse patient population in the U.S. than their peers who have less intercultural experience. The focus on intercultural sensitivity and intercultural competence in medical practice sets the current study apart from the more broadly conceptualized literature about international internships in medical education. Bringing theoretical perspectives from within and outside of medical education to bear on the study further establishes its place in this literature, which does not draw as extensively upon theory. The literature about medical education for intercultural sensitivity and intercultural competence in medical practice does not consider intercultural internships. Although internships should not take the place of this curriculum, this study confirms that internships have a place within this curriculum.

Committee:

Leonard Baird (Advisor)

Keywords:

Medical Education; International Education; Medical Internships; International Internships; Experiential Learning; Intercultural Curriculum; Intercultural Sensitivity; Intercultural Competence; DMIS

Kashima, TakashiPhenomenological Research on the Intercultural Sensitivity of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in the Athens Community
Master of Arts (MA), Ohio University, 2006, International Studies - International Development Studies

This study investigates how the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers developed their intercultural sensitivity through their subjective intercultural experiences during their Peace Corps tenure from phenomenological perspectives. Eight Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in the Athens community participated in personal interviews and took the Intercultural Development Inventory for assessing their worldview. The triangulation of both data addressed the demystification of the process of intercultural sensitivity development from different angles. The participants’ unique intercultural experiences, their reflection on those experiences, and the results of their psychometric assessment revealed six significant emergent categories of phenomena in their intercultural sensitivity development: the significant linkages between their cognitive emphasis on cultural differences and similarities, and their progression of worldview. Overall, this study explored the developmental process of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who bridged huge cultural differences. Their empirical narratives and findings from this study help in designing intercultural training for other Americans to transcend from ethnocentrism.

Committee:

Jieli Li (Advisor)

Keywords:

Intercultural Communication; Peace Corps; Intercultural Sensitivity; Intercultural Development Inventory