Citation
Individualism, Empathy, and Perspective Taking in Attitudes toward Diversity and Multicultural Education

Material Information

Title:
Individualism, Empathy, and Perspective Taking in Attitudes toward Diversity and Multicultural Education
Creator:
BAKHTIARI, RAMESH ( Author, Primary )
Copyright Date:
2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Empathy ( jstor )
Ethnicity ( jstor )
Gender politics ( jstor )
Individualism ( jstor )
Multicultural education ( jstor )
Multiculturalism ( jstor )
Personality traits ( jstor )
Political attitudes ( jstor )
Preservice teachers ( jstor )
Psychological attitudes ( jstor )

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Ramesh Bakhtiari. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Embargo Date:
8/31/2016
Resource Identifier:
658216676 ( OCLC )

Downloads

This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 1

INDIVIDUALISM, EMPATHY, AND PERSPECTIVE TAKING IN ATTITUDES TOWARD DIVERSITY AND MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION By RAMESH BAKHTIARI A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2006

PAGE 2

Copyright 2006 by Ramesh Bakhtiari

PAGE 3

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank Dr. Patricia Ashton for her conscientious and untiring support, her thoughtful and encouraging guidance, and her immense kindness through this process. This project would not have been possible without her expertise and intellectual integrity. I am grateful to Dr. John Kranzler, who guided me through obstacles along the way. I also extend my thanks to Dr. Tina Smith-Bonahue, Dr. David Miller, and Dr. Maureen Conroy, as members of my committee. Many thanks are due to Amy Diamond Barroso, who continues to be a great friend and a source of encouragement and inspiration. And finally, I would like to thank my family, my husband, Frank, for his patience, support, and understanding during this long process, and my children, Neil and Amelia, for being limitless sources of strength. iii

PAGE 4

TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.............................................................................................iii LIST OF TABLES.........................................................................................................vi LIST OF FIGURES......................................................................................................viii ABSTRACT...................................................................................................................ix CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................1 Statement of the Problem..........................................................................................2 Personal Characteristics and Attitudes Toward Diversity...................................3 Need for Research on Explanatory Variables.....................................................3 Purpose of the Study.................................................................................................4 Delimitations and Limitations of the Study...............................................................5 Significance of the Study..........................................................................................5 Summary and Overview of Remaining Chapters.......................................................6 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE....................................................................................7 Historical Perspective...............................................................................................8 Multicultural Education.....................................................................................8 Definition of Multicultural Education..............................................................11 Role of the Teacher in Multicultural Education................................................14 Individualism...................................................................................................16 Empathy and Perspective Taking.....................................................................18 Review of Research................................................................................................20 Personal Characteristics and Attitudes Toward Diversity.................................26 Preservice Teachers’ Beliefs in Individualism..................................................30 Empathy and Perspective Taking in Preservice Teachers.................................33 3 METHODS AND PROCEDURES.........................................................................37 Participants.............................................................................................................37 Instrumentation.......................................................................................................38 Quick Discrimination Index (QDI) or Social Attitudes Survey (SAS)..............38 The Teacher Multicultural Attitude Survey (TMAS)........................................40 Self-Construal Scale (SCS)..............................................................................41 iv

PAGE 5

The Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI)..........................................................42 Demographic Data Sheet.................................................................................43 Procedure...............................................................................................................44 Statistical Analysis.................................................................................................44 Summary................................................................................................................45 4 RESULTS..............................................................................................................47 Descriptive Statistics..............................................................................................47 Personal Characteristics...................................................................................47 Correlational Analysis.....................................................................................50 Path Analyses.........................................................................................................51 Step 1: Relationships Between Predictor Variables and Outcome Variables.....52 Step 2: Relationships Between Predictor Variables and Proposed Mediator Variables......................................................................................................60 Step 3: Relationships Between Predictor Variables, Proposed Mediating Variables, and Outcome Variables................................................................64 Summary of Path Analysis...............................................................................71 5 SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION..........................................................................73 Significant Findings................................................................................................77 Personal Characteristics and Cognitive Attitudes Toward Diversity.................77 Personal Characteristics and Affective Attitudes Toward Diversity..................78 Personal Characteristics and Multicultural Attitudes........................................79 Summary of Findings on Personal Characteristics and Attitudes Toward Diversity......................................................................................................79 Perspective Taking and Empathy.....................................................................80 Individualism...................................................................................................82 Limitations of the Study..........................................................................................84 Directions for Future Research...............................................................................84 REFERENCES..............................................................................................................89 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................101 v

PAGE 6

LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1. Sample characteristics............................................................................................38 4-1. Sample characteristics by program of study............................................................48 4-2. Means, standard deviations, Cronbach’s , and zero-order correlations among predictor and proposed mediating variables............................................................50 4-3. Summary ANOVA table: Cognitive Diversity Attitudes total scores.......................53 4-4. Parameter estimates for predictor variables and Cognitive Diversity Attitudes........54 4-5. Summary ANOVA table: Affective Diversity Attitudes total scores.......................56 4-6. Parameter estimates for predictor variables and Affective Diversity Attitudes.........56 4-7. Summary ANOVA table: Multicultural attitudes total scores..................................58 4-8. Parameter estimates for predictor variables and multicultural attitudes....................58 4-9. Summary ANOVA table: Individualism total scores...............................................61 4-10. Summary ANOVA table: Empathic Concern total scores......................................62 4-11. Parameter estimates for Empathic Concern and predictor variables.......................63 4-12. Summary ANOVA table: Perspective Taking total scores.....................................64 4-13. Summary ANOVA table: Cognitive Diversity Attitudes total scores, predictor variables, and mediator variables..........................................................................65 4-14. Parameter estimates for Cognitive Diversity Attitudes, predictor variables, and mediator variables................................................................................................66 4-15. Change in proportion of association of each significant relationship between personal characteristics and cognitive attitudes before and after the addition of Empathic Concern................................................................................................66 4-16. Summary ANOVA table: Affective Diversity Attitudes total scores, predictor variables, and mediator variables..........................................................................68 vi

PAGE 7

4-17. Parameter estimates for Affective Diversity Attitudes, predictor variables, and mediator variables................................................................................................68 4-18. Change in proportion of association of each significant relationship among personal characteristics and affective attitudes before and after the addition of Empathic Concern................................................................................................69 4-19. Summary ANOVA table: Multicultural attitudes total scores, predictor variables, and mediator variables..........................................................................................70 4-20. Parameter estimates for multicultural attitudes, predictor variables, and mediator variables...............................................................................................................71 4-21. Change in proportion of association of each significant relationship among personal characteristics and multicultural attitudes before and after the addition of Empathic Concern............................................................................................71 vii

PAGE 8

LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 5-1. Relationship between personal characteristics, empathy, and cognitive diversity attitudes................................................................................................................76 5-2. Relationship between personal characteristics, empathy and multicultural attitudes................................................................................................................76 5-3. Relationship between personal characteristics, empathy and multicultural attitudes................................................................................................................77 viii

PAGE 9

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy INDIVIDUALISM, EMPATHY, AND PERSPECTIVE TAKING IN ATTITUDES TOWARD DIVERSITY AND MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION By Ramesh Bakhtiari August 2006 Chair: Patricia Ashton Cochair: John Kranzler Major Department: Educational Psychology Teacher educators have developed courses to address preservice teachers’ negative attitudes toward diversity and multicultural education. Research, however, indicates that many preservice teachers resist these efforts to change their attitudes. Several personal characteristics, specifically, gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and experience with diversity, are related to attitudes toward diversity. The purpose of this study was to investigate individualism, perspective taking, and empathy as mediators of these relationships, as a first step in identifying factors that might account for preservice teachers’ resistance to efforts to change their negative attitudes toward diversity. Regression analysis was used to test this mediational hypothesis. The participants, 287 students from educational psychology classes at a large southeastern university, were 88% female and 12% male. Seventy-eight percent were White, 6% African-American, 10% Hispanic, 3% Asian, and 3% other. Forty-seven percent identified themselves as Democrats, 43% Republican, and 10% other. Thirty-eight percent reported extensive ix

PAGE 10

experience with members of other ethnic groups, 50% moderate experience, and 12% limited experience. They completed a questionnaire assessing the variables of interest. The findings were as follows: (a) Preservice teachers and students in other programs did not differ significantly in diversity and multicultural attitudes, empathy, perspective taking, or individualism; (b) gender, ethnicity, and political affiliation predicted cognitive attitudes toward diversity; however, diversity experiences did not predict cognitive attitudes toward diversity; (c) ethnicity, political affiliation, and diversity experience predicted affective attitudes toward diversity; (d) gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and prior experience with diversity predicted multicultural attitudes; (e) empathy completely mediated the relationship between gender and cognitive attitudes toward diversity; (f) empathy partially mediated the relationship between prior diversity experiences and affective attitudes toward diversity, gender and multicultural attitudes, ethnicity and multicultural attitudes, and prior diversity experiences and multicultural attitudes; and (g) individualism predicted affective attitudes toward diversity. These results suggest that individualism and lack of empathy may play important roles in preservice teachers’ resistance to developing more positive attitudes toward diversity. Further research is needed to explore this possibility and to determine whether interventions designed to increase empathy with diverse others reduce resistance to efforts to develop more positive attitudes toward diversity. x

PAGE 11

1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Current population trends in the United States point to increasing ethnic diversity in the national population, which is in turn reflected in the composition of school populations (U. S. Census Bureau, 2000). The demographic differences between the predominantly White middle-class population of future teachers and their ethnically diverse students have spurred much educational research based on the assumption that a demographic mismatch will have negative effects on instruction and learning (e.g., Garmon, 2004; Ladson-Billings, 1995b). Researchers have recommended strategies for teacher education programs to increase preservice teachers’ cultural awareness through multicultural education. Although there are many approaches to multicultural education (Banks, 2004; Gay, 1994), leading scholars in the field of multicultural education have indicated that in its ideal form the multicultural curriculum integrates contributions and perspectives of varying groups with the goal of raising awareness toward the needs of minority groups, reducing bias, and promoting social equity (Banks, 1997, 2004; Bennett, 1995; Gay, 2004; Gay & Kirkland, 2003; Nieto, 1996; Wurzel, 1988). Accordingly, the goals of multicultural education include a revision of policies, methodologies, and structures of education, which begin with the transformation of the attitudes and beliefs of prospective teachers (Banks, 2004, 1997; Bennett, 1995; Gay, 1994; Gay & Kirkland, 2003; Grant, 1995; Ladson-Billings, 1994; Sleeter, 1996). Research, however, suggests that many teachers resist efforts to change their attitudes (Banks, 2004; Dee & Henkin,

PAGE 12

2 2002; Garmon, 2005; Gay, 1994). This study is designed to investigate psychological factors that might be related to negative attitudes toward multicultural education as a first step in reducing them. Statement of the Problem Teachers who hold negative attitudes toward cultural diversity tend to have low expectations for their culturally diverse students, provide them with inappropriate remediation, and attribute their academic and behavioral problems to their home environments (Irvine, 1990). Although some researchers have found that preservice teachers reported generally positive attitudes toward diversity (e.g., Adams & Pierce, 2004; Brown, 2004) and hold more positive attitudes toward diversity and multicultural education than students in other programs (e.g., Bakhtiari, 2002), other researchers have found that many teaching strategies and curricular designs implemented in schools are inconsistent with the needs of ethnically diverse students (Aronson & Gonzalez, 1988; George & Aronson, 2003; Fordham, 1991). Some research indicates that teachers believe students from culturally diverse backgrounds are less capable than other students (Bryan & Atwater, 2002), leading to lower expectations for these students than for White students (e.g., George & Aronson, 2003; Padron, 1994). Teaching practices are influenced by teachers’ beliefs (Pajares, 1992), and their low expectations of student achievement have been related to their students’ performance (Brophy, 1985). Furthermore, Secada (1992) found that efforts to reform curriculum were differentially effective for students depending on their social class, race, and other demographic variables.

PAGE 13

3 Personal Characteristics and Attitudes Toward Diversity The failure of efforts to develop more positive attitudes toward diversity in preservice teachers through multicultural curricula has led to research to identify the factors that account for their resistance to change. Interestingly, research on attitudes toward diversity has shown a relationship between the personal characteristics of gender, political affiliation, ethnicity, experience with diverse others, and more positive attitudes toward diversity. Specifically, research has shown that females are more likely than males to hold positive attitudes toward diversity (Ponterotto et al., 1995; Springer, Terenzini, Pascarella, & Nora, 1995), Democrats are more likely to hold positive attitudes toward diversity than Independents and Republicans (Dee & Henkin, 2002; Ponterotto et al., 1995), ethnically diverse groups have more positive attitudes toward diversity than White groups (Dee & Henkin, 2002), and students who have many social experiences with diverse individuals report more positive attitudes toward diversity than students with fewer experiences with diverse individuals in social settings (Brown, 2004; Dee & Henkin, 2002; Garmon, 2005). Need for Research on Explanatory Variables Although considerable research shows that personal characteristics are related to attitudes toward diversity, research indicating possible explanations for these relationships is lacking. Banks (1994), however, identified two psychological variables that may mediate the relationship between preservice teachers’ personal characteristics and their attitudes toward diversity: (a) preservice teachers’ ideological beliefs in individualism, that is, the cultural view that focuses on self-reliance and independence, and (b) their inability to take the perspective of others who have views different from their own. Psychological research has shown that perspective taking consists of two

PAGE 14

4 dimensions, empathy and cognitive perspective taking (Davis, 1983a). Banks’s claim suggests that, these three psychological characteristics may account for the link between preservice teachers’ personal characteristics and their attitudes toward diversity. To investigate the possibility that individualism, perspective taking, and empathy play a mediational role in the development of positive attitudes toward diversity, it must first be shown that (a) these three psychological variables are related to the personal characteristics that are related to attitudes toward diversity and (b) that the three psychological variables are also related to attitudes toward diversity (Baron & Kenny, 1986). Purpose of the Study The main purpose of this study was to explore the possibility that individualism, empathy, and perspective-taking ability mediate the relationship between preservice teachers’ personal characteristics—gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and experience with diverse others—and their attitudes toward diversity. Three components of attitudes toward diversity were included in this study: (a) general, cognitive attitudes toward diversity, (b) personal and affective attitudes toward diversity, and (c) attitudes toward multicultural issues. To examine these relationships the following questions were investigated: 1. Are the personal characteristics of gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and experience with diversity related to attitudes toward diversity? 2. Are the personal characteristics of gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and experience with diversity related to the psychological variables of individualism, empathy, and perspective taking? 3. Are the psychological variables of individualism, empathy, and perspective taking related to attitudes toward diversity?

PAGE 15

5 4. Do the psychological variables of individualism, empathy, and perspective taking mediate the relationship between personal characteristics and attitudes toward diversity? Delimitations and Limitations of the Study This study has several limitations. First, it was limited by the exclusive use of selfreport measures. On such measures socially desirable answers are a threat to the validity of the findings. Second, the sample in this study was a convenience sample. In addition, some participants were obtained from a research pool and were required to participate in the study, whereas other participants were volunteers obtained from other classes. Systematic bias in responses may have occurred due to their selection from specific classes rather than from a randomly selected sample. This limitation reduces the possibility of generalizing the results to a larger sample. Significance of the Study Although teacher education programs have been required to incorporate coursework in multicultural issues, research (e.g., Sultana, 1993; Varvus & Ozcan, 1996) suggests that preservice teachers’ attitudes toward diversity and multiculturalism are resistant to change despite this preparation. Researchers have indicated the need to identify the psychological processes that contribute to, or account for, preservice teachers’ resistance to attitudinal change (e.g., Banks, 1994; Cockrell, Placier, Cockrell, Middleton, 1999). Although not directly studied, psychological variables such as beliefs about individualism, perspective-taking, and empathy have been indicated as possible sources of resistance by researchers and theorists (e.g., Banks, 1994; Cockrell et al., 1999). The current study was designed to determine whether beliefs about individualism, empathy, and perspective taking are among psychological processes that account for the resistance to attitudinal change. Furthermore, research (e.g., Dee & Henkin, 2002;

PAGE 16

6 Ponterotto et al., 1995; Taylor, 1998) has shown that personal characteristics, including gender, political affiliation, ethnicity, and experience with diversity, are related to attitudes toward diversity and multicultural education. Banks (1994) identified preservice teachers’ tendency toward individualism and their lack of perspective-taking ability as the main obstacles to the attainment of attitude change. Sleeter (1996) and Cockrell et al. (1999) identified preservice teachers’ individualistic approach as a possible source of resistance to the adoption of a multicultural perspective. This study investigated individualism, empathy and perspective taking as potential mediators of the relationship between these personal characteristics (gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and experiences with diversity) and attitudes toward diversity and multicultural education. Summary and Overview of Remaining Chapters This study assessed students’ beliefs about individualism, levels of empathy, and perspective taking as mediators of the relationships among their personal characteristics (gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and prior diversity experience) and attitudes toward diversity. Chapter 2 provides a historical overview and review of the relevant research in the areas of multicultural education, individualism, empathy, and perspective taking. The research methodology and procedures used in this study are described in Chapter 3 and the results in Chapter 4. Finally, Chapter 5 provides a discussion of the results in relation to previous research, the limitations of the study, and implications for future research.

PAGE 17

7 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE In recent years, educators and researchers have contrasted the increasing diversity of student populations, with the relatively stable homogeneity of White middle-class preservice teachers, as a conflict that needs to be addressed in teacher education programs. The changing demographics and the resulting culture gap are cited often as having a negative impact on teachers’ attitudes and expectations of culturally diverse students and presented as the rationale for incorporating multicultural education and diversity issues into teacher preparation programs (e.g., Banks, 2004; Bennett, 1995; Brand, 1999; Bresciani, 2003; Gay, 2000; Paccione & McWhorter, 1997). This rationale is often based on the assumption that fostering teachers’ positive attitudes toward diversity in their classrooms will lead them to develop respect and appreciation of ethnically diverse groups (Banks, 2004). Furthermore, a few studies show that teachers with similar racial, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds to their students have a positive effect on student achievement (Hess & Leal, 1997). The research on the effectiveness of multicultural coursework in teacher education programs has produced mixed results (Garmon, 2005; Sleeter, 2001), with a greater body of findings suggesting that this method has not been effective in producing teachers with more positive attitudes toward diversity and better ability to implement multicultural methodology in their classrooms. In this chapter I present a historical context and definition of multicultural education, individualism, empathy, and perspective taking and review the relevant research on these topics.

PAGE 18

8 Historical Perspective Multicultural Education According to Gay (1994), although varied, approaches to multicultural education are based upon a common set of assumptions that have been developed as a reaction to common concerns about issues of multiculturalism and diversity. Furthermore, for the most part, multicultural educators have proposed similar guidelines for action, and, regardless of definitional differences, there exists a shared goal to make cultural pluralism and ethnic diversity integral parts of the educational process. Banks (2004, 1997, 1994) and Sleeter and Grant (1993), for example, developed a typology of multicultural education that is presented in a clearly hierarchical manner in terms of the merits of their implementation and their consistency in keeping true to the assumptions of multiculturalism. Sleeter and Grant’s (1993) typology provides a framework for understanding the history of the development of multicultural education. Their typology assumes a historical progression and evolution of multicultural education approaches. They labeled the first category of programs teaching the culturally different. Programs that use the culturally different approach aim to help particular groups, such as low-income students or students with disabilities, to gain the skills necessary to assimilate into society. Programs that use a human relations approach are the second tier in Sleeter and Grant’s typology. These programs aim to foster interpersonal relations among members of various groups, through positive interaction. Single groups studies, which aim to raise student consciousness about particular groups’ culture, interests and histories, are the third approach in Sleeter and Grant’s typology. Particular groups’ contributions to society and history of oppression by the dominant culture are also key elements of single-group

PAGE 19

9 studies. Women’s studies and African-American studies in colleges and universities are examples of programs that fall in the single-group typology of multicultural education. Programs that are multicultural, which Sleeter and Grant defined as programs that are based on cultural pluralism and are concerned with the promotion of social equality through educational reform, are fourth in the progression of their categories of multicultural education. Rather than a separate curriculum that is added to existing ones, multicultural programs consist of newly created curricula that give equal voice to various groups by drawing upon the content developed through single-groups studies. The multicultural approach is distinguished from single-studies models in that rather than focusing on one group, multicultural programs promote social justice for all groups, through emphasizing a need for equal distribution of power in education and society at large. According to Sleeter and Grant’s typology, the fifth approach to multicultural education is the ideal and includes programs that are social reconstructionist in nature. These programs build on the former models and are designed to teach students to analyze social inequality and oppression and to develop the necessary skills to become agents of social change through redistribution of power and other resources. The distinguishing element of programs that are social reconstructionist is their focus on changing existing societal structures to achieve social equality, rather than simply promoting diversity by increasing awareness between groups and reducing prejudice. Progress in concept and methodology is presumed in Sleeter and Grant’s hierarchical typology, with social reconstructionism clearly the desired and ideal goal of any multicultural education program.

PAGE 20

10 Congruent with Sleeter and Grant’s (1993) framework, Banks (1994) suggested that multicultural education evolved from its initial phase of “ethnic studies” to “multiethnic education,” which he defined as “education designed to bring about structural and systemic changes in the total school” (p. 10). According to Banks, the third phase of multicultural education emerged when histories and cultures of groups, other than those defined by race and ethnicity, were incorporated into the curricula of schools and education programs. Finally, Banks suggested that the current and fourth phase of multicultural education “consists of the development of theory, research, and practice that interrelate variables connected to race, gender, and class” (p. 11). Banks (1994) identified four models of multicultural curriculum that are similar to Sleeter and Grant’s (1993) framework: contributions, additive, transformative, and social action approaches. These categories are evolutionary and progressive in nature, with social action models as the ideal goal for multicultural curriculum. In their discussion, Jenks, Lee, and Kanpol (2001) linked the different approaches to multicultural pedagogy as defined by Banks (1995) to the theoretical framework set forth by Sleeter and Grant (1993) in their typology of multicultural education. According to Jenks et al. (2001), Banks’s (1994) contributions approach includes programs that focus on various minority groups’ histories and contributions to society. This approach mirrors Sleeter and Grant’s (1993) culturally different and human relations categories, which according to the authors are based on a cultural deficit model and presume that members of ethnic and other minority groups must adapt and assimilate to the cultural majority norms in order to succeed. According to Jenks et al., Banks, and Sleeter and Grant, although programs based on a cultural deficiency model are contrary

PAGE 21

11 to the basic assumption of multiculturalism that presumes equal respect and value for various cultures, they are usually the first step in incorporating a multicultural education curriculum. Banks’s additive approach falls in Sleeter and Grant’s single group studies model. When using this approach, material about various single ethnic or minority groups is simply added to existing curriculum in units of study. Bank’s transformative model corresponds to multicultural education in the Sleeter and Grant typology. A transformative approach is one in which the whole curriculum is re-written to include various groups’ perspectives, voices, and interests. Finally, Banks’s social action model and Sleeter and Grant’s social reconstructionist approach present the ideal approaches to multicultural education. Contribution and additive approaches are presented as steps toward the achievement of an approach that is social reconstructionist and prepares students to take action in bringing about change in society. Application of a transformative and reconstructionist perspective is a tall order for preservice teachers. Preservice teachers are expected to adopt a pluralistic ideology, change their prior beliefs about the structure of society in order to become agents of social change, and implement a multicultural curriculum that, in turn, inspires their students to become agents of social change. Definition of Multicultural Education A central focus of multiculturalism is the attainment of social equity by providing equal voices to diverse groups through education, thus using education as a means to access power for minority groups (Sleeter, 1996). Sleeter referred to multicultural education as a “collective social movement aimed at redistributing resources across groups” (p. 77). Therefore, multicultural education is a means to promote cultural pluralism. According to Banks (1994), “A philosophy of ethnic pluralism must permeate

PAGE 22

12 educational institutions before multicultural educational practices can be effectively integrated into the mainstream curriculum”; he further stated, “once the concept of multicultural education has become legitimized and most educators have internalized a philosophy of ethnic pluralism, the implementation of multicultural education will become a logistical and technical problem” (p. 133). From this multicultural perspective, three assumptions lead to the development of multicultural education. First, there is an assumption of a need for societal change. It is assumed that societal oppression and inequity exist (e.g., Banks, 2004, 1994; CochranSmith, 2003; Ladson-Billings, 2004; McCall, 1995; Varvus, 2003) and furthermore, oppression is based on racial and ethnic group membership (e.g., Jenks et al., 2001; Ladson-Billings, 2004; McCall, 1995; Sleeter, 1996; Varvus, 2003). McCall went so far as to assert that “America is a patriarchal, White supremacist (Hooks, 1989), classist society that influences values, beliefs, and behaviors in various ways to accept the greater power of Euro-American wealthy males” (p. 342). Second, with an emphasis on promotion of cultural pluralism, it is assumed that group needs supercede the needs of the individual (e.g., Banks, 1994, Varvus, 2003). And finally, education is assumed to be the means by which social equity can be achieved (e.g., Banks, 1994, 2004; Jenks et al., 2001, Ladson-Billings, 1992, 2004). Multicultural education is one process through which advocates of multiculturalism aim to achieve social equity. Although there is a hierarchy of approaches to multicultural education, in its most radical yet purportedly ideal and social-reconstructionist form (Banks, 1995; Jenks et al., 2001; McCall, 1995; Sleeter & Grant, 1993, Varvus, 2003), multicultural education goes beyond raising students’ awareness about the perspectives of

PAGE 23

13 different groups and emphasizes “ developing the commitment and critical skills to take action for the cause of social justice” (Jenks et al., 2001, p. 99). According to multicultural theorists, the development of skills for working with diverse populations and the transformation of attitudes toward diversity are necessary goals for preservice teachers (Paccione & McWhorter, 1997). By integrating multicultural education into teacher preparation programs, advocates of multiculturalism aim to prepare teachers who will, in turn, design curriculum for social action in their classrooms. Therefore, the role of the teacher as an agent of social change is one of the key factors in successful implementation of multicultural education. Banks and Banks (1995) defined multicultural education as “a field of study designed to increase educational equity for all students that incorporates, for this purpose, content, concepts, principles, theories, and paradigms from history, the social and behavioral sciences, and particularly from ethnic studies and women studies" (p. xii). Gorski (2000) suggested that transformation is the shared theme across various conceptualizations of multicultural education. Gorski and Covert (1996-2000) offered the following as an operational definition of multicultural education: Multicultural education is a progressive approach for transforming education that holistically critiques and addresses current shortcomings, failings, and discriminatory practices in education. It is grounded in ideals of social justice, education equity, and a dedication to facilitating educational experiences in which all students reach their full potential as learners and as socially aware and active beings, locally, nationally, and globally. Multicultural education acknowledges that schools are essential to laying the foundation for the transformation of society and the elimination of oppression and injustice. (p. 1) Gorski (2000) further suggested that one goal of multicultural education is to affect societal change through the transformation of self, schooling, and, last but not least, society at large. Hernandez (1989) offered several goals for multicultural education that

PAGE 24

14 are congruent with Gorski’s and Banks and Banks’s definitions. According to Hernandez, the primary goal of multicultural education is for students to achieve their highest potential. Other goals, presumably subsumed by the former, are for students to become good citizens of the school, community, and the world, to develop ethnic, national, and global identities, to develop positive attitudes toward differences, and to learn to think critically (Hernandez, 1989). Because this study involves multicultural education in the context of teacher education, I define multicultural education in the ideal form that is put forth by experts in the field, rather than the varying forms multicultural education may take when implemented in classrooms. Therefore, multicultural education is defined, along Gorski’s (2000) definition, as an approach to curriculum that is transformative and social reconstructionist, implemented by educators who aim to restructure society through educating teachers to become agents of social change in order to eliminate oppression and injustice. Role of the Teacher in Multicultural Education Teacher attitudes toward diversity are an important factor in the implementation of multicultural education (e.g., Banks, 1994, 1997, 2004; Gorski, 2000; Sleeter & Grant, 1993). Research has shown that preservice teachers bring with them a well-established set of personal beliefs about schooling and the process of teaching and learning (Anderson et al., 1995). What Bruner (1996) called folk pedagogies , preservice teachers’ educational beliefs are based on personal experiences and cultural beliefs that are deeply rooted and long standing (Holt-Reynolds, 1992). Furthermore, teachers’ beliefs have been shown to influence nearly all aspects of their practice (Pajares, 1992, Richardson, 1994). Preservice teachers’ prior beliefs influence how they approach learning and

PAGE 25

15 education during their preparation years (Richardson, 1996). Furthermore, teachers’ attitudes are related to their beliefs and are acquired well before their entry into a teacher preparation program (Pajares, 1992, 1996; Richardson, 1996). The role of the teacher as an agent of social change and “cultural mediator” (Banks, 1994, p. 180) is central to multicultural education (Darling-Hammond, 1997; Paccione & McWhorter, 1997). According to Banks, the teacher’s role as cultural mediator involves the interpretation of dominant and ethnic minority group cultures to students from diverse groups as well as helping students realize the need for and the possibility of social change. Banks described teachers as agents of change who teach social criticism and motivate students to take part in social change. These teachers have “clarified and reflective commitments to democratic values, knowledge, and pedagogical skills,” and “charisma to inspire other people” (p. 189). As agents of social change, teachers must have an understanding of their role; furthermore, they must have an understanding of the sociopolitical implications of the methods and philosophies that they embrace. To enable children to understand the complex nature of ethnic group interactions and to “develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to become effective citizens in the pluralistic society of the next century” (Banks, 1994, p. 248), multicultural educators implicitly assume the following: first, that the teacher has, or is willing to adopt, a pluralistic ideology, attitudes, and beliefs as well as the necessary knowledge and skills to act on these beliefs, and second, that it is desirable in a public education setting for teacher educators to aim for systematic change in preservice teachers’ ideologies, attitudes and belief systems. Though relevant, the latter is a subject of debate among educators and beyond the scope of this paper.

PAGE 26

16 Individualism Definition and historical perspective . Individualism has been the topic of study as a cultural trend or orientation. Hofstede (1980) was one of the first to conceptualize the relationship between individuals and the groups to which they belong in terms of individualism and collectivism. In his seminal work, Hofstede analyzed 39 countries on four cultural dimensions. Hofstede’s work consisted of country-level analysis of individualism, power distance, masculinity, and uncertainty avoidance. Members of individualist cultures tend to differentiate themselves from others and emphasize their individuality, whereas members of collectivist culture tend to have a more sociocentric identity, with the needs of the group superceding those of the individual (Bochner, 1994). Triandis (1996) explained that in Western cultures, especially the United States, psychological theories tend to emphasize the importance of attitudes, beliefs, and personal distinguishing values “because Western culture is individualistic and Western psychology focuses on individuals and processes internal to individuals” (p. 408). Furthermore, Triandis proposed that complex and heterogeneous cultures, such as the United States, where members of multiple cultures must co-exist, tend to be individualistic, whereas more homogeneous cultures tend to be collectivist. According to Oyserman, Coon, and Kemmelmeier (2002), Hofstede’s work was especially important in that it provided patterns and organization of cultural differences that facilitated the growth of a body of cultural and cross-cultural research around the concept of individualism. Furthermore, Hofstede conceived of individualism and collectivism as existing along one continuum. Thus, the concept of individualism is often studied in contrast to the concept of collectivism, leading to a dichotomous conception in which individualism and collectivism are inversely related within and across cultures.

PAGE 27

17 However, as Oyserman et al. (2002) pointed out, Hofstede called attention to the limitations of his study by underscoring that country-level analysis did not explain individual behavior, and second, that measures of country-level individualism are not static and depend on social, economic, and historical shifts in cultures. Thus, individualism is a multifaceted view of society that emphasizes, among other things, independence, self-reliance, and uniqueness (Oyserman et al., 2002). Founded on ideals of individualism, American values emphasize self-reliance and personal achievement, which foster independence and success of the individual (Greenfield, 1994). In their review of research on individualism-collectivism (IND-COL) from the past 20 years, Oyserman et al. confirmed the notion that Americans are more individualistic and less collectivistic than others when compared across cultures; however, the results of within culture studies that compare various groups in America are more diverse. Although American society is individualistic as a whole, the beliefs of groups and individuals within the society vary in the degree to which they are individualist (Triandis, 1995). According to Oyserman et al., the core element of individualism is the assumption that individuals are independent of each other, and the worldview of the individualist is one that emphasizes personal goals, personal uniqueness, and personal control while de-emphasizing social goals and relationships. Beliefs about individualism are central in Western societies, especially in the United States, where Oyserman et al. concluded, personal independence and uniqueness are primary elements of individualism. Individualism as a cultural trend has been studied in relation to various psychological constructs. Emotions and group relationships, for example, have been the

PAGE 28

18 topic of cross-cultural research on beliefs about individualism (Oyserman et al., 2002). Research supports that group relationships are affected by individualism beliefs; for example, higher levels of individualism are associated with more ease in interaction with strangers and direct communication styles. Empathy and Perspective Taking Definition and historical perspective. Empathy has been defined as a “way of knowing and understanding another person or an object” (Duan & Hill, 1996, p. 262), and “an affective response that stems from the apprehension or comprehension of another’s emotional state or condition, and which is similar to what the other person is feeling or would be expected to feel” (Eisenberg, Valiente, & Champion, 2004, p. 387). Batson (1991) referred to empathy as “an other-oriented emotional reaction to seeing another suffer” (p. 58). In their review of empathy literature, Duan and Hill described scientific inquiry into two distinct constructs as empathy , which may or may not overlap. Some researchers have regarded empathy as a stable trait (dispositional empathy), assuming that some people are more empathic than others, either through nature or development . Others have regarded empathy as a cognitive-affective state that is situation specific. According to Duan and Hill, the latter approach to empathy allows researchers to study intra-individual differences in empathy and to manipulate situational conditions. Regarding empathy as a situation dependent cognitive or emotional state also promotes the possibility of empathic learning and training. Cognitive-affective dimensions of empathy. Rather than considering empathy in solely cognitive terms as the ability to take another’s point of view, hereafter referred to as perspective taking , (e.g., Hogan, 1969) or from an affective perspective, solely as a vicarious emotional response, hereafter referred to as empathy , (e.g., Mehrabian &

PAGE 29

19 Epstein, 1972), research suggests that empathy is best regarded and measured as a multidimensional construct consisting of both emotional and cognitive role taking processes (Chlopan, McCain, Carbonell, & Hagen, 1985, Davis, 1983). Mehrabian and Epstein (1972) defined empathy as “a vicarious emotional response to the perceived emotional experiences of others” (p. 525), and they defined perspective taking within Dymond’s (1949) cognitive role-taking approach as the ability to imagine the role of other persons and to accurately predict their “thoughts, feeling and actions” (p. 525). Although it is unclear whether the two processes are distinct, overlapping, or situationspecific (Duan & Hill, 1995) both emotional and cognitive aspects of empathy are related to awareness of other’s experiences (Sheldon, 1996), and influence each other (Duan & Hill, 1996). Although responses to scales that measure emotional empathy tend to better predict emotional reactions (Davis, 1983b), responses to perspective taking scales are better predictors of behavior when the behavior is not considered an emotional reaction (Bernstein & Davis, 1982). Therefore, both empathy and perspective taking may affect prospective teachers’ attitudes toward diversity. Banks’s (1994) belief that preservice teachers’ resistance to diversity and multicultural education is in part attributable to their inability to take the perspective of others is based on the implicit assumption that teachers who can successfully view the world from someone else’s perspective, especially those who are different from them, will be better able to create classrooms that foster cultural diversity. Empathy has been demonstrated in many studies to be related to prosocial behavior (Eisenberg, Spinrad, & Sadovsky, 2006). According to Eisenberg et al., “people who experience others’ emotion and feel concern for them are expected to help and not

PAGE 30

20 hurt other people” (p. 317). Batson, Ahmad, and Stocks (2005) presented the case that empathic emotion can produce motivation to increase another’s welfare. Similarly, in their analysis of the role of empathy in improving intergroup relations, Stephan and Finlay (1999) concluded that it is possible to increase empathy levels through training programs and that empathy can have a positive effect on both attitudes and behaviors. Review of Research One area of multicultural research focuses on variations in individuals’ cognitive and psychological characteristics such as knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes. Specifically, researchers in this area are interested in how teachers’ and students’ psychological and cognitive variables interact with classroom climates and student achievement (Bennett, 2003). The effectiveness of multicultural education designed to develop more positive attitudes toward diversity and multiculturalism in preservice teachers has been, at best, minimal and temporary (e. g., Bliss, 1990, Chavez, O’Donnell, & Gallegos, 1994; Cockrell et al., 1999; Deering & Stanutz, 1995; Ladson-Billings, 1995b; McDiarmid, 1992; McDiarmid & Price, 1990; Reed, 1993; Rios, 1993; Sultana, 1993; Titus, 1992; Varvus, 1994; Varvus & Ozcan, 1996). Despite the implementation of multicultural education in teacher preparation programs, according to Melnick and Zeichner (as cited in Dee & Henkin, 2002), there is little evidence that diversity or multicultural education has any impact on preservice teachers’ instructional practices once they enter the field of teaching. Theorists (e.g., Banks, 1994) and teacher educator researchers (e.g., Cockrell et al., 1999) have found preservice teachers’ resistance to efforts to develop more positive attitudes through multicultural education at both course and program levels. Although all types of beliefs and attitudes are generally resistant to change (Munby, 1982; Pajares, 1992; Rokeach, 1968), considerable research has shown that teachers’

PAGE 31

21 attitudes toward multiculturalism are particularly resistant to change, despite exposure to multicultural issues and cultural diversity in cultural diversity courses (Bliss, 1990, Chavez et al., 1994; Cockrell et al., 1999; Dee & Henkin, 2002; Deering & Stanutz, 1995; McDiarmid, 1992; McDiarmid & Price, 1990; Reed, 1993; Rios, 1993; Sultana, 1993; Titus, 1992; Varvus, 1994; Varvus & Ozcan, 1996). Furthermore, as noted by Banks (2001) and Sleeter (2001) isolated diversity courses do not change teachers’ beliefs and attitudes and may serve to reinforce their stereotypical perceptions of themselves and others. A review of the literature revealed demographic characteristics, specifically age, gender, race, and political affiliation most frequently related to teachers’ attitudes toward diversity. Although experience with diverse others has also been positively correlated to positive attitudes toward diversity (Pettigrew, 1997), the results of research on experience with multicultural curriculum has been mixed with the majority of studies reporting little to no effect on teachers’ attitudes toward diversity. These variables were the predictor variables in the mediational model for the study. The following sections are a review of the literature on each path of the mediational model, beginning with the literature on demographic characteristics and attitudes toward diversity. Multicultural Coursework and Attitudes Toward Diversity Consistent with research that points to the difficulties of changing teachers’ beliefs (e.g., Pajares, 1992), research suggests that teachers’ attitudes toward multiculturalism are resistant to change despite courses and workshops in multicultural education. The extent to which teacher education programs include multicultural education in their curricula differs from one institution to another. Studies show that

PAGE 32

22 attempts to prepare teachers to apply multicultural curriculum concepts through workshops or completion of a single course have been ineffective (Bliss, 1990, McDiarmid & Price, 1990). Bakhtiari (2002), for example, found that although preservice teachers had more positive cognitive attitudes toward diversity and multiculturalism than students in other programs, these attitudes were not related to the completion of a course in multicultural education. A few studies on the effectiveness of multicultural coursework alone suggest a positive, though small, change in preservice teachers’ attitudes toward diversity upon completion of a class (Bennett, Niggle, & Stage, 1990; Martin & Koppelman, 1991; Tran, Young, & DiLella, 1994). However, these findings are questionable due to the lack of pre-treatment measures of attitudes toward diversity. Findings from studies that have shown success in increasing preservice teachers’ sensitivity toward diversity issues (Cooper, Beare, & Thorman, 1990; Noordhoff & Kleinfield, 1993; Winitzky & Barlow, 1998) are also suspect because they have generally involved self-selected groups of preservice teachers, suggesting that rather than experiencing an attitudinal change, these participants had preexisting attitudes and beliefs toward multiculturalism that matched those espoused by the course in which they participated . Both the Cooper et al. and the Noordhoff and Kleinfield studies involved groups of preservice teachers who volunteered to participate in a field experience with culturally diverse individuals. It is reasonable to presume that these students had preexisting beliefs that included an openness and interest in experiencing teaching in a diverse setting. However, there is evidence that instructional methodology has a greater influence on bringing about sensitivity to cultural awareness than the content of a cultural diversity course (Brown, 2004). Specifically, methodology

PAGE 33

23 used to reduce resistance and support content had a greater influence on increasing diversity sensitivity than did content alone. Although there is some evidence that teachers’ prior beliefs about approaching culturally and linguistically diverse learners can be modified, the small changes in beliefs have been gradual and occurred in conjunction with positive interactions with culturally diverse students during field experiences (Brown, 2004; Cabello & Burstein, 1995, Ukpokodu, 2004; Winitzky & Barlow, 1998). Some of these studies indicate that preservice teachers show gains in positive attitudes toward multicultural education upon completion of multicultural coursework concurrent with a field placement (Bondy, Schmitz, & Johnson, 1993; Brown, 2004; Mason, 1997; Ukpokodu, 2004; Wiggins & Follo, 1999), whereas other studies have found a multicultural curriculum to have a negative rather than positive effect on attitudes toward diversity, suggesting that exposure to multicultural coursework may lead to race-based overgeneralizations by teachers that, in turn, serve to strengthen rather than minimize stereotypes (Cazden & Mehan, 1989; Deering & Stanutz, 1995; Haberman & Post, 1992, McDiarmid, 1992; McDiarmid & Price, 1990). For example, in a longitudinal study over a period of 4 years, McDiarmid assessed the impact of multicultural week (MCW) in the Los Angeles Unified School District. After their first year of teaching, 110 prospective teachers participated in 15 sessions of presentations on multicultural topics by practicing professionals in the field of education. No significant differences were found in the views of teachers before and after their participation in MCW. Furthermore, McDiarmid concluded that sessions of presenting information and teaching techniques for working with culturally diverse students actually solidified prospective teachers’ stereotypes and led them to form more

PAGE 34

24 generalizations based on group membership, rather than changing their beliefs about diverse groups. Similarly, Deering and Stanutz found that after a 10-week field experience in a multicultural setting, rather than having more positive attitudes toward different cultures, preservice teachers tended to lower their expectations of diverse students in some areas. In fact, the 10-week field experience seemed to have a negative impact on some preservice teachers’ attitudes toward diverse students. The researchers found that the number of participants who identified students by their ethnic groups increased by 16%; a finding that they interpreted negatively because, presumably, they were promoting “color-blindness” as a goal of their program. Furthermore, at the end of the study, 15% of the participants indicated a preference to teach students from their own cultural background in contrast to 6% who indicated this preference before the field experience. Haberman and Post also found that field experience reinforced or produced more stereotypic beliefs toward culturally diverse students, even though the field experience was concurrent with a class on multicultural education. Further, in a pilot study assessing secondary social studies teachers’ attitudes about multiculturalism and their methods of implementing a multicultural curriculum in the classroom, Titus (1992) found that despite reported positive attitudes toward multicultural education, 83% of 26 participating teachers who had received preservice instruction in multicultural education believed it did not adequately prepare them to effectively incorporate multicultural concepts into their teaching. Similarly, 17 preservice teachers who participated in a 3-day workshop designed to influence their views about culturally diverse learners showed no more of a tendency to reject stereotypes of students from different backgrounds after they were exposed to information about diversity than before (McDiarmid & Price, 1992).

PAGE 35

25 Chavez et al. (1994) concluded that a course in multicultural education had little effect on participating students’ attitudes toward multiculturalism. Similarly, Reed (1993) administered a preand posttest to 13 students at the beginning and conclusion of a course in multicultural education to study the effects of the course on their attitudes. The results suggested that a multicultural field project did not change deep-seated, personal feelings about ethnically diverse groups. Results from studies on program wide infusion of multicultural content show similar results of little or no change in attitudes or awareness. Varvus and Ozcan (1996) found that despite focused multicultural education courses with overt inclusion of critical social perspectives across the teacher education program, research indicates that transformative curriculum was generally misinterpreted or resisted. Despite the inclusion of multicultural education for preservice teachers, Varvus (1994) found a weak link between the content of multicultural education courses and the implementation of the content by teacher interns. Most (70%) of the interns displayed a superficial understanding of multicultural education, rather than a more in-depth understanding of the goals and methods of multicultural education. Similarly, Sultana (1993) researched the level of attainment, the degree of sophistication, and preservice teachers’ level of awareness, understanding, appreciation, and respect for multicultural education in the teacher preparation program at Eastern Kentucky University. Findings indicated that although most of the courses addressed multicultural education, the majority of the students failed to show an understanding of diversity beyond an awareness that diversity exists. Rios (1993) found that despite exposure to fundamental principles of multicultural education, their conception of

PAGE 36

26 multicultural education based on their prior attitudes toward ethnic and linguistic minorities influenced how preservice teachers interpreted events in the classroom and often affected the degree to which they implemented a multicultural curriculum. In their study, Ross and Smith (1992) examined six preservice teachers’ perceptions of the problems diverse learners face, beliefs about causes of low achievement among diverse learners, and their commitment to teach this population. They found that preservice teachers’ conceptions of diversity issues in education became more complex as they progressed in a Research in Elementary Education course with a field placement that emphasized teaching diverse learners. However, despite the course’s emphasis on the effects of social and cultural context on curriculum content and student achievement, at the end of the course, the students in their study focused on the content of curriculum and the role of the individual teacher in teaching diverse learners, rather than on societal factors. Perhaps their most important finding was that those prospective teachers who were more committed and willing to work with diverse populations in the beginning of the study progressed further toward the goals of multicultural education as presented in this course, suggesting that initial beliefs or individual differences in the students’ characteristics that made them more open to diversity initially may have affected their acceptance of multicultural ideology. Personal Characteristics and Attitudes Toward Diversity In the sections that follow, I review the research relating gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and prior diversity experiences to attitudes toward diversity. Gender . Research has shown consistently that women hold more positive attitudes toward diversity issues than men. White female students in general reported more favorable attitudes than White male students towards issues of diversity, race, and

PAGE 37

27 multiculturalism (Springer et al., 1995). In a study that examined how college experiences contribute to developing greater tolerance for diversity in college students, Taylor (1998) found that gender was related to attitudes toward diversity, with females demonstrating generally higher tolerance toward diversity (i.e., more positive attitudes toward diversity) than males upon entrance to college programs. Furthermore, females experienced almost three times the gains in tolerance toward diversity than males in the first 2 years of college (Taylor, 1998). Echols and Stader (2002) conducted a survey of undergraduate students to determine their attitudes toward diversity issues. Assuming that more positive attitudes toward affirmative action reflect a more positive attitude toward diversity, the authors found that females more strongly supported recruitment of diverse students than males. In a series of studies to develop and validate the Quick Discrimination Index (QDI), an instrument designed to measure attitudes toward diversity, Ponterotto et al. (1995) found that females demonstrated more positive attitudes toward diversity, as demonstrated by their significantly higher scores on the QDI, than males. Similarly, the results of a self-study survey on diversity issues given to undergraduate students attending Millersville University in Pennsylvania and Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VT) suggested that women were more positive than men toward diversity programs on campus (Millersville University, 1999, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 2000). Ethnicity . In addition to gender differences, the results of the self-study surveys on diversity issues given to undergraduate students attending Millersville University in Pennsylvania (1999) and Virginia Polytechnic Institute (2000) suggested that diverse students had more positive attitudes toward diversity programs and required coursework

PAGE 38

28 on diversity than White students. Ethnically diverse groups in general seem to show more positive attitudes toward diversity and multicultural issues than White groups (Dee & Henkin, 2002, Echols & Stader, 2002, Ponterotto et al., 1995). Echols and Stader found that ethnicity of the students in their study was related to whether they supported required coursework in diversity as well as to their perception of the degree to which faculty made diversity issues a part of the coursework. They found that Black students of both sexes and females who categorized their ethnicity as “other” had in general a more positive attitude about required coursework in diversity than White students of both sexes and males of “other” races. Furthermore, the responses of minority students, Black and other, indicated that they believed faculty infrequently assigned readings that addressed diversity issues, whereas White students of both sexes believed that faculty assigned readings that addressed diversity issues more frequently. Dee and Henkin (2002) also found race-based differences in attitudes toward diversity in their study of preservice teachers’ attitudes toward diversity. Contrary to their expectations, however, their results suggested that African American students reported higher levels of agreement with assimilation strategies than White students, although assimilation to the dominant culture is often seen in opposition to tolerance for diversity. Political affiliation . In a validation study of the Quick Discrimination Index of Attitudes toward Diversity, Ponterotto et al. (1995) found that Democrats reported more positive cognitive attitudes toward diversity than Republicans and Independents. They also found that Democrats had more positive affective attitudes toward diversity than did Independents. In a study of 117 participants from a broad range of ages and middle-class backgrounds, Greig and Reynolds (as cited in Ponterotto, Potere, & Johansen, 2002)

PAGE 39

29 reported that Democrats obtained the highest scores on the Quick Discrimination Index of Attitudes toward Diversity. Experience with diverse others. Interaction with diverse others has been a topic of interest for social scientists as far back as 1954 when Gordon Allport proposed his influential social contact theory. Researchers have consistently shown support for the relationship between positive attitudes toward diversity and the four key situational conditions specified by Allport’s hypothesis: equal status, common goals, intergroup cooperation, and support of authorities. Friendships and positive experiences with diverse others have been found to reduce prejudice (Pettigrew, 1997, 1998). Most preservice teachers have limited experience with diverse populations and operate from a limited base of knowledge about culture and ethnic identity (Dufrene, 1991; Ladson-Billings, 1991). In their study of preservice teachers, Dee and Henkin (2002) found that preservice teachers who reported more positive attitudes toward social interaction with students of diverse ethnic backgrounds showed more positive attitudes toward cultural diversity in education. Villalpando (1994) found that students who socialized with people from other ethnic groups reported higher levels of understanding of diversity regardless of social class. In an exploratory qualitative study, Winitzky and Barlow (1998) found that preservice teachers who reported an interest in diversity, sought out experiences with diverse others, and had more experience with people who were culturally diverse were more accepting of a multicultural perspective during multicultural coursework and field experiences than students who did not show any changes in their beliefs. In an ethnographic study of preservice teachers’ beliefs about diversity, Brand (1999) found that experiences with diverse others were related to prospective teachers’ pedagogy and

PAGE 40

30 philosophy of teaching. Brand found that preservice teachers’ beliefs about education and teaching are formed within the framework of their past experiences, thus their prior beliefs not only influenced their instructional practices, but what information they were willing to consider as viable in education . Summary . There are many approaches to meeting multicultural education’s goal of integrating the perspectives of varying groups and promoting social equity. So far, research evidence suggests the inclusion of multicultural education in teacher preparation programs has had little, if any, impact on preservice teachers’ adoption of multicultural ideology and instructional practices. The research reviewed here, however, does suggest a consistent relationship between the personal characteristics—gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and experience with diverse others—and attitudes toward diversity. In the sections that follow, I describe the research supporting the hypothesis that beliefs about individualism, ability to take the perspective of others, and empathy mediate the relationships between preservice teachers’ personal characteristics and their attitudes toward diversity. First, I describe evidence for the relationships between preservice teachers’ personal characteristics and individualism and their relationships with attitudes toward diversity and multicultural education, and then I provide evidence of the relationships between personal characteristics and empathy and perspective taking and their relationships with attitudes toward diversity and multicultural education. Preservice Teachers’ Beliefs in Individualism Personal characteristics and beliefs about individualism . Regardless of the political and cultural trend toward individualism or collectivism in any society, individuals have psychological characteristics that correspond to individualism or collectivism at the cultural level (Triandis, 1994, 1995). Interestingly, several of the

PAGE 41

31 personal characteristics (i.e., gender, race, and political affiliation) that have been related to preservice teachers’ attitudes toward diversity are also associated with individuals’ beliefs about individualism. Numerous researchers have found that men were higher in individualism than women (e.g., Daab, as cited in Triandis & Singelis, 1998; Kashima et al., 1995, Madson & Trafimow, 2001; Triandis, 1995; Verkuyten & Masson, 1996). With regard to race, Traxler (2001) found that African Americans were higher in individualism than European Americans. Similarly, in their meta-analyses, Oyserman et al. (2002) found that African Americans were significantly higher in individualism than European Americans who were in turn higher in individualism compared to Asian Americans, especially when the measures of individualism included “uniqueness.” However, Hispanic Americans did not differ significantly from European Americans in individualism. Research evidence also suggests that individualism is related to political affiliation. For example, Bourgeois (2003) investigated the relationship between political affiliation and individualism and found that individualism discriminated between Republicans and Democrats. Specifically, he found that Republicans tended to endorse individualism more strongly than Democrats. Beliefs about individualism and attitudes toward diversity. Although few studies have used direct measures of individualism in preservice teachers, indirect evidence of the relationship between their beliefs in individualism and their attitudes toward diversity suggests an inverse relationship between the two constructs. Recent research indicates that preservice teachers’ deeply held beliefs about individualism contribute to their resistance to the adoption of the ideas and values promoted by transformative multicultural education (Cockrell et al., 1999; Sleeter, 1996; Solomon,

PAGE 42

32 1995). Solomon concluded that teachers’ resistance to inservice education about diversity issues was based on their ideological and pedagogical views. Similarly, using data from a 2-year study of teachers who voluntarily participated in a staff development program on multicultural education, Sleeter (1996) found that the majority of the participants focused on the individual’s ability to live within a given social context, rather than on changing society. She concluded “most of the teachers’ conceptions of multicultural education emphasized individuality and success within the existing social system” (p. 75). In an ethnographic study, Cockrell et al. (1999) evaluated the effects of their course on foundations of education, designed from a transformative multicultural perspective, on preservice teachers’ attitudes toward multiculturalism. They found beliefs about individualism to be a source of their students’ resistance to developing positive attitudes toward multiculturalism. Their students expressed ideological beliefs consistent with individualism, and their results showed that most of their students regarded the transmission of common culture, rather than transformative or restructuring approaches, as the primary purpose of schooling in society. Their findings showed that preservice teachers emphasized individual rather than group differences, stressing uniqueness of individuals regardless of ethnic or racial group membership. Summary . In light of the evidence suggesting a relationship between preservice teachers’ personal characteristics and their beliefs in individualism and a relationship between their individualism and their attitudes toward diversity, it seems reasonable to predict that beliefs in individualism mediate the relationship between personal characteristics and attitudes toward diversity. Next, I will present evidence supporting the

PAGE 43

33 role of the ability to take the perspective of others as a mediator of the relationship between personal characteristics and attitudes toward diversity. Empathy and Perspective Taking in Preservice Teachers Bohlmeyer, Burke, and Helmstadter (1985) found that education students demonstrated higher levels of empathy than students enrolled in business or technological programs. This evidence of high levels of empathy in preservice teachers seems inconsistent with Banks’ (1994) assertion that their negative attitudes toward diversity are in part due to their inability to take the perspective of others different from themselves. High empathy scores, however, suggest a focus on subjective experience (Sheldon, 1996), which is consistent with the view that preservice teachers hold strong beliefs based on personal and subjective experiences (e.g., Bruner, 1996). Thus, the contradiction between Bank’s assertion and prospective teachers’ high levels of empathy may be explained in terms of the difference between empathy and perspective taking. Goodman (2000) suggested that although empathy helps motivate one to attempt to alleviate immediate signs of distress in another, one must recognize the chronic nature of a group’s distress, if one is to promote social activism and social justice (goals congruent with those of multicultural education). Thus, a commitment to valuing diversity requires a sustained cognitive perspective from the other’s point of view rather than simply an immediate empathic response. Consequently, in this study I examined the roles of both empathy and perspective taking as mediators of the relationship between preservice teachers’ personal characteristics and their attitudes toward diversity. The following sections comprise a review of the evidence supporting the mediational role of empathy and perspective-taking in the relationship between preservice teachers’ personal characteristics and their attitudes toward diversity.

PAGE 44

34 The relationship between preservice teachers’ personal characteristics and empathy. Three personal characteristics have been found to relate to empathy: gender, ethnicity, and experiences with diversity . Women consistently have been found to demonstrate higher levels of empathy than men (e.g., Harton & Lyons, 2003; Macaskill, Maltby, & Day, 2002; Rose, 2000). Furthermore, Wang et al. (2003) found that women and non-White participants (although relatively small in number) were more likely than White male participants to express empathic emotions toward issues of justice and fairness. Pettigrew (1997) proposed that empathy mediates the relationship between friendship with diverse others and positive intergroup relations. That is, he suggested that friendships with members of other groups increase empathy for the outgroup and, in turn, lead to more positive intergroup attitudes. Although Pettigrew did not directly examine levels of empathy, respondents who reported at least one friendship with a person of another ethnicity were found to be less prejudiced toward other ethnic groups than those who did not have any intergroup friendships. The relationship between preservice teachers’ empathy and attitudes toward diversity . Empathy has been identified as a necessary component of understanding and accepting people from diverse backgrounds (Sue & Sue, 1999). Empathy toward diverse others is assumed to promote cognitive and affective understanding between groups from various racial and ethnic backgrounds (Wang et al., 2003). Furthermore, higher levels of empathy have been found to mediate the relationship between perspective taking and reduction of prejudice (Vescio, Sechrist, & Paolucci, 2003), suggesting that individuals who are more empathic will be more likely to adopt positive attitudes toward diversity.

PAGE 45

35 For women, empathic thinking is related to an increased tolerance toward diversity at the time of entrance to college (Taylor, 1998). Higher levels of empathy are related to increased regard for others’ welfare and act as a source of attitude change toward individuals from diverse groups, particularly traditionally oppressed groups (Batson et al., as cited in Wang et al., 2003). For example, results of several studies suggest that students who exhibit higher levels of empathy have more positive attitudes toward diversity (Taylor, 1998; Winitzky & Barlow, 1998). Furthermore, of considerable relevance to this study, Gault (1998) reported some evidence indicating that empathic feelings toward people perceived to be affected by social problems mediates the relationship between gender and attitudes toward diversity. Gault found that women scored higher in empathy than men, and emotional empathy mediated the relationship between gender and political policies. The relationship between preservice teachers’ personal characteristics and perspective-taking. Relatively few studies have investigated the relationship between individuals’ personal characteristics and perspective taking . Studies suggest that men and women do not differ in perspective-taking ability (Davis, 1994; Wang et al., 2003). However, although contact with diverse others was not directly measured, some research evidence suggests that a broader range of social encounters and experiences linked with social identity appear to increase perspective-taking levels among women (Giesbrecht, 1998). Furthermore , while perspective taking can diminish the tendency to stereotype individuals based on group membership, stereotyping, in turn, is less likely to occur when there is a relationship between the participants (Brewer, as cited in Galinsky &

PAGE 46

36 Moskowitz, 2000). Thus, it can be argued, that perspective-taking ability is positively associated with experience with diverse others through reducing stereotypic thinking. The relationship between preservice teachers’ perspective taking and attitudes toward diversity . Galinsky and Moskowitz (2000) found that perspective taking reduced stereotyping by increasing overlap between the self and outgroup representations. Perspective taking has been shown to improve intergroup attitudes even when outgroups are perceived in stereotypic terms (Vescio et al., 2003). Perspective taking results in less stereotyping of outgroups and increases positive intergroup attitudes (Galinsky & Moskowitz, 2000). Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that perspective-taking ability will show a positive relationship with attitudes toward diversity. Summary The research evidence suggests a relationship between preservice teachers’ personal characteristics (specifically, gender, ethnicity, political affiliation) and their beliefs in individualism, as well as a relationship between their individualism and their attitudes toward diversity. Similarly, research suggests a relationship between personal characteristics (specifically, gender, ethnicity, and experience with diversity) and empathy, and between empathy and attitudes toward diversity, as well as a relationship between perspective taking and experiences with diversity, and a relationship between perspective taking and attitudes toward diversity. On the basis of these relationships, it seems reasonable to predict that beliefs in individualism and empathy and perspective taking mediate the relationships between preservice teachers’ personal characteristics and their attitudes toward diversity.

PAGE 47

37 CHAPTER 3 METHODS AND PROCEDURES The purpose of the this study was to investigate the role of individualism, empathy, and perspective taking as mediators of the relationships among personal characteristics, specifically, gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and experience with diverse others, and attitudes toward diversity and multicultural education. It was hypothesized that the relationship between personal characteristics and attitudes toward diversity can be explained in part by the participants’ beliefs about individualism and greater ability to empathize and take the perspective of others. Participants The participants were recruited from classes offered at the University of Florida, College of Education. Questionnaires were distributed to students enrolled in 17 sections of 5 classes: EDF 3110, Human Growth and Development; EDF 3115, Child Development for Inclusive Education; EDF 3135, The Adolescent; EDG 2701, Teaching Diverse Populations; and EDF 1005, Introduction to Education. Three hundred twentyseven students participated in the study. However, 39 students had missing data, resulting in a final total of 287 participants. Eighty-eight percent of the participants were female, and 12% male. Thirty-seven percent of the participants were education majors; 10% said they are considering an education major, and 53% indicated other majors. Seventy-eight percent identified themselves as White, 6% as African-American, 10% as Hispanic, 3% as Asian, and 3% as Other. Forty-seven percent of the participants indicated their political party affiliation

PAGE 48

38 as Democrat, 43% marked Republican, and 10% indicated other party affiliation. Thirtyeight percent of the participants reported extensive experience with members of other racial and ethnic groups; 50% reported moderate experience, and 12% indicated they had limited experience. One participant (.3%) reported rare interaction with members of other racial and ethnic groups. A description of the sample is provided in Table 3-1. Table 3-1. Sample Characteristics Percent Sex Male 12 Female 88 Diversity Experience Extensive 38 Moderate 50 Limited 12 Major Education or Considering 47 Non-Education 53 Ethnicity White 78 African-American 6 Hispanic 10 Asian 3 Other 3 Political Affiliation Democrat 47 Republican 43 Other 10 Instrumentation Quick Discrimination Index (QDI) or Social Attitudes Survey (SAS) The developers of the Quick Discrimination Index (QDI), Ponterotto et al. (1995), conducted a series of studies to examine the reliability and validity of the (QDI), also known as the Social Attitudes Survey (SAS), as a moderate-length self-report measure of attitudes toward racial diversity and women’s equality. The QDI is an inventory of 30 items on a 5-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 ( strongly disagree ) to 5 ( strongly agree ) designed to measure racial and gender bias in adult and adolescent populations (Ponterotto et al., 2002). The QDI is comprised of three factors: (a) nine items measuring

PAGE 49

39 general or cognitive attitudes toward multiculturalism, (b) eight items measuring affective attitudes toward multiculturalism, and (c) seven items measuring attitudes towards women’s equity issues. Higher scores represent more sensitivity to diversity and gender issues. Only Factors 1 and 2, Cognitive Attitudes and Affective Attitudes Toward Diversity, were used in this study. Ponterotto et al. (1995) reported alpha coefficients for two samples. The results indicated high levels of internal consistency for respondents’ scores on Factors 1 and 2 and the total score (Factor 1, Cronbach’s = .80 and .85, Factor 2, = .83 and .83, total score = .88 in both samples). Test-retest reliability coefficients obtained over 15 weeks in three classes averaged .90 for Factor 1 and .82 for Factor 2. Utsey and Ponterotto (1999) found the QDI scores to be internally consistent over geographically dispersed samples with coefficient alphas ranging from .85 to .91 for Factor 1, and from .70 to .79 for Factor 2. Content validity was assessed during the initial development phase of the QDI by generation of items from the literature on discrimination and expert review (Ponterotto et al., 1995). Both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported a three-factor model of attitudes toward diversity (Ponterotto et al., 1995). Using group comparisons, Ponterotto et al. first reported evidence of criterion-related validity for respondents’ total score on the QDI. They found that females scored significantly higher than males; ethnically diverse groups (all non-White participants combined) scored higher than White participants, and urban dwellers scored higher than both suburban and rural area residents. In a second study, Ponterotto et al. reported evidence of criterion-related validity for each of the three factors of the QDI. With regard to gender, females scored

PAGE 50

40 higher than males on Factor 1. With regard to race and ethnicity, African and Hispanic Americans scored higher than White Americans did on Factor 1. Hispanic Americans scored higher than African Americans, and both groups scored higher than White Americans on Factor 2. Significant differences due to political affiliation were also found, with Democrats scoring higher than Republicans and Independents on Factor 1. Democrats also scored higher than Independents on Factor 2. The Teacher Multicultural Attitude Survey (TMAS) The Teacher Multicultural Attitude Survey (TMAS) is a 20-item instrument developed by Ponterotto, Baluch, Greig, and Rivera (1998). A self-report inventory, the TMAS is designed to determine teachers’ multicultural awareness and sensitivity. The scale is unidimensional and in Likert format. Respondents indicate their agreement with the items on a 5-point scale ranging from (1) strongly disagree to (5) strongly agree . Total scores can range from 20 to 100. Higher scores represent more appreciation and awareness of multicultural issues. Ponterotto et al. (1998) reported high levels of internal consistency for the TMAS scores of 227 graduate students (alpha = .86, theta = .89). The TMAS scores were also stable over a 3-week interval ( r = .80). Evidence of content validity was provided by development of items based on a review of literature on multicultural sensitivity and use of focus groups. Construct validity was investigated through comparison with other measures of ethnic attitude and discrimination. The correlations among these measures supported the convergent validity of scores on the TMAS. Ponterotto et al. found that the TMAS was positively correlated with the QDI racial ( r = .45) and gender equity ( r = .35) factors. Furthermore, comparisons with the Social Desirability Scale (SDS) (Crowne & Marlowe, 1960) indicated no threat from contamination by social desirability bias.

PAGE 51

41 Criterion validity was investigated through examination of score differences in naturally occurring sample cohorts. Results indicated a significant difference between the scores of those who had completed professional workshops on multicultural education and those who had not. Because this study included students in other programs as well as prospective teachers, five items (1, 5, 14, 17, and 19) that pertain only to students who intend to pursue teaching as a career were not used. A pilot study of the reliability of the 15-item scale completed by preservice teachers yielded an alpha of .85. Self-Construal Scale (SCS) The SCS is a 24-item measure of individualism and collectivism (Singelis, 1994). Respondents indicate the extent of their agreement with each item on a Likert scale ranging from 1 ( strongly disagree ) to 7 ( strongly agree ). The SCS consists of two 12item subscales measuring independent (individualist) and interdependent (collectivist) self-construals. Singelis reported Cronbach’s alphas of .74 and .70 for the respondents’ scores on the independent and interdependent subscales, respectively, for the validation study sample. For this study, only the independent scale was used. Exploratory factor analysis in two recent studies (Grace & Cramer, 2003; Hardin, Leong, & Bhagwat, 2004) provided support for an individualism factor in the SCS. Hardin et al. found that a two-factor solution is a good fit for the scale, with all 12 of the individualism items loading on one factor. An example of an independent item is “I enjoy being unique and different from others in many respects,” and an example of an interdependent item is “I will stay in a group if they need me, even when I am not happy with the group.”

PAGE 52

42 The Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) The Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) is a 28-item self-report scale composed of four subscales of seven items each, measuring perspective taking (PT), empathic concern (CE), fantasy, and personal distress (PD) in Likert format with responses ranging from 1 ( does not describe me well ) to 5 ( describes me very well ) (Davis, 1983b). The IRI was developed based on a multidimensional approach to empathy with the rationale that empathy is considered as a set of related constructs “in that they all concern responsivity to others but are also clearly discriminable from each other” (Davis 1983b, p. 113). Only the PT and EC scales were used in the proposed study. The PT scale is designed to measure the respondents’ tendency to see things from others’ point of view and reflects the cognitive component of empathy. A sample item from the PT scale is “When I'm upset at someone, I usually try to ‘put myself in his shoes’ for a while.” The EC scale is a measure of emotional reactivity designed to assess respondents’ tendency to experience feelings of warmth, concern, and compassion for others. A sample item from the EC scale is “I often have tender, concerned feelings for people less fortunate than me.” Davis (1983b) reported internal reliability coefficients for respondents’ scores on the subscales ranging from .71 to .77, with test-retest reliability coefficients ranging from .62 to .71. Loudin, Loukas, and Robinson (2003) reported alpha coefficients of .80 for PT and .82 for EC for their sample of 300 respondents. Davis (1983b) also investigated the validity of the respondents’ scores on the IRI scales. Davis found that the PT scale was the subscale most highly associated with the Hogan Empathy Scale (HES) (Hogan, 1969), which is a measure of the cognitive aspects of empathy ( r = .40), whereas the EC scale was substantially less correlated with the HES ( r = . 18). Furthermore, of the four subscales of the IRI, the PT scale showed the least association with the Emotional

PAGE 53

43 Empathy Scale (Mehrabian & Epstein, 1972) ( r = .20), whereas the EC scale was found to have a substantially greater correlation with the same instrument ( r = .60). Davis (1993b) also found that scores on the PT scale were related to personal characteristics that indicate social competence and satisfaction, such as higher self-esteem, and a lack of shyness and social anxiety. Furthermore, scores on the PT scale were found to predict accuracy in perceiving others (Bernstein & Davis, 1982). Furthermore, higher scores on the EC scale were associated with stronger emotional reactions after exposure to an appeal for help from someone in need (Davis, 1983a). Demographic Data Sheet The demographic data sheet consisted of 15 items that requested information about individual characteristics of the participants. Items included questions about sex, ethnicity, political affiliation, and personal experience with people from diverse backgrounds. For ethnicity, participants were asked to indicate whether they were 1 (White), 2 (African American, 3 (Hispanic), 4 (Asian), or 5 (Other—please describe). For political affiliation, participants were asked, “Which political party most closely represents your views?” 1 (Democrat), 2 (Republican), and 3 (Other—please describe). For experience with diversity, participants were asked, “How would you characterize your personal experience with members of other racial groups? 1 (Extensive, e.g., you have relatives and/or close friends who are from a different racial/ethnic group than yours), 2 (Moderate, e.g., you have/had some friends from a different racial/ethnic group), 3 (Limited, e.g., you have /had some interaction with members of other racial/ethnic groups), 4 (Hardly any (e.g., you rarely interact with members of other racial/ethnic groups). Participants were also asked to indicate their area of study in order

PAGE 54

44 to differentiate between preservice teachers and students majoring in other programs of study. Procedure The instructors of the selected courses who agreed to participate in the study were provided with questionnaire packets to distribute to volunteer participants in their classes. Each packet contained a consent form, a demographic data sheet, the Quick Discrimination Index (QDI) Factors 1 and 2, the Teachers Multicultural Attitudes Survey (TMAS), the Self-Construal Scale (SCS), and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI). The study was completely anonymous. The participants were instructed not to report their names or any personal identifying information. The instructors invited all the students enrolled in their classes to participate in the study. Students completed the questionnaires during class time or on their own time, depending on their instructors’ preference. Statistical Analysis SPSS 11 was used to conduct all statistical analyses. The criterion for significance tests for all a priori hypotheses was set at = .05 with Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. The instruments selected for use in this study have been found to have adequate reliability in numerous studies. However, reliability is a “property of the scores on a test for a particular group of examinees” (Crocker & Algina, 1986, p. 144), and as such it is important to compute the reliability estimates of the instruments used in any study for the particular study sample (Dawis, 1987). I calculated the reliability estimates of each of the instruments for the study participants. According to Baron and Kenny (1986) a variable “may be said to function as a mediator to the extent that it accounts for the relation between the predictor and the criterion” (p. 1176). A variable functions as a mediator when the following conditions

PAGE 55

45 occur: (a) the predictor variables have significant positive relations with the outcome variables, (b) the predictor variables have significant positive relations with the mediator variables, and (c) any previous relationship between the predictor variables and the outcome variables is reduced or is no longer significant when the mediator variables are added to the equation. Three steps were used to test the mediation hypotheses that the relationships between personal characteristics (gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, diversity experience) and cognitive and affective attitudes toward diversity and multicultural attitudes were mediated by individualism, empathy, and perspective-taking ability. First, each outcome variable was regressed on each personal characteristic to see if there were any relationships to be mediated. Second, individualism beliefs, empathy, and perspectivetaking ability were regressed on personal characteristics, with each mediator serving as the outcome variable. Third, each outcome variable was regressed on personal characteristics controlling for the mediator variables. Individual significance tests were conducted for each path in the model. The mediational hypotheses would be supported if the association between the predictor variables and the outcome variables were significantly reduced or disappeared after partialling the association between individualism, empathy, and perspective taking with the outcome variables. Summary In sum, participants were 287 students enrolled in undergraduate courses offered through the College of Education at the University of Florida during the 2005 academic year. The participants completed a questionnaire on personal characteristics that provided the predictor variables in the study. Proposed mediating variables were individualism, as measured by the Self-Construal Scale (SCS), and empathy and perspective taking, as

PAGE 56

46 measured by the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI). The dependent variables were cognitive and affective attitudes toward diversity as measured by two factors of the Quick Discrimination Index (QDI) and attitudes toward multicultural education as measured by the Teachers Multicultural Awareness Scale (TMAS). The reliability of the measures for the proposed sample was calculated, and regression analysis was used to test the direct and indirect effects of the variables on attitudes toward diversity and multicultural education.

PAGE 57

47 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS This study was designed to investigate whether the psychological variables of beliefs about individualism, empathy, and perspective taking mediate the relationships between personal characteristics—gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and experience with diversity—and attitudes toward diversity. This chapter presents a summary of the statistical results of this study, including (a) the summary statistics of personal characteristics (gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and diversity experience), beliefs about individualism, empathy and perspective-taking ability, cognitive and affective diversity attitudes, and multicultural attitudes and (b) results of the analyses of the relationships among the variables of interest. Descriptive Statistics Personal Characteristics Statistical distributions of the personal characteristics of the 287 participants in this study by major (education and noneducation majors and students considering an education major) are presented in Table 4-1. Education majors comprised 38% of the total sample ( N = 107); 53% of the participants ( N = 152) were non-education majors, and 10% were considering an education major ( N = 28). Females comprised 88% of the total sample ( N = 252), 94% of the education majors ( N = 100), 83% of the noneducation majors ( N = 126), and 93% of those considering an education major ( N = 26). Males comprised 12% of the total sample ( N = 35), 7% of the education majors ( N = 7),

PAGE 58

48 17% of the non-education majors ( N = 26); and 7% of those considering an education major ( N = 2). Table 4-1. Sample Characteristics by Program of Study Education Major Non Education Major Considering Education Major Total Sample % N % N % N % N Sex Male 7% 7 17% 26 7 % 2 12% 35 Female 94% 100 83% 126 93% 26 88% 252 Ethnicity White 82% 88 74% 113 79% 22 78% 223 AfricanAmerican 5% 5 7% 11 4% 1 6% 17 Hispanic 8% 9 13% 19 7% 2 10% 30 Asian 3% 3 2% 3 11% 3 3% 9 Other 2% 2 4% 6 0 0 3% 8 Political Affiliation Democrat 50% 53 45% 68 46% 13 47% 134 Republican 44% 47 42% 64 43% 12 43% 123 Other 7% 7 13% 20 11% 3 10% 30 Diversity Experience Extensive 43% 46 35% 53 39% 11 38% 110 Moderate 51% 54 50% 76 50% 14 50% 144 Limited 7% 7 15% 23 11% 3 12% 33 Total Sample 38% 107 53% 152 10% 28 100% 287 Seventy-eight percent of the sample identified themselves as White ( N = 223); 6% identified themselves as African American ( n = 17); 11% identified themselves as Hispanic ( N = 30); 3% identified themselves as Asian ( N = 9), and 3% marked Other for ethnicity ( N = 8). The education majors comprised of 82% White ( N = 88), 5% African American ( N = 5), 8% Hispanic ( N = 9), 3% Asian ( N = 3), and 2% participants of other ethnicities ( N = 2). Non-education majors were comprised of 74% White ( N = 113), 7% African American ( N = 11), 13% Hispanic ( N = 19), 2% Asian ( N = 3) and 4% participants of other ethnicities ( N = 6). Of those participants who were considering an

PAGE 59

49 education major 79% were White ( N = 22); 4% were African American ( N = 1); 7% were Hispanic ( N = 2), and 11% were Asian ( N = 3). Forty-seven percent of the sample identified themselves as Democrats ( N = 134), 43% as Republicans ( N = 123), and 11% as affiliated with another party ( N = 30). Of the education majors, 50% were Democrats ( N = 53), 44% were Republicans ( N = 47), and 7% were affiliated with another party ( N = 7). The non-education majors were comprised of 45% Democrats ( N = 68), 42% Republicans ( N = 64), and 13% other party affiliates ( N = 20). Of the 28 participants considering an education major, 13 (47%) were Democrats; 12 (43%) were Republicans, and 3 (11%) were checked other. Thirty-eight percent of the participants indicated they had extensive experience with diversity ( N = 110); 50% indicated they had moderate experience with diversity ( N = 144), and 12% of the participants indicated they had limited diversity experience ( N = 33). Forty-six of the 107 education majors (43%) had extensive experience; 54 (50%) had moderate experience, and 7 (7%) had limited experience. Fifty-three of the 152 (48%) non-education majors had extensive experience with diversity; 76 (53%) had moderate experience, and 23 (15%) had limited experience. Eleven of the 28 (39%) participants who were considering an education major had extensive experience with diversity; 14 (50%) had moderate diversity experience, and 3 (11%) had limited experience. Proposed Mediating Variables and Outcome Variables Descriptive statistics for the continuous variables in the study are presented in Table 4-2. The total scores were calculated for the two factors of the Quick Discrimination Index (Cognitive and Affective Diversity Attitudes), two factors of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Empathic Concern and Perspective Taking), the Teacher

PAGE 60

50 Multicultural Attitudes Survey (Multicultural Attitudes), and the Self-Construal Scale (Individualism). These scores were used to calculate internal consistency estimates of the respondents’ scores. Cronbach’s for the two factors of the Quick Discrimination Index, Cognitive and Affective Diversity Attitudes, were .83 and .85, respectively. For the IRI factors, Cronbach’s for Empathic Concern was .72, and for Perspective Taking, it was .78. The Teacher Multicultural Attitudes Survey and SelfConstrual Scale had Cronbach’s s of .86 and .73, respectively. A summary of the internal consistency coefficients for all the instruments is provided in Table 4-2. Table 4-2. Means, Standard Deviations, Cronbach’s , and Zero-Order Correlations Among Predictor and Proposed Mediating Variables Variable M SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 1. Cognitive Diversity Attitudes 28.06 6.23 .83 -.42* .73* .18* .15 .11 2. Affective Diversity Attitudes 28.41 6.52 .85 -.39* .24* .17* .19* 3. Multicultural Attitudes 55.35 8.57 .86 -.28* .19* .16 4. Empathic Concern 39.53 5.46 .72 -.38* .01 5. Perspective Taking 34.25 6.40 .78 -.16 6. Individualism 59.83 9.18 .73 -Note: N = 287. *p < .05. ** p < .01. *** p < .001. Correlational Analysis A correlational analysis was performed to examine the zero-order correlations among individualism, empathic concern, cognitive and affective attitudes toward diversity and multicultural attitudes. The zero-order correlation matrix of these variables is presented in Table 4-2. Correlations of note included significant correlations among the three measures of diversity attitudes. Correlation between the two factors of the QDI, Cognitive and Affective Diversity Attitudes, was .42. Cognitive Diversity

PAGE 61

51 Attitudes and multicultural attitudes were significantly correlated at .73, and Affective Diversity Attitudes and multicultural attitudes were significantly correlated at .39. In addition, Cognitive and Affective Attitudes and multicultural attitudes were significantly related to Empathic Concern at .18, .24, and .28, respectively. Empathic Concern and Perspective Taking had a significant correlation of .38. Furthermore, small significant correlations were obtained between Affective Diversity Attitudes and multicultural attitudes, .17 and .19 respectively, as well as a modest significant correlation of .19 between Individualism and Affective Diversity Attitudes. Path Analyses In the following analyses, personal characteristics were the predictor variables, cognitive and affective attitudes toward diversity and multicultural education the dependent or outcome variables, and beliefs about individualism, empathy, and perspective taking were the proposed mediating variables. Path analysis to test the mediating effects was accomplished in three steps (Baron & Kenny, 1986), using GLM in SPSS. The first step assessed the relationship of the predictor variables (personal characteristics) to the outcome variables (Cognitive and Affective Diversity Attitudes and multicultural attitudes). The second step assessed the relationship of the predictor variables to the mediator variables (Individualism, Empathic Concern, and Perspective Taking). Finally, the mediational hypotheses were tested. The results of each of these steps are reported in the following three sections. To determine whether major should be included in the analyses as a predictor variable, ANOVA was used to compare the effects of education majors vs. non-education majors (those participants who were undecided were included in the non-education major category) on the outcome variables. However, all interactions between major and the

PAGE 62

52 other variables in the analyses were nonsignificant. Therefore, in order to increase statistical power, the variable major was removed from the analyses. Step 1: Relationships Between Predictor Variables and Outcome Variables The first step in testing the mediational model was to determine whether there were significant relationships between the predictor variables and the outcome variables, thus determining whether there were any significant relationships to be mediated. Cognitive linear modeling in SPSS was used to examine the relationship between the predictor variables gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and diversity experience and the outcome variables, Cognitive Diversity Attitudes, Affective Diversity Attitudes, and multicultural attitudes. Regression analyses were organized by each outcome variable in the model. The statistical significance of each relationship was evaluated with F tests. Relationships between personal char acteristics and Cognitive Diversity Attitudes. Regression analysis was used to test whether there were significant relationships between personal characteristics—gender, ethnicity, political affiliation and diversity experience—and Cognitive Diversity Attitudes. The model was statistically significant indicating that predictor variables jointly accounted for 26% of the variability of the scores on Cognitive Diversity Attitudes, adjusted R 2 = .26, F (8, 279) = 13.76, p = .00, thus meeting the first condition for the mediation model. The results indicated that with all other predictor variables controlled, the personal characteristics, with the exception of diversity experience, were all significantly related to Cognitive Diversity Attitudes. Although not significant, the linear trend in the relationship between experiences with diversity and Cognitive Diversity Attitudes ( p < .08) is notable. The tests of between subject effects are shown in Table 4-3.

PAGE 63

53 Table 4-3. Summary ANOVA Table: Cognitive Diversity Attitudes Total Scores Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Squares F p R 2 Change Gender 118.20 1 118.20 4.12 .04 .02 Ethnicity 1610.53 4 402.63 14.04 .00 .17 Political Affiliation 666.84 2 333.42 11.62 .00 .08 Diversity Experience 91.16 1 91.16 3.18 .08 .01 Error 8003.24 279 28.69 Total 237850.00 287 Corrected Total 11161.11 286 Note . R 2 = .28 (Adjusted R 2 = .26). Table 4-4 shows the parameter estimates for the significant relationships among personal characteristics and Cognitive Diversity Attitudes. The strongest relationship was between ethnicity and Cognitive Diversity Attitudes, F (4, 279) = 14.04, p = .00, R 2 change = .17; thus, 17% of the variance in scores on Cognitive Diversity Attitudes was uniquely associated with ethnicity. The analysis of the adjusted mean scores on Cognitive Diversity Attitudes in relation to the variable ethnicity, with other personal characteristics controlled, indicated a significant difference between Whites (reference group) and African Americans, B = 7.77, t (279) = 5.62, p = .00, and Whites and Hispanics, B = 5.61, t (279) = 5.33, p = .00. On average, Whites scored 5.61 points lower than Hispanics and 7.77 points lower than African Americans. These results suggest that with gender, political affiliation, and diversity experience controlled, African Americans and Hispanics had, on average, more positive attitudes towards diversity than Whites. The next highest significant relationship was between political affiliation and Cognitive Diversity Attitudes, F (2, 279) = 11.62, p = .00, R 2 change = .08; thus, 8% of the variance in Cognitive Diversity Attitudes was uniquely associated with political affiliation. Specifically, analysis of the adjusted mean scores on the Cognitive Diversity

PAGE 64

54 Table 4-4. Parameter Estimates for Predictor Variables and Cognitive Diversity Attitudes Parameter B SE | t | p Male a -2.01 .99 2.03 .04 African American b 7.77 1.38 5.62 .00 Hispanic b 5.61 1.05 5.55 .00 Asian b 2.58 1.83 1.41 .16 Other b 3.41 1.96 1.74 .08 Republican c -3.17 .69 4.59 .00 Other c .05 1.12 .04 .97 Diversity Experience -.87 .49 1.78 .08 Note . a Reference Category = female, b Reference Category = White, c Reference Category = Democrat. Attitudes in relation to the variable political affiliation, with gender, ethnicity, and diversity experience controlled, indicated a significant difference between Democrats (reference group) and Republicans, B = -3.17, t (279) = 4.59, p = .00. Specifically, Democrats scored, on average, 3.17 points higher than Republicans. These results suggest that, on average, those who identified themselves as Democrats had more positive attitudes toward diversity than Republicans. Gender was significantly related to Cognitive Diversity Attitudes, F (1, 279) = 4.12, p = .04, R 2 change = .02. Analysis of the adjusted mean scores on the Cognitive Diversity Attitudes in relation to the variable gender, B = -2.01, t (279) = 2.03, p = .04, indicated that with ethnicity, political affiliation, and diversity experience controlled, females (reference group) scored higher than males on the Cognitive Diversity Attitudes by a difference of 2.01 points. Gender accounted for 2% of the variance in Cognitive Diversity Attitudes, over and above that of the other predictor variables. Relationships between personal characteristics and Affective Diversity Attitudes. Regression analysis was used to test whether the personal characteristics of gender, ethnicity, political affiliation and diversity experience were significantly related

PAGE 65

55 to Affective Diversity Attitudes. The model was statistically significant, indicating that predictor variables jointly accounted for 33% of the variability of the scores on Affective Diversity Attitudes, adjusted R 2 = .33, F (8, 279) = 18.24, p = .00. The results indicated a significant relationship between personal characteristics and Affective Diversity Attitudes, thus meeting the first condition for mediation. The results indicated that with other predictor variables controlled, ethnicity, F (4, 279) = 3.82, p = .01, R 2 change = .05, political affiliation, F (2, 279) = 4.28, p = .00, R 2 change = .03, and diversity experience, F (1, 279) = 95.79, p = .00, R 2 change = .26, were significantly related to Affective Diversity Attitudes. However, gender and Affective Diversity Attitudes were not significantly related. The tests of between subject effects are shown in Table 4-5. Table 4-6 shows the parameter estimates for the significant relationships among personal characteristics and Affective Diversity Attitudes. The results indicated the strongest significant relationship was between diversity experience and Affective Diversity Attitudes, F (1, 279) = 95.79, p = .00, R 2 = .26; thus, 26% of the total variance in scores on Affective Diversity Attitudes was uniquely associated with the extent of previous diversity experience. These results suggest that those participants who had higher levels of experiences with diverse others, on average, had more positive affective or personal attitudes toward diversity. Ethnicity and Affective Diversity Attitudes were significantly related, F (4, 279) = 3.82, p = .01, R 2 change = .05; thus, 5% of the total variance in scores on Affective Diversity Attitudes was uniquely associated with ethnicity. Specifically, analysis of the

PAGE 66

56 adjusted mean scores on the Affective Diversity Attitudes in relation to the variable ethnicity, with gender, political affiliation, and diversity experience controlled indicated Table 4-5. Summary ANOVA Table: Affective Diversity Attitudes Total Scores Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Squares F P R 2 Change Gender .17 1 .17 .01 .94 .00 Ethnicity 438.67 4 109.67 3.82 .01 .05 Political Affiliation 245.60 2 122.80 4.28 .02 .03 Diversity Experience 2750.81 1 2750.82 95.79 .00 .26 Error 8012.01 279 28.69 Total 244707.00 287 Corrected Total 12201.83 286 Note : R 2 = .34 (Adjusted R 2 = .33). Table 4-6. Parameter Estimates for Predictor Variables and Affective Diversity Attitudes Parameter B SE | t | p Male a -.08 .99 .08 .94 African American b 1.26 1.38 .91 .36 Hispanic b 1.36 1.05 1.30 .20 Asian b 6.71 1.84 3.66 .00 Other b 1.88 1.96 .96 .34 Republican c -1.63 .69 2.36 .02 Other c 1.05 1.12 .94 .35 Diversity experience -4.76 .49 9.79 .00 Note . a Reference Category = female, b Reference Category = White, c Reference Category = Democrat. a significant difference between White (reference group) and Asian participants, B = 6.71, t (279) = 3.66, p = .00. Asian participants scored, on average, 6.71 points higher than White participants. These results indicate that with gender, political affiliation, and diversity experience controlled, on average, Asians had more positive affective attitudes towards diversity than Whites. However, the small number (9) of Asian participants in this study presents a threat to the validity of this conclusion.

PAGE 67

57 The results also indicated that political affiliation was a significant predictor of Affective Diversity Attitudes, F (2, 279) = 4.28, p = .02, R 2 change = .03; thus, 3% of the total variance in scores on Affective Diversity Attitudes was uniquely associated with ethnicity. Specifically, the adjusted mean scores on the Affective Diversity Attitudes in relation to political affiliation indicated that with gender, ethnicity, and diversity experience controlled, there was a significant difference between the mean scores of Democrats (reference group) and Republicans, B = -1.63, t (279) = 2.36, p = .02. However, there was no significant relationship between mean scores of Democrats and participants who identified themselves as other party affiliates. Parameters are shown in Table 4-6. These results suggest that on average, Democrats had more positive affective or personal attitudes toward diversity than Republicans. Relationships between personal characteristics and multicultural attitudes. Regression analysis was used to test whether the personal characteristics of gender, ethnicity, political affiliation and diversity experience were significantly related to multicultural attitudes. The model was statistically significant, indicating that predictor variables jointly accounted for 13% of the variability of the scores on multicultural attitudes, F (8, 279) = 6.44, p = .00, adjusted R 2 = .13, thus meeting the first condition for mediation. The results indicated that with all other predictor variables controlled, each of the personal characteristics, gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, diversity experience was significantly related to multicultural attitudes. The tests of between subject effects are shown in Table 4-7. The parameter estimates for the relationship among personal characteristics and multicultural attitudes are shown in Table 4-8. The strongest significant relationship was

PAGE 68

58 Table 4-7. Summary ANOVA Table: Multicultural Attitudes Total Scores Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Squares F p R 2 Change Gender 736.26 1 736.26 11.54 .00 .04 Ethnicity 1271.86 4 317.97 4.98 .00 .07 Political Affiliation 424.53 2 212.27 3.33 .04 .02 Diversity Experience 270.70 1 270.70 4.24 .04 .02 Error 17802.86 279 63.81 Total 903326.00 287 Corrected Total 21091.28 286 Note . R 2 = .16 (Adjusted R 2 = .13). Table 4-8. Parameter Estimates for Predictor Variables and Multicultural Attitudes Parameter B SE | t | p Male a -5.02 1.47 3.40 .00 African American b 3.66 2.06 1.78 .08 Hispanic b 5.31 1.57 3.38 .00 Asian b 7.36 2.74 2.69 .01 Other b 3.80 2.92 1.30 .19 Republican c -2.65 1.03 2.58 .01 Other c -1.08 1.67 .65 .52 Diversity experience -1.49 .73 2.06 .04 Note . a Reference Category = female, b Reference Category = White, c Reference Category = Democrat. between ethnicity and multicultural attitudes, F (4, 279) = 4.98, p = .00, R 2 change = .07; thus, 7% of the total variance of scores on multicultural attitudes was uniquely associated with ethnicity. Analysis of the adjusted mean scores on the multicultural attitudes in relation to the variable ethnicity, with other personal characteristics controlled, indicated a significant difference between White (reference group) and Hispanic participants, B = 5.31, t (279) = 3.38, p = .00, and White and Asian participants, B = 7.36, t (279) = 2.69, p = .01. On average, White participants scored 5.31 points lower than Hispanic participants and 7.36 points lower than Asian participants, who had the highest scores of all racial

PAGE 69

59 groups. These results suggest that with gender, political affiliation, and diversity experience controlled, Asians and Hispanics had, on average, more positive attitudes towards diversity than Whites. However, these results should be interpreted with caution because the small number (9) of Asian participants in this study presents a threat to the validity of this conclusion. Gender was significantly related to multicultural attitudes, F (1, 279) = 11.54, p = .00, R 2 change = .04. The analysis of the adjusted mean scores on multicultural attitudes in relation to gender, B = -5.02, t (279) = 3.40, p = .00, indicated that with ethnicity, political affiliation, and diversity experience controlled, females (reference group) scored higher than males on the multicultural attitudes by a difference of 5.02 points. The results indicated a significant relationship between political affiliation and multicultural attitudes, F (2, 279) = 3.33, p = .04, R 2 change = .02; thus, 2% of the total variance in multicultural attitudes is uniquely associated with political affiliation. Specifically, the analysis of the adjusted mean scores on the multicultural attitudes in relation to the variable political affiliation, with gender, ethnicity, and diversity experience controlled, indicated a significant difference between Democrats (reference group) and Republicans, B = -2.65, t (279) = 2.58, p = .01. Specifically, Democrats’ scores on the multicultural attitudes were 2.65 points higher, on average, than Republicans’ scores. These results suggest that on average, those who identified themselves as Democrats had more positive multicultural attitudes than Republicans. The results also indicated a significant relationship between diversity experience and multicultural attitudes, F (1, 279) = 4.24, p = .04, R 2 = .02; thus, 2% of the total variance in multicultural attitudes is uniquely associated with the level of previous

PAGE 70

60 diversity experience. These results suggest that those participants who had higher levels of experiences with diverse others, on average, had more positive multicultural attitudes. In sum, the three models in Step 1 of the mediation analysis were significant, indicating significant relationships between the predictor and outcome variables. The predictor variables jointly accounted for 26% of variance in Cognitive Diversity Attitudes total scores. Specifically, the personal characteristics of gender, ethnicity, and political affiliation were significantly related to Cognitive Diversity Attitudes, which explained 17%, 8%, and 2% of the variation in the total scores on Cognitive Diversity Attitudes, respectively. The predictor variables jointly accounted for 33% of the variance in Affective Diversity Attitudes total scores. Specifically, the personal characteristics of ethnicity, political affiliation, and diversity experience were significantly related to Affective Diversity Attitudes, which respectively explained 26%, 5%, and 3% of the variation in Affective Diversity Attitudes scores. All four personal characteristics— gender, ethnicity, political affiliation and diversity experiences—were significantly related to multicultural attitudes, which jointly accounted for 13% of the total score variability. Specifically, ethnicity and gender explained 7% and 4% of the variance on multicultural attitudes scores, and political affiliation and experience with diversity each explained 2% of the variance in total scores. Step 2: Relationships Between Predic tor Variables and Proposed Mediator Variables The second step in assessing mediation is to determine whether there are significant relationships among the mediating variables and the predictor variables. Regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationships among the predictor variables,

PAGE 71

61 gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and diversity experience and the proposed mediating variables, Individualism, Empathic Concern, and Perspective Taking. Relationships between personal characteristics and Individualism. Regression analysis was conducted to examine the degree of association among the personal characteristics, gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, diversity experience, and Individualism. The tests of between subject effects are shown in Table 4-9. In this Table 4-9. Summary ANOVA Table: Individualism Total Scores Source Type III Sum of Squares Df Mean Squares F p R 2 Change Gender 8.63 1 8.63 .10 .75 .00 Ethnicity 462.77 4 115.69 1.39 .24 .02 Political Affiliation 94.92 2 47.46 .57 .57 .00 Diversity Experience 179.37 1 179.37 2.15 .14 .01 Error 23184.05 279 83.40 Total 1052528.00 287 Corrected Total 24122.25 286 Note . R 2 = .04 (Adjusted R 2 = .01). model, the adjusted R 2 of .01 was not statistically significant F (8, 279) = 1.41, p = .19, indicating that the predictor variables did not account for any significant variability in the scores on Individualism. The predictor variables of gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and diversity experience were not significantly related to Individualism. Thus the second condition for mediation was not met for Individualism. Relationships between personal characteristics and Empathic Concern. Regression analysis was conducted to examine the degree of association among the personal characteristics, gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and diversity experience, with Empathic Concern. The model was statistically significant, indicating that the predictor variables jointly accounted for 3% of the variability of the scores on Empathic

PAGE 72

62 Concern, adjusted R 2 = .03, F (8, 279) = 2.01, p = .05, thus meeting the second condition for Empathic Concern as a mediational variable. With all other predictor variables controlled, the predictor variables, ethnicity, F (4, 279) = .63, p = .64, diversity experience, F (1, 279) = 2.86, p = .09, and political affiliation, F (2, 279) = 1.14, p = .32, were not significantly related to Empathic Concern. Although not significant, there is a linear trend in the relationship between experiences with diversity and Empathic Concern ( p < .09). However, gender and Empathic Concern were significantly related, F (1, 279) = 8.38, p = .00, R 2 change = .03. Analysis of the adjusted mean scores on Empathic Concern in relation to gender, B = -2.89, t (279) = 2.90, p = .00, indicated that with ethnicity, political affiliation, and diversity experience controlled, females (reference group) scored higher than males on Empathic Concern by a difference of 2.89 points. Gender accounted for 3% of the variance in total scores on Empathic Concern, over and above that of the other predictor variables. The tests of between subject effects are shown in Table 4-10, and parameter estimates are shown in Table 4-11. Table 4-10. Summary ANOVA table: Empathic Concern Total Scores Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Squares F p R 2 Change Gender 243.88 1 243.88 8.38 .00 .03 Ethnicity 73.79 4 18.45 .63 .64 .01 Political Affiliation 66.26 2 33.12 1.14 .32 .01 Diversity Experience 84.26 1 84.26 2.90 .09 .01 Error 8090.77 279 29.10 Total 456944.00 287 Corrected Total 8559.55 286 Note . R 2 = .06 (Adjusted R 2 = .03).

PAGE 73

63 Relationships between personal characteristics and Perspective Taking . Regression analysis was conducted to examine the degree of association among the personal characteristics of gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, diversity experience, Table 4-11. Parameter Estimates for Empathic Concern and Predictor Variables Parameter B SE | t | p Male a -2.89 .10 2.90 .00 African American b -.70 1.39 .50 .62 Hispanic b 1.32 1.06 1.25 .21 Asian b 1.03 1.85 .56 .58 Other b 1.29 1.97 .65 .51 Republican c .99 .70 1.42 .16 Other c .07 1.13 .06 .95 Diversity Experience -.85 .50 1.70 .09 Note . a Reference Category = female, b Reference Category = White, c Reference Category = Democrat. and Perspective Taking. In this model, the adjusted R 2 = .00 was not statistically significant, F (8, 279) = .83, p = .57, indicating that the predictor variables did not account for significant variability of the scores on Perspective Taking. There were no significant relationships between participants’ gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and diversity experience and Perspective Taking. Thus the second condition for mediation was not met for Perspective Taking. The tests of between subject effects are shown in Table 4-12. In sum, three models were tested in Step 2 of the mediation analysis to determine the relationship among the predictor variables (gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and diversity experience) and the mediator variables (Individualism, Empathic Concern, and Perspective Taking). The models were not statistically significant with Individualism and Perspective Taking as the outcome variables, indicating that gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and diversity experience did not account for any significant variability in the

PAGE 74

64 total scores of Individualism and Perspective Taking. The regression model with Empathic Concern as the outcome variable was significant however, with gender explaining 3% of the variability in scores on Empathic Concern. Table 4-12. Summary ANOVA Table: Perspective Taking Total Scores Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Squares F p R 2 Change Gender 68.13 1 68.13 1.65 .20 .01 Ethnicity 180.22 4 45.06 1.09 .36 .02 Political Affiliation 23.44 2 11.72 .28 .75 .00 Diversity Experience .76 1 .76 .02 .89 .00 Error 11455.42 279 41.21 Total 347937.00 287 Corrected Total 11730.28 286 Note . R 2 = .02 (Adjusted R 2 = 0). Step 3: Relationships Between Predictor Va riables, Proposed Mediating Variables, and Outcome Variables The third step in testing the mediational model was to determine whether there were any significant relationships between each of the proposed mediators (Individualism, Empathic Concern, Perspective Taking) and the outcome variables (Cognitive Diversity Attitudes, Affective Diversity Attitudes, multicultural attitudes) with the predictor variables controlled. General linear modeling in SPSS was used to examine these relationships. If the significant relationships in Step 1 were no longer significant or were reduced in their strength of association, then the final condition for mediation was met. Relationships between personal characteristics, Individualism, Empathic Concern, Perspective Taking, and Cognitive Diversity Attitudes. A preliminary analysis evaluating the homogeneity-of-slopes assumption indicated that the relationships between Empathic Concern, Perspective Taking and Individualism, and the outcome

PAGE 75

65 variable Cognitive Diversity Attitudes did not differ significantly as a function of the predictor variables gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and diversity experience, thus, indicating that the assumption of homogeneity of slopes was met. With gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, diversity experience, Individualism, and Perspective Taking controlled, Empathic Concern F (1, 274) = 6.93, p = .01, R 2 change = .03, had a significant relationship with Cognitive Diversity Attitudes. Perspective Taking and Individualism however, did not have a significant relationship with Cognitive Diversity Attitudes with all other variables controlled. Table 4-13 shows the results of the significance tests. Table 4-13. Summary ANOVA Table: Cognitive Diversity Attitudes Total Scores, Predictor Variables, and Mediator Variables Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Squares F p R 2 Change Gender 56.89 1 56.89 2.06 .15 .01 Ethnicity 1533.73 4 383.43 13.86 .00 .17 Political Affiliation 709.78 2 354.89 12.82 .00 .09 Diversity Experience 66.61 1 66.61 2.41 .12 .01 Individualism .13 1 .13 .01 .95 .00 Empathic Concern 200.07 1 200.07 7.23 .01 .03 Perspective Taking 42.84 1 42.84 1.55 .22 .01 Error 7638.34 276 27.68 Total 237850.00 287 Corrected Total 11161.11 286 Note . R 2 = .32 (Adjusted R 2 = .29). Furthermore, the relationship between gender and Cognitive Diversity Attitudes was no longer significant when the mediating variable, specifically Empathic Concern, was added to the model. Table 4-14 shows the parameter estimates, and Table 4-15 shows the change in R 2 after the mediator variables were added to the model. Because the relationship between gender and Cognitive Diversity Attitudes was reduced after the

PAGE 76

66 Table 4-14. Parameter Estimates for Cognitive Diversity Attitudes, Predictor Variables, and Mediator Variables Parameter B SE | t | p Male a -1.42 .99 1.43 .15 African American b 7.96 1.37 5.82 .00 Hispanic b 5.29 1.04 5.10 .00 Asian b 2.16 1.81 1.19 .23 Other b 3.21 1.93 1.67 .10 Republican c -3.30 .68 4.84 .00 Other c .03 1.10 .03 .98 Diversity experience -.75 .48 1.55 .12 Individualism -.01 .04 .07 .95 Empathic Concern .17 .06 2.69 .01 Perspective Taking .07 .05 1.24 .22 Note . a Reference Category = female, b Reference Category = White, c Reference Category = Democrat. Table 4-15. Change in Proportion of Association of Each Significant Relationship Between Personal Characteristics and Cognitive Attitudes Before and After the Addition of Empathic Concern Variable Step 1 R 2 change p Step 3 R 2 change p Gender .02 .04 .01 .15 Ethnicity .17 .00 .17 .00 Political Affiliation .08 .00 .09 .00 Diversity Experience .01 .08 .01 .12 Empathic Concern .03 .01 addition of Empathic Concern to the model, the third condition for mediation was met for Empathic Concern. Relationships between personal characteristics, Individualism, Empathic Concern, Perspective Taking, and Affective Diversity Attitudes. A preliminary analysis evaluating the homogeneity-of-slopes assumption indicated that the relationships between Empathic Concern, Perspective Taking, and Individualism and the outcome variable, Affective Diversity Attitudes, did not differ significantly as a function of the

PAGE 77

67 predictor variables gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and diversity experience, thus indicating that the assumption of homogeneity of slopes was met. With gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, diversity experience, Individualism, and Perspective Taking controlled, Empathic Concern, F (1, 274) = 10.30, p = .00, R 2 change = .04, had a significant relationship with Affective Diversity Attitudes. Thus, Affective Diversity Attitudes increased as Empathic Concern increased. With gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, diversity experience, Empathic Concern, and Perspective Taking controlled, Individualism, F (1, 274) = 3.87, p = .05, R 2 change = .01, also had a significant relationship with Affective Diversity Attitudes. Perspective Taking, however, did not have a significant relationship with Affective Diversity Attitudes with all other variables controlled. Table 4-16 shows the summary of significance tests, and the parameter estimates are shown in Table 4-17. Furthermore, the relationship between gender and Affective Diversity Attitudes was no longer significant when the mediating variables, specifically Empathic Concern and Individualism, were added to the model, F (1, 274) = .35, p = .56. The strength of the relationship between ethnicity, F (4, 274) = 3.46, p = .01, and Affective Diversity Attitudes remained the same with the addition of the proposed mediating variables, Individualism, Perspective Taking, and Empathic Concern, to the equation as did the relationship between political affiliation and Affective Diversity Attitudes, F (2, 274) = 4.85, p = .01. The strength of the relationships between diversity experiences , F (1, 274) = 91.44, p = .00 and Affective Diversity Attitudes was reduced to

PAGE 78

68 Table 4-16. Summary ANOVA Table: Affective Diversity Attitudes Total Scores, Predictor Variables, and Mediator Variables Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Squares F p R 2 Change Gender 9.32 1 9.32 .35 .56 .00 Ethnicity 368.20 4 92.05 3.46 .01 .05 Political Affiliation 258.32 2 129.16 4.85 .01 .03 Diversity Experience 2435.19 1 2435.19 91.44 .01 .25 Individualism 103.17 1 103.17 3.87 .05 .01 Empathic Concern 274.22 1 243.22 10.30 .00 .04 Perspective Taking 52.89 1 52.89 1.99 .16 .01 Error 7350.20 276 26.63 Total 244707.00 287 Corrected Total 12201.83 286 Note . R 2 = .40 (Adjusted R 2 = .37). Table 4-17. Parameter Estimates for Affective Diversity Attitudes, Predictor Variables and Mediator Variables Parameter B SE | t | p Male a .57 .97 .59 .56 African American b 1.18 1.34 .88 .38 Hispanic b .85 1.02 .83 .41 Asian b 6.36 1.78 3.58 .00 Other b 1.44 1.89 .76 .45 Republican c -1.71 .67 2.55 .01 Other c 1.04 1.08 .96 .34 Diversity experience -4.53 .47 9.56 .00 Individualism .07 .03 1.97 .05 Empathic Concern .20 .06 3.21 .00 Perspective Taking .07 .05 1.41 .16 Note . a Reference Category = female, b Reference Category = White, c Reference Category = Democrat. R 2 change = .25 from R 2 change = .26, when the mediating variables were added to the equation. Table 4-18 shows the change in R 2 after the mediating variables were introduced in the model. The third condition for mediation was met for Empathic Concern. Although Individualism and Affective Diversity Attitudes were significantly

PAGE 79

69 related, Individualism was not significantly related to any personal characteristics in Step 2; therefore, it did not mediate any relationships between personal characteristics and Affective Diversity Attitudes. Table 4-18. Change in Proportion of Association of Each Significant Relationship Among Personal Characteristics and Affective Attitudes Before and After the Addition of Empathic Concern Variable Step 1 R 2 change p Step 3 R 2 change p Gender .00 .94 .00 .56 Ethnicity .05 .01 .05 .01 Political Affiliation .04 .02 .03 .01 Diversity Experience .26 .00 .25 .00 Empathic Concern .04 .00 Relationships between personal characteristics, Individualism, Empathic Concern, Perspective Taking, and multicultural attitudes. A preliminary analysis evaluating the homogeneity-of-slopes assumption indicated that the relationships between Empathic Concern, Perspective Taking, and Individualism with the outcome variable, multicultural attitudes, did not differ significantly as a function of the predictor variables gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and experiences with diversity. The results of this analysis indicate that the assumption of homogeneity of slopes was met. The summary of significance tests is shown in Table 4-19. With gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, diversity experience, Individualism, and Perspective Taking controlled, Empathic Concern, F (1, 274) = 12.47, p = .00, R 2 change = .04, had a significant relationship with multicultural attitudes.

PAGE 80

70 Table 4-19. Summary ANOVA Table: Multicultural Attitudes Total Scores, Predictor Variables, and Mediator Variables Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Squares F p R 2 Change Gender 454.26 1 454.26 7.65 .01 .03 Ethnicity 1015.70 4 253.93 4.27 .00 .06 Political Affiliation 475.52 2 237.76 4.00 .02 .03 Diversity Experience 153.14 1 153.14 2.58 .11 .01 Individualism 169.44 1 169.44 2.85 .09 .01 Empathic Concern 740.83 1 740.83 12.47 .00 .04 Perspective Taking 56.77 1 56.77 .96 .33 .00 Error 16396.15 276 59.41 Total 903326.00 287 Corrected Total 21091.28 286 Note . R 2 = .23 (Adjusted R 2 = .19). Individualism, F (1, 274) = 2.85, p = .09, R 2 change = .01, and Perspective Taking, F (1, 274) = .96, p = .33, R 2 change = .00, however, did not have a significant relationship with multicultural attitudes with all other variables controlled. Furthermore, the relationship between diversity experience, F (1, 274) = 2.58, p = .11, and multicultural attitudes was no longer significant when the mediating variable, Empathic Concern, was added to the model. Table 4-20 shows the parameter estimates. The strength of the association between ethnicity, F (4, 274) = 4.27, p = .00, and multicultural attitudes was reduced to R 2 change = .06 from R 2 change = .07, when the mediating variables were added to the equation. The strength of the relationship between gender, F (1, 276) = 7.65, p = .01, and multicultural attitudes was also reduced to R 2 change = .03 from R 2 change = .04 when the mediating variables were added to the equation. However, the degree of association between political affiliation, F (2, 276) = 4.00, p = .02, and multicultural attitudes increased from R 2 change = .02 to R 2 change = .03. The change in the strength of association between the variables after the addition of the mediator variables to the

PAGE 81

71 Table 4-20. Parameter Estimates for Multicultural Attitudes, Predictor Variables, and Mediator Variables Parameter B SE | t | p Male a -4.00 1.44 -2.77 .01 African American b 3.59 2.00 1.79 .07 Hispanic b 4.57 1.52 3.01 .00 Asian b 6.90 2.66 2.60 .01 Other b 3.14 2.82 1.11 .27 Republican c -2.83 1.00 -2.82 .01 Other c -1.08 1.61 -.62 .50 EXP 1.14 .71 1.61 .11 Individualism .09 .05 1.69 .09 Empathic Concern .33 .09 3.53 .00 Perspective Taking .08 .08 .98 .33 Note . a Reference Category = female, b Reference Category = White, c Reference Category = Democrat. model is shown in Table 4-21. The third condition for mediation was met for Empathic Concern as a partial mediating variable through gender and ethnicity and a full mediating variable through diversity experience. Table 4-21. Change in Proportion of Association of Each Significant Relationship Among Personal Characteristics and Multicultural Attitudes Before and After the Addition of Empathic Concern Variable Step 1 R 2 change p Step 3 R 2 change p Gender .04 .00 .03 .01 Ethnicity .07 .00 .06 .00 Political Affiliation .02 .04 .03 .02 Diversity Experience .02 .04 .01 .11 Empathic Concern .04 .00 Summary of Path Analysis The results of Step 1 indicated significant relationships between personal characteristics and outcome variables. Specifically, gender, ethnicity, and political affiliation were significantly related to Cognitive Diversity Attitudes; ethnicity, political

PAGE 82

72 affiliation, and diversity experiences were significantly related to Affective Diversity Attitudes, and gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and diversity experiences were significantly related to multicultural attitudes. In Step 2, the results indicated a significant relationships between gender and Empathic Concern. No significant relationships were found between any of the personal characteristics and Individualism or Perspective Taking. Furthermore, with the exception of a significant relationship between Individualism and Affective Diversity Attitudes, Individualism and Perspective Taking did not explain any variance in scores on Cognitive Diversity Attitudes, Affective Diversity Attitudes, and multicultural attitudes. Only Empathic Concern met the second condition of the mediation model. The results for Step 3 indicated that Empathic Concern completely mediated the relationship between gender and Cognitive Diversity Attitudes. The relationship between personal characteristics and Affective Diversity Attitudes was also mediated by Empathic Concern. The strength of association between ethnicity and and Affective Diversity Attitudes was reduced with the addition of Empathic Concern to the equation as was the relationship between diversity experiences and Affective Diversity Attitudes, indicating partial mediation. Results also indicated that Empathic Concern partially mediated the relationships among gender, ethnicity, and political affiliation and multicultural attitudes. The strength of association between all three variables and multicultural attitudes was reduced when Empathic Concern was added to the equation. The relationship between diversity experience and multicultural attitudes was no longer significant when Empathic Concern was added to the equation, suggesting Empathic Concern fully mediated the relationship between diversity experiences and multicultural attitudes.

PAGE 83

73 CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION Although multicultural education has become an integral part of teacher education programs in the past two decades, research has shown mixed results in the effectiveness of multicultural education in improving teacher attitudes toward diversity. Because demographic trends project an increased number of racially diverse students, while teachers remain predominantly White, middle-class females, multicultural education has been introduced in teacher education programs in order to improve teachers’ attitudes toward racially diverse populations. In fact, in most studies of multicultural education the presence of a demographic gap between future educators and students is cited as the reason to implement multicultural education in teacher education programs. It is assumed that preservice teachers who have more positive attitudes toward diversity will practice culturally responsive teaching in their classrooms and be more responsive to the needs of ethnically diverse students (Bennett, 1995; Gay, 2000). Although some studies have shown that preservice teachers have positive attitudes toward diversity and do not feel a need for education about diversity (Brown, 2004; Echols, 2002), other studies have indicated that most teachers do not practice culturally responsive or multicultural education in their classes (Ladson-Billings, 1995b; Sleeter, 2001). Furthermore, there is little evidence pointing to the success of multicultural education programming in producing teachers who practice culturally responsive teaching or in changing preservice teachers’ attitudes toward diversity (Banks, 2004; Sleeter, 2001).

PAGE 84

74 Research on the effectiveness of multicultural education has taken several directions. In some studies preservice teachers’ attitudes toward diversity are evaluated as a function of exposure to multicultural curriculum or workshops; other studies have focused on exploring the causes for preservice teachers’ resistance to multicultural ideals (Banks, 1995; Cockrell et al., 1999). Although some research has shown positive changes in teachers’ attitudes after exposure to multicultural programming (e.g., Brown, 2004; Ukpokodu, 2004), other research has shown little or no long-term effects on teachers' attitudes (e.g., McDiarmid, 1990). Teachers’ attitudes toward teaching are based on their own experiences as students and appear basically unchanged by their preservice programs (Kagan, 1992). Furthermore, research suggests that even when teachers have shown positive attitudes toward multiculturalism, these positive attitudes are not necessarily translated into the curriculum they implement in classrooms. The conflict between reported attitudes and practice is another area of concern for teacher educators and researchers. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of empathy, perspective taking, and beliefs about individualism in mediating the relationships among personal characteristics and attitudes toward diversity and multicultural education, as a first step in identifying psychological factors that might improve teachers’ attitudes toward diversity. Findings from this study suggest the following: 1. Preservice teachers and students from other programs do not differ in empathic concern, perspective taking, or beliefs about individualism. The results of this study further suggest that preservice teachers and students enrolled in other programs do not differ in diversity and multicultural attitudes. These results, however, may not generalize to students in other programs in the university because of a bias in the process of selecting the research participants. Although the non-education majors who participated in this study were not enrolled in the teacher education program, they were enrolled in the

PAGE 85

75 same classes as preservice teachers; therefore it is possible that common interests in the two groups explain the similarity in their attitudes. 2. Gender, ethnicity, and political affiliation predict cognitive attitudes toward diversity. 3. Prior experiences with diversity experiences do not predict cognitive attitudes toward diversity. 4. Ethnicity, political affiliation, and diversity experience predict affective attitudes toward diversity. 5. Gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, and prior experiences with diversity predict multicultural attitudes. 6. Empathy completely mediates the relationship between gender and cognitive attitudes toward diversity. 7. Empathy partially mediates the relationship between prior experiences with diversity and affective attitudes toward diversity. 8. Empathy partially mediates the relationship between gender and multicultural attitudes and the relationship between ethnicity and multicultural attitudes. 9. Empathy completely mediates the relationship between prior experiences with diversity and multicultural attitudes. 10. Individualism, though not related to the personal characteristics of gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, or prior experiences with diversity does predict affective attitudes toward diversity. These findings are represented in diagrams shown in Figures 5-1 through 5-3. In sum, empathy plays a central role in mediating the relationship between some personal characteristics and affective attitudes toward diversity and multicultural education. With the exception of the relationship between individualism and affective diversity attitudes, perspective taking and individualism are not related to any of the personal characteristics or diversity attitudes. The effects of ethnicity and diversity experience on cognitive attitudes and affective attitudes, respectively, are also important.

PAGE 86

76 PoliticalAffiliation Ethnicity Gender Empathy Cognitive DiversityAttitudes Figure 5-1. Relationship between personal characteristics, empathy, and cognitive diversity attitudes DiversityExperience PoliticalAffiliation Ethnicity Empathy Affective DiversityAttitudes Individualism Figure 5-2. Relationship between personal characteristics, empathy and multicultural attitudes

PAGE 87

77 DiversityExperience PoliticalAffiliation Ethnicity Gender Empathy MulticulturalAttitudes Figure 5-3. Relationship between personal characteristics, empathy and multicultural attitudes The following sections expand on these findings and address the limitations of this study, implications for practice, and future directions for research. I begin with a discussion of the relationships among the participants’ personal characteristics and the three outcome variables: cognitive attitudes toward diversity, affective attitudes toward diversity, and attitudes toward multicultural education. Significant Findings Personal Characteristics and Cognitive Attitudes Toward Diversity As in previous research studies (Dee & Henkin, 2002; Echols & Stader, 2002; Ponterotto et al., 1995; Millersville University of Pennsylvania, 1999; Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 2000), the results of this study show that ethnicity and gender are

PAGE 88

78 significantly related to cognitive attitudes toward diversity. In this study, ethnicity is a stronger predictor of attitudes toward diversity than gender. Ethnically diverse students and females have more positive cognitive attitudes toward diversity than White students and males. Also consistent with previous research, Democrats report more positive attitudes toward diversity than Republicans. However, unlike previous research findings (Dee & Henkin, 2002; Garmon, 2005; Villalpando, 1994), this study does not show a significant relationship between previous experience with diverse others and cognitive attitudes toward diversity. A linear trend ( ! < .08), however, suggests that with a larger sample a significant relationship would be found. Personal Characteristics and Affective Attitudes Toward Diversity In their study of the psychometric properties of the QDI, Ponterotto et al. (1995) reported ethnic differences in affective attitudes toward diversity. The results of this dissertation support their findings in that ethnically diverse participants report more positive affective attitudes than White participants. The results of this study are also consistent with Ponterotto et al. in not finding a significant relationship between gender and affective attitudes toward diversity. However, diversity experience does significantly predict affective attitudes toward diversity; specifically, experience with diversity explains 26% of the variance in affective attitudes toward diversity. This strong relationship suggests the possibility that previous findings of a relationship between prior experience with diversity and diversity attitudes (e.g., Dee & Henkin, 2002; Garmon, 2005; Villalpando, 1994) involved measurement of affective attitudes rather than cognitive attitudes toward diversity.

PAGE 89

79 Personal Characteristics and Multicultural Attitudes Ethnicity, gender, political affiliation, and experience with diverse others are all significantly related to multicultural attitudes, with ethnicity as the strongest predictor. It is important to note that the relationship between diversity experience and multicultural attitudes is no longer significant when empathy is in the model, suggesting that empathy is the process by which experience with diversity affects multicultural attitudes. Summary of Findings on Personal Characteristics and Attitudes Toward Diversity The results of the analyses of the relationships among personal characteristics and diversity attitudes are consistent with previous research, except that previous researchers (e.g., Dee & Henkin, 2002) have reported positive relationships between experiences with diverse others and cognitive attitudes toward diversity, whereas in this study no relationship between experience with diversity and cognitive attitudes toward diversity was found. Of greatest interest is the difference in the relationships between diversity experience and cognitive and affective attitudes. Prior diversity experience does not predict cognitive diversity attitudes, but it does predict affective attitudes toward diversity. This finding indicates that while affective attitudes toward diversity are more positive as a result of experiences with diversity, these prior experiences are not related to cognitive attitudes toward diversity or multicultural attitudes. Questions measuring cognitive attitudes focus on how people think about general issues of diversity such as affirmative action and interracial marriage, whereas the questions measuring affective attitudes refer to how people feel about those issues in terms of their own lives, such as whether interracial marriage would be acceptable to them in their own family. The results show consistently that the personal characteristics account for more variance in cognitive attitudes toward diversity than in affective attitudes toward

PAGE 90

80 diversity. For example, ethnicity explained 17% of the variation in cognitive diversity attitudes and only 5% of the variation in affective attitudes toward diversity, suggesting that White, African American, and Hispanic students hold more similar attitudes toward diversity in their personal lives than in their expectations for society. However, the ethnically diverse groups have more positive attitudes toward cognitive diversity issues than White students. Regardless of group membership, individuals have more similar attitudes as far as diversity affects their personal lives. As members of different groups based on race, sex, and political affiliation, however, individuals show greater variability in their cognitive attitudes toward diversity. This finding is not surprising given that ethnically diverse students have more to gain from diversity awareness and diversity programs than do White students. For example, positive attitudes toward affirmative action are often interpreted as positive attitudes toward diversity (e.g., Echols & Stader, 2002; Ponterotto et al., 1995), and ethnically diverse students have more to gain from such programs than do White students. Perspective Taking and Empathy The results of this study indicate no significant relationships between the personal characteristics of gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, diversity experience and perspective taking or between perspective taking and the three outcome variables— cognitive and affective diversity attitudes and multicultural attitudes. In contrast, empathy emerged as an important predictor. Empathy partially mediates the relationships between gender and multicultural attitudes, ethnicity and multicultural attitudes, and experiences with diversity and affective attitudes toward diversity. Empathy completely mediates the relationship between experiences with diversity and multicultural attitudes, and between gender and cognitive attitudes toward diversity.

PAGE 91

81 The findings regarding the importance of the role of empathy offer strong support to Pettigrew’s (1998) theory that affective ties, specifically empathy, are an important process by which experiences with diverse others affect people’s attitudes toward diverse others. Pettigrew suggested that emotion is critical in intergroup contact and highlighted the role of empathy in mediating positive intergroup contact. Furthermore, the results of this study provide a clarification to Banks’s (1994) proposal that perspective taking affects preservice teachers’ attitudes toward diversity. The findings from the present study suggest a more emotional relationship, that is, empathy rather than perspective taking is related to preservice teachers’ affective attitudes toward diversity. In support of this finding regarding the importance of empathy, Stephan and Finlay (1999) noted that in meeting the goal of improving intergroup relations and therefore reducing prejudice, multicultural education programs involve a degree of empathy. They suggested that through exposure to information about other cultures’ values, norms, and behaviors, students are engaged in empathic responding, though often not explicitly. Of particular relevance to this study, Vescio et al. (2003) found that empathy mediates the relationship between perspective taking and prejudice reduction. Thus, although perspective taking was found in their study to be related to prejudice reduction, that relationship was no longer significant when empathy was introduced. These findings regarding empathy suggest that empathy is one of the processes through which gender, diversity experience, and ethnicity contribute to multicultural attitudes. These results indicate that differences in multicultural attitudes due to prior experience with diverse others are completely mediated by empathy. In addition, the relationship of experiences with diversity and affective attitudes toward diversity

PAGE 92

82 attitudes is partially mediated by empathy. The relationship of diversity experience and multicultural attitudes is completely mediated by empathy, whereas empathy only reduces the variance in affective attitudes toward diversity due to prior diversity experience on affective attitudes toward diversity by 1%, suggesting that empathy is a stronger mediator of the relationship between experiences with diversity and multicultural attitudes than of the relationships of experiences with diversity and cognitive and affective attitudes toward diversity. Perhaps empathy raises sensitivity to multicultural issues and therefore mediates the relationship between experience with diversity and multicultural attitudes. Thus, an empathic response may increase positive attitudes in matters that do not apply directly to personal lives whereas ethnicity, political affiliation, and diversity experience relate to affective attitudes independently without the intervening process of the arousal of empathy. From these findings, one may hypothesize that, unlike the relationship between prior experience and affective attitudes, as people gain experience with diverse groups, the knowledge they acquire about those groups fosters the development of empathy, which in turn fosters more positive attitudes, rendering their past experience insignificant when it comes to general concepts of multicultural education. Empathy, however, explains only a small part of the relationship between personal experience with diversity and affective attitudes toward diversity. Individualism The results of this study show no significant relationships between individualism and any of the other variables in this study (i.e., gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, diversity experience, cognitive attitudes toward diversity, multicultural attitudes, and individualism) with the exception of a slight relationship between beliefs about individualism and affective attitudes toward diversity. A possible explanation for this

PAGE 93

83 finding is the difficulty in measuring individualism as a belief and ideology. Individualism is a complex and multidimensional construct. In their review of the research on individualism and collectivism as social constructs, Oyserman et al. (2002) identified several factors that seem to comprise the construct of individualism. Although effort was made to choose the most appropriate factors for assessing beliefs about individualism, it is possible that other dimensions may be more consistent with the conception of individualism intended by educational researchers who have pointed to individualism as a contributor to preservice teachers’ resistance to developing more positive attitudes toward diversity and multicultural education, (i.e., Banks 1994, Cockrell et al., 1999). An alternative explanation is that the cultural similarities of the participants in this study did not provide enough variability for discrimination between participants on their beliefs about individualism. However, beliefs about individualism did predict affective attitudes toward diversity, thus raising doubts about the likelihood that limited variability among the participants accounts for the lack of relationships between individualism and the other variables in the study. Though the relationship is modest, this finding is encouraging in that it supports the conclusions of other researchers. Qualitative researchers have identified individualism as a possible point of conflict with multicultural ideals (Banks, 1994; Cockrell et al., 1999). Evidence from prior research supports the notion that emotional and personal beliefs are more resistant to change than cognitive attitudes and beliefs (Harrington & Hathaway, 1995; Rokeach, 1968). It is possible to hold beliefs and attitudes that are different based on how closely they affect one’s life (Rokeach, 1968). Furthermore, it is possible to hold cognitive beliefs that differ from emotional attitudes. Perhaps, in their study, Cockrell et al. (1999)

PAGE 94

84 tapped into a personal belief system when they identified individualism as a factor in resistance to accepting multicultural ideals. Limitations of the Study In addition to the limitations due to use of self-report measures and a convenience sample described in Chapter 1, the correlational nature of the study must be considered in interpreting the findings. Although path analysis can be used to test causal hypotheses, fundamental limitations of correlational research designs still apply. That is, path analysis does not establish causality. Through using path analysis the relationships among some variables were identified, while other variables were controlled; however, some other uncontrolled extraneous variables may have affected the results. A further limitation of this study is that although every effort was made to choose a measure of individualism that would provide reliable and valid scores, the construct validity of the scores on the measure of individualism could be a methodological limitation accounting for the lack of significant findings for this variable. Directions for Future Research Due to the limits imposed by the correlational design of this study, the findings are not suited for immediate recommendations for practice; however, the present findings can be used to guide future research that will lead directly to practical recommendations. The effects of individualism as an ideology need to be explored with more sensitive measures of the construct and with groups who are more dissimilar in their values and interests. Furthermore, future research should examine differences in how diversity is defined by students in comparison to researchers. Are there differences in definitions of diversity that contribute to mixed results in what is being measured as “diversity”?

PAGE 95

85 The most promising finding of this study is the relationship between empathy and diversity attitudes. Empathy is a consistent predictor of diversity attitudes and one of the processes through which gender, prior experience with diversity, and ethnicity contribute to diversity attitudes. The role of empathy as a means to heightening awareness and increasing positive attitudes should be explored as a precursor to designing programs aimed to increase empathic responses and promote positive intergroup relationships. Past studies have found success in increasing empathy communications with student populations. For example, Black and Phillips (1982) developed a program for the development of empathic skills and abilities in student teachers. They provided students with experiences designed to develop empathic skills and found that students, especially males, experienced a significant improvement in empathetic understanding. To the extent that the goals of multicultural education are to enhance intergroup relations through education and exposure, educators often use empathy in their programs, although their emphasis on empathy is not often explicit. Stephan and Finlay (1999) provided several recommendations for the use of empathy in intergroup relations programs. They recommended explicit use of different dimensions of empathy based on the goals of the program. For example, if the goal is to raise awareness and understanding then perspective taking will be appropriate; however, they suggested if the goal is to bring about changes in behavior, then empathy may be more useful. They noted also that empathy may not always be a positive influence on attitudes. The importance of explicit and intentional use of empathy is highlighted by the evidence that empathy can lead to undesirable outcomes such as defensive avoidance, negative attitudes, confirmations of negative stereotypes and greater distance between groups. In this sense, the role of

PAGE 96

86 empathy may explain some of the mixed results in the effectiveness of multicultural programs. Against their intentions, through unwitting arousal of empathy, researchers may have brought about defensive avoidance, resistance, and negative attitudes. Consequently, Stephan and Finlay urged “trainers not to leave the induction of empathy up to chance” (p. 739). Future research is needed in explicit use of empathy training in cultural diversity programs designed to develop positive attitudes toward diversity. Batson et al. (2005) outlined a three-step model of how to use empathy to improve attitudes: (a) induce someone to adopt the perspective of a stigmatized person to increase empathy; (b) then empathy for that person leads to increased valuing of the other person’s welfare, and (c) valuing the person’s welfare then generalizes to valuing the welfare of the stigmatized group as a whole, thus producing more positive beliefs about and concern for the group. Batson et al. suggested that empathy arousal and training is an easier way to improve attitudes than arranging personal experiences, especially because empathy-inducing experiences are more easily controlled to be positive, than direct personal contact. However, as Garmon (2005) noted stand alone courses are not as effective as those that are accompanied by a field placement. Perhaps a good starting place would be to replicate studies that have shown positive results in increasing diversity awareness and reducing resistance (for example, Brown, 2004, Ukpokodu, 2004) with the addition of empathy as a variable incorporated into the design. Brown found that instructional methods that are initially focused on reducing resistance by creating a safe environment for self-examination are most effective in increasing awareness of cultural awareness. Similarly, Pohan and Mathison (1999) outlined a guide for creating a psychologically safe learning environment in order to

PAGE 97

87 allow students to recognize and reduce their resistance and defensiveness to new information. They emphasized providing students with a clear outline of expectations regarding content (i.e., students should know that they will be responsible for learning the content, but they do not have to agree with it). Second, Pohan and Mathison emphasized the need for a clear and overt grading rubric, which will reassure students they will not be penalized for holding a differing perspective or their personal opinions. Future research on the explicit role of empathy in lowering resistance should take place within the framework of a safe environment for self-examination. As previous findings have shown, personal beliefs based on experience are resistant to change. This study’s findings suggest that previous diversity experiences are related to diversity attitudes and that diversity experiences are related to multicultural attitudes through the mediating role of empathy, and empathy also partially accounts for the relationship between diversity experience and affective attitudes toward diversity. These findings suggest that providing students with experiences with diverse others may, by inducing empathy, increase their affective attitudes toward diversity and their positive attitudes toward multicultural education. However, given the correlational nature of the data, this recommendation should be considered with caution until tested with experimental data, because it may be that persons with greater empathy may be more likely to engage in activities with diverse others rather than vice versa. These findings raise questions about the nature of the measures of diversity. Particularly, the high correlation ( r = .87, corrected for attenuation) between cognitive attitudes as measured by the QDI and multicultural attitudes as measured by the TMAS suggests these instruments may be measuring the same construct. On the other hand, the

PAGE 98

88 different pattern of relationships between these two measures and prior diversity experience suggests otherwise. More research is needed on refining these instruments. Future research on the effectiveness of multicultural coursework should distinguish between affective and cognitive attitudes toward diversity, and the goals should be clear as to which dimension of attitudinal change is targeted. Furthermore, conceptualizing diversity attitudes as general and personal rather than cognitive and affective may help to clarify the complex relationship between these attitudes and other psychological variables. This study suggests that the goals of multicultural education will be better served when they are not reduced to a systematic effort to impose new beliefs and attitudes on students (e.g., Causey & Armento, 2000; Chavez et al., 1994; Ross & Smith, 1992), which Sleeter (1995) found to be the expectation of many White students upon entering cultural diversity courses, but rather focus on fostering empathic feelings toward diverse others. Teacher educators should aim to increase empathy by increasing awareness of diverse others, presenting empathy arousing but not distressing information about diversity, and examine and discuss beliefs in a safe learning environment.

PAGE 99

89 REFERENCES Adams, C. M., & Pierce, R. L. (2004). Attitudes of preservice and experienced teachers toward diverse learners . Paper presented at the Hawaii International Conference on Education. Retrieved April 24, 2004, from Hawaii International Conference on Education Web site: http://www.hiceducation.org/Edu_Proceedings/ Cheryll%20M.%20Adams1.pdf Allport, G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice . Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Anderson, L. M., Blumenfeld, P., Pintrich, P. R., Clark, C. M., Marx, R. W., & Peterson, P. (1995). Educational psychology for teachers: Reforming our courses, rethinking our roles. Educational Psychologist, 30 , 143-157. Aronson, E., & Gonzalez, A. (1988). Desegregation, jigsaw, and the Mexican-American experience. In P. A. Katz & D. A. Taylor (Eds.), Eliminating racism, profiles in controversy (pp. 301-314). New York: Plenum Press. Bakhtiari, R. (2002). Preservice teachers’ attitudes toward diversity and multiculturalism . Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Florida, Gainesville. Banks, J. A. (1994). Multiethnic education: Theory and practice (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Banks, J. A. (1995). Multicultural education: Historical development, dimensions, and practice. In J. A. Banks & C. A. McGee Banks (Eds.), Handbook of research on multicultural education (pp. 3-24). New York: Simon & Shuster. Banks, J. A. (1997). Multicultural education: Characteristics and goals. In J. A. Banks & C. A. McGee Banks (Eds.), Multicultural education: Issues and perspectives (3rd ed., pp. 3-31). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Banks, J. A. (2001). Cultural diversity and education: Foundations, curriculum, and teaching (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Banks, J. A. (2004). Multicultural education: Historical development, dimensions, and practice. In J. A. Banks & C. A. McGee Banks (Eds.), Handbook of research on multicultural education (pp. 3-29). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Banks, C. A., & Banks, J. A. (1995). Equity pedagogy: An essential component of multicultural education. Theory into Practice, 34 (3), 152-158.

PAGE 100

90 Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51 , 1173-1182. Batson, C. D. (1991). The altruism question: Toward a social-psychological answer, Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Batson, C. D., Ahmad, N., & Stocks, E. L. ( 2004). Benefits and liabilities of empathyinduced altruism. In A. G. Miller (Eds.), The social psychology of good and evil (pp. 359-385). New York: Guilford Press. Bennett, C. I. (1995). Comprehensive multicultural education: Theory and practice (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Bennett, C. I. (2003). Comprehensive multicultural education: theory and practice (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. Bennett, C. I., Niggle, T., & Stage, F. (1990). Preservice multicultural teacher education: Predictors of student readiness. Teaching and Teacher Education, 6, 243 -254. Bernstein, W. M., & Davis, M. H. (1982). Perspective-taking, self-consciousness, and accuracy in person perception. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 3 , 1-19. Black, H., & Phillips, S. (1982). An intervention program for the development of empathy in student teachers. Journal of Psychology, 112 , 159-168. Bliss, I. (1990). Intercultural education and the professional knowledge of teachers. European Journal of Te acher Education, 13 , 141-151. Bochner, S. (1994). Cross-cultural differences in the self concept: A test of Hofstede's individualism/collectivism distinction. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 25(2), 273-283. Bohlmeyer, E. M., Burke, J. P., & Helmstadter, G. C. (1985). Differences between education and business students in cooperative and competitive attitudes, emotional empathy, and self-esteem. Psychological Reports, 56, 247-253. Bondy, E., Schmitz, S., & Johnson, M. (1993). The impact of coursework and fieldwork on student teachers’ reported beliefs about teaching poor and minority students. Action in Teacher Education, 15 (2), 55-62. Bourgeois, D. Y. (2003). The politics and values of individuals and collectivists: A cross-cultural comparison. Dissertation Abstracts International, 63 (12), 6138.

PAGE 101

91 Brand, B. R. (1999, March). The influence of pre-service teachers’ beliefs about diversity on science teaching and learning. Paper presented at the meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Boston, MA. Bresciani, M. J. (2003). An understanding of students’ perspectives toward diversity at a Midwestern health professional school: A phenomenological study. NASPA Journal, 41(1), 83-113. Brophy, J. E. (1985). Teacher-student interaction. In J. B. Dusek (Ed.), Teacher expectancies (pp. 303-328) Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Brown, E. L., (2004). What precipitates change in cultural diversity awareness during a multicultural course: The message or the method? Journal of Teacher Education , 55(4), 325-340. Bruner, J. (1996). The culture of education. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. Bryan, L. A., & Atwater, M. M. (2002). Teacher beliefs and cultural models: A challenge for science teacher preparation programs. Science Education, 86 (6), 821-840. Cabello, B., & Burstein, N. D. (1995). Examining teachers’ beliefs about teaching in culturally diverse classrooms. Journal of Teacher Education, 46 (4), 285-294. Causey, T., & Armento, B. (2000). Cultural diversity is basically a foreign term to me: The challenges of diversity for preservice teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 16 , 33-45. Cazden, B. C., & Mehan, H. (1989). Principles from sociology and anthropology: Context, code, classroom, and culture. In M. C. Reynolds (Ed.), Knowledge base for the beginning teacher (pp. 47-57). New York: Pergamon Press. Chavez, R., O’Donnell, J., & Gallegos, R. (1994, April). Pre-service students’ perspectives to “dilemmas” in a multicultural education course , (Report No. SP 035 260). Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 370917) Chlopan, B., McCain, J., Carbonell, J., & Hagen, R. (1985). Empathy: A review. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48 (3), 635-653. Cochran-Smith, M. (2003). The multiple meanings of multicultural teacher education: A conceptual framework. Teacher Education Quarterly, 30 (2), 7-26.

PAGE 102

92 Cockrell, K. S., Placier, P., Cockrell, D. H., & Middleton, J. (1999). Coming to terms with “diversity” and “multiculturalism” in teacher education: Learning about our students, changing our practice. Teaching and Teacher Education, 15 , 351-366. Cooper, A., Beare, P., & Thorman, J. (1990). Preparing teachers for diversity: A comparison of student teaching experiences in Minnesota and South Texas. Action in Teacher Education, 12 (3), 1-4. Crocker, L., & Algina, J. (1986). Introduction to classical and modern test theory. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston. Crowne, D. P., & Marlowe, D. (1960). A new scale of social desirability independent of psychopathology. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 24 , 349-354. Darling-Hammond, L. (1997, February). School contexts and learning: What is needed to give every child the right to learn . Paper presented at the Cross-Cultural Roundtable, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York. Davis, M. H. (1983a). The effects of dispositional empathy on emotional reactions and helping: A multidimensional approach. Journal of Personality, 51 , 167-184. Davis, M. H. (1983b). Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44 , 113-126. Davis, M. H. (1994). Empathy: A social psychological approach. Madison, WI: Brown & Benchmark. Dawis, R. (1987). Scale construction. Journal of Counseling Psychology , 34, 481-489. Dee, J. R., & Henkin, A. B. (2002). Assessing dispositions toward cultural diversity among preservice teachers. Urban Education , 37, 22-40. Deering, T., & Stanutz, A. (1995). Pre-service field experience as a multicultural component of a teacher education program. Journal of Teacher Education, 11 , 149-161. Duan, C., & Hill, C. E. (1996). The current state of empathy research. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 43(3), 261-274. Dufrene, P. (1991). Resistance to multicultural art education: Strategies for multicultural faculty working in predominantly White te acher education programs . (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED347113) Dymond, R. F. (1949). A scale for measurement of empathic ability. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 14, 127-133.

PAGE 103

93 Echols, C. V., & Stader, D. (2002). Education majors’ attitudes about diversity. Education Leadership Review, 3 (2), 1-7. Eisenberg, N., Spinrad, T., & Sadovsky, A. (2006). Empathy-related responding in children. In M. Killen & J. Smetana (Eds.), Handbook of moral development (pp. 517-549). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Eisenberg, N., Valiente, C., & Champion, C. (2004). Empathy-related responding: Moral, social and socialization correlates. In A. G. Miller (Eds.), The social psychology of good and evil (pp. 386-415). New York: Guilford Press. Fordham, S. (1991). Racelessness in private schools: Should we deconstruct the racial and cultural identity of African-American adolescents? Teachers College Record, 92, 470-484. Galinsky, A. D., & Moskowitz, G. B. (2000). Perspective-taking: Decreasing stereotype expression, stereotype accessibility, and in-group favoritism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78(4), 708-724. Garmon, M. A. (2004). Changing preservice teachers' attitudes/beliefs about diversity. What are the critical factors? Journal of Teacher Education, 55 (3), 201213. Garmon, M. A. (2005). Six key factors for changing preservice teachers’ attitudes/beliefs about diversity. Educational Studies, 38 (3), 275-286. Gault, B. (1998). The roles of empathy, anger, and gender in predicting attitudes toward punitive, reparative, and preventative public policies. Dissertation Abstracts International, 58 (7), 3965. Gay, G. (1994). A synthesis of scholarship in mu lticultural education urban education program. Washington DC: North Central Regional Education Laboratory. Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice. New York: Teachers College Press. Gay, G. (2004). Beyond brown: Promoting equality through multicultural education. Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 19 , 193-216. Gay, G., & Kirkland, K. (2003). Developing cultural critical consciousness and selfreflection in preservice teacher education. Theory Into Practice, 42(3), 181-187. George, P., & Aronson, R. (2003). How do educators’ cultural belief systems affect underserved students’ pursuit of postsecondary education? PREL Briefing Paper. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED475881)

PAGE 104

94 Harton, H. C., & Lyons, P. C. (2003). Gender, empathy, and the choice of the psychology major. Teaching of Psychology, 30 (1), 19-24. Giesbrecht, N. (1998). Gender patterns of psychosocial development. Sex Roles, 39 , 463-478. Goodman, D. J. (2000). Motivating people from privileged groups to support social justice. Teachers College Record, 102 (6), 1061-1085. Gorski, P. (2000). A working definition of multicultural education. Retrieved March 29, 2003, University of Virginia, Curry School of Education: http://curry.edschool.virginia.edu/go/multicultural/initial.html Gorski, P., & Covert, B. (1996-2000). Defining of multicultural education Retrieved March 29, 2003, University of Virginia, Curry School of Education: http://curry.edschool.virginia.edu/go/multicultural/initial.html Grace, S., & Cramer, K. (2003). The elusive nature of self-measurement: The selfconstrual scale versus the Twenty Statements Test. Journal of Social Psychology , 143, 649-668. Grant, C. A. (1995). Educating for diversity: An anthology of multicultural voices . Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Greenfield, P. M. (1994). Independence and interdependence as developmental scripts: Implications for theory, research, and practice. In P. M. Greenfield & R. R. Cocking (Eds.), Cross-cultural roots of minority child development . (pp. 1-37). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Haberman, M., & Post, L. (1992). Does direct experience change education students’ perceptions of low-income minority students? Midwest Educational Researcher, 5(2), 29-31. Hardin, E. E., Leong, F. T. L., & Bhagwat, A. A. (2004). Factor structure of the selfconstrual scale revisited. Implications for the multidimensionality of selfconstrual. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 35 , 327-345. Harrington, H. L., & Hathaway, R. S. (1995). Illuminating beliefs about diversity. Journal of Teacher Education, 46 (4), 275-284. Hernandez, H. (1989). Multicultural education: A te acher's guide to content and process: New York: Merrill-Macmillan. Hess, F, & Leal, D. (1997). Minority teachers, minority students, and college matriculation: A new look at the role-modeling hypothesis. Policy Studies Journal, 25, 235-248.

PAGE 105

95 Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s consequences. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Hogan, R. (1969). Development of an empathy scale. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 33 , 307-316. Irvine, J. (1990). Black students and school failure: Policies, practices, and procedures. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Jenks, C., Lee, J. O., & Kanpol, B. (2001). Approaches to multicultural education in preservice teacher education: Philosophical frameworks and models for teaching. Urban Review, 33, 87-105. Kagan, D. M. (1992). Professional growth among preservice and beginning teachers. Review of Educational Research, 62, 129-169. Kashima, Y., Yamaguchi, S., Kim, U., Choi, S., Gelfand, M. J., & Yuki, M. (1995). Culture, gender, and self: A perspective from individualism-collectivism research. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69 , 925-937. Ladson-Billings, G. (1991). Beyond multicultural illiteracy. Journal of Negro Education, 60 (2), 147-157. Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The dreamkeepers. Successful teachers for African-America children. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Ladson-Billings, G. (1995a). Making math meaningful in cultural contexts. In W. Secada, E. Fenneman, & L. Byrd (Eds.), New directions in equity for mathematics education (pp. 126-145). New York: Cambridge University Press. Ladson-Billings, G. (1995b). Multicultural teacher education: Research, practice, and policy. In J. A. Banks & C. A. McGee Banks (Eds.), Handbook of research on multicultural education (pp. 747-761). New York: Macmillan. Ladson-Billings, G. (2004). Landing on the wrong note: The price we paid for Brown. Educational Researcher, 33 (7), 3-13. Loudin, J. L., Loukas, A., & Robinson, S. (2003). Relational aggression in college students: Examining the roles of social anxiety and empathy. Aggressive Behavior, 29 , 430-439. Macaskill, A., Maltby, J., & Day, L. (2002). Forgiveness of self and others and emotional empathy. The Journal of Social Psychology, 142 (5), 663-665.

PAGE 106

96 Madson, L., & Trafimow, D. (2001). Gender comparisons in private, collective, and allocentric selves. The Journal of Social Psychology, 141(4), 551-559. Martin, R., & Koppelman, K. (1991). The impact of a human relations/multicultural education course on the attitudes of prospective teachers. Journal of Intergroup Relations, 18 (1), 16-27. Mason, T. (1997). Urban field experiences and prospective teachers’ attitudes toward inner-city schools. Teacher Education Quarterly, 24 (3), 29-40. McCall, A. (1995). We were cheated! Students’ responses to a multicultural, social reconstructionist teacher education. Equity & Excellence in Education. 28 (1), 1025. McDiarmid, G. W. (1990). Challenging prospective teachers’ beliefs during early field experience: A quixotic undertaking? Journal of Teacher Education, 41 (3), 12-20. McDiarmid, G. W. (1992). What to do about differences? A study of multicultural education for teacher trainees in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Journal of Teacher Education, 43 , 83-93. McDiarmid, G. W., & Price, J. (1990). Prospective teachers’ view s of diverse learners: A study of the participants in the ABCD project. East Lansing, MI: National Center for Research on Teacher Education, Michigan State University. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED324308) Mehrabian, A., & Epstein, N. (1972). A measure of empathy. Journal of Personality, 4 , 525-543. Millersville University of Pennsylvania (1999). Self study. Presented to the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Retrieved June 14, 2004, from Millersville University of Pennsylvania Web site: http://muweb.millersville.edu/~middlest/ Munby, H. (1982). The place of teachers’ beliefs in research on teacher thinking and decision making, and an alternative methodology. Instructional Science, 11, 201225. Nieto, S. (1996). Affirming diversity: The sociopolitical context of multicultural education (2nd ed.) White Plains, NY: Longman. Noordhoff, K., & Kleinfield, J. (1993). Preparing teachers for multicultural classrooms. Teaching and Teache r Education, 9 (1), 27-39.

PAGE 107

97 Oyserman, D., Coon, H. M., Kemmelmeier, M. (2002). Rethinking individualism and collectivism: Evaluation of theoretical assumptions and meta-analyses. Psychological Bulletin, 128 , 3-72. Paccione, A., & McWhorter, B. (1997). Multicultural perspective transformation of teachers: The impact of cultural immersion. In C. A. Grant (Ed.), Proceedings of the National Association for Multicultural Education (pp. 479-500). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Padron, Y. (1994). Comparing reading instruction in Hispanic/limited-English-proficient schools and other inner-city schools. Bilingual Research Journal, 18 , 49-66. Pajares, M. F. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and educational research: Cleaning up a messy construct. Review of Educational Research, 62 , 307-332. Pajares, M. F. (1996). Role of self-efficacy beliefs in the mathematical problem-solving of gifted students. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 21, 325-344. Pettigrew, T. F. (1997). Generalized intergroup contact effects on prejudice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23 (2), 173-186. Pettigrew, T. F. (1998). Intergroup contact theory. Annual Review of Psychology. 49 , 6585. Pohan, C., & Mathison, C. (1999). Dismantling defensiveness and resistance to diversity and social justice issues in teacher preparation. Action in Teacher Education, 20(1), 15-22. Ponterotto, J. G., Baluch, S., Greig, T., & Rivera, L. (1998). Development and initial score validation of the Teacher Multicultural Attitude Survey. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 58 (6), 1002-1016. Ponterotto, J. G., Burkard, A., Rieger, B. P., Grieger, I., D’Onofrio, A., Dubuisson, A., Heenehan, M., Millstein, B., Parisi, M., Rath, J. F., & Sax, G. (1995). Development and initial validation of the Quick Discrimination Index (QDI). Educational and Psychological Measurement, 55, 1016-1031. Ponterotto, J. G., Potere, J. C., & Johansen, S. A. (2002). The Quick Discrimination Index: Normative data and user guidelines for counseling researchers. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development. 30 (3), 192-207. Reed, D. (1993). Multicultural education for pre-service students. Action in Teacher Education, 15 (3), 27-34. Richardson, V. (Ed.). (1994). Teacher change and the staff development process: A case in reading instruction. New York: Teachers College Press.

PAGE 108

98 Richardson, V. (1996). The role of attitudes and beliefs in learning to teach. In J. Sikula, T. Buttery, & E. Guyton (Eds.), Handbook of research on teacher education: A project of the Association of Teacher Educators (2nd ed., pp. 102-119). New York: Macmillan. Rios, F. A. (1993). Thinking in urban, multicultural classrooms: Four teachers’ perspectives. Urban Education, 28, 245-266. Rokeach, M. (1968). Beliefs, attitudes, and values: A theory of organization and change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Rose, T. B. (2000). The relationship between world view and empathy: A study of police officers. Dissertation Abstracts International, 60 (11), 5839. Ross, D., & Smith, W. (1992). Understanding preservice teachers’ perspectives on diversity. Journal of Teacher Education, 43 (2), 94-103. Secada, W. (1992). Evaluating the mathematics educati on of limited English proficient students in a time of educational change . (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED349828) Sheldon, K. M. (1996). The social awareness inventory: Development and applications. Personality and Social Psychological Bulletin, 6, 620-634. Singelis, T. M. (1994). The measurement of independent and interdependent selfconstruals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20, 580-591 Sleeter, C. E. (1996). Multicultural education as social activism . New York: American Educational Research Association. Sleeter, C. E. (2001). Preparing teachers for culturally diverse schools: Research and the overwhelming presence of whiteness. Journal of Teacher Education, 52(2), 94-106. Sleeter, C. E., & Grant, C. A. (1993). Making choices for multicultural education: Five approaches to race, class and gender (2nd ed.). New York: Merrill. Solomon, P. (1995). Why to teach from a multicultural perspective in Canada? Race , Gender, and Class, 2(3), 49-66. Springer, L., Terenzini, P. T., Pascarella, E. T., & Nora, A. (1995, April). Do White students perceive racism toward mi nority students on predominantly White campuses? Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA.

PAGE 109

99 Stephan, W., & Finlay, K. (1999). The role of empathy in improving intergroup relations. Journal of Social Issues, 55 (4), 729-743. Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (1999). Counseling the culturally different: Theory and practice (3rd ed.). New York: Wiley. Sultana, Q. (1993, November). Evaluation of multicultural education in a pre-service teacher education program. (Report No. SP 035 100). Paper presented at the meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED367652) Taylor, S. H. (1998). The impact of college on the development of tolerance. [Electronic version]. NASPA Journal, 35 (4), 1-10. Titus, C. (1992). Social studies teachers and multicultura l education: A pilot study of attitudes, practices and constraints . (Report No. SO 023 202). (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED366516) Tran, M. T., Young, R. L., & DiLella, J. D. (1994). Multicultural education courses and the student teacher: Eliminating stereotypical attitudes in our ethnically diverse classroom. Journal of Teacher Education, 45 (3), 183-189. Traxler, M. P. (2001). Idiocentrism, allocentrism, and causal attributions among African-American and European-American students. Dissertation Abstracts International: 62 (3-B). Triandis, H. C. (1994). Culture and social behavior. New York: McGraw-Hill. Triandis, H. C. (1995). Individualism and collectivism . Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Triandis, H. C. (1996). The psychological measurement of cultural syndromes. American Psychologist, 51 , 407-415. Triandis, H. C., & Singelis, T. M. (1998). Training to recognize individual differences in collectivism and individualism within culture. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 22 (1), 35-47. Ukpokodu, O. N. (2004). The impact of shadowing culturally different students on preservice teachers’ disposition toward diversity. Multicultural Education, 12 (2), 19-28. U. S. Census Bureau. (2000). Current population reports . Series P60-207. Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office.

PAGE 110

100 Utsey, S. O., & Ponterotto, J. G. (1999). Further factorial validity assessment of scores on the Quick Discrimination Index (QDI). Educational and Psychological Measurement, 59 , 325-335. Varvus, M. (1994). A critical analysis of multicultural education infusion during student teaching. Action in Teacher Education, 16 , 46-57. Varvus, M. (2003, April). Incorporating a transformative multicultural perspective into a state’s policy for teacher candidate pedagogy performance. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED476389) Varvus, M., & Ozcan, M. (1996). Pre-service teacher acquisition of a critical multicultural and global perspective: A reform path with ideological tensions. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED393826) Verkuyten, M., & Masson, K., (1996). Culture and gender differences in the perception of friendship by adolescents. International Journal of Psychology, 31 , 207-217. Vescio, T. K., Sechrist, G. B., & Paolucci, M. P. (2003). Perspective taking and prejudice reduction: The mediational role of empathy arousal and situational attributions. European Journal of Social Psychology, 33, 455-472. Villalpando, O. (1994, November). Comparing the effects of multiculturalism and diversity on minority and white stude nts’ satisfaction with college . Paper presented at the meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Tuscan, AZ . (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED375721) Virginia Polytechnic Institute. (2000). Diversity at VT: How are we doing? Blacksburg, VA, Office of the Provost. Wang, Y., Davidson, M. M, Yakushko, O. F., Savoy, H. B., Tan, J. A., & Bleier, J. K. (2003). The scale of ethnocultural empathy: Development, validation, and reliability. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 50 (2), 221-234. Wiggins, R. A., & Follo, E. J. (1999). Development of knowledge, attitudes, and commitment to teach diverse student populations. Journal of Teacher Education, 50(2), 94-105. Winitzky, N., & Barlow, L. (1998, April). Changing teacher candi dates’ beliefs about diversity. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA . Wurzel, J. S. (1988). Toward multiculturalism: A reader in multicultural education. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.

PAGE 111

101 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Ramesh Bakhtiari was born in Tehran, Iran. She immigrated to Virginia with her family in 1978, where she graduated from Herndon High School in 1984. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in art history from the University of Virginia in 1988. In 2003 she received her Master of Arts in Education in school psychology from the University of Florida. She currently lives with her husband and two children in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, where she is a practicing school psychologist.