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Valerie Whittlesey Increasing Student Learning of Diversity in Psychology SEPA Meeting March, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Valerie Whittlesey Increasing Student Learning of Diversity in Psychology SEPA Meeting March, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Valerie Whittlesey Increasing Student Learning of Diversity in Psychology SEPA Meeting March, 2006

2 Outline Reasons for Teaching about Diversity Issues in Psychology Attitudes and Experiences of Psychology Faculty in Teaching about Diversity & Recommendations Reviewing Diversity Research in Teaching of Psychology & Recommendations Conclusion

3 Importance of Teaching about Diversity Allows students to be fair and equitable in their interactions with other people Helps prepare students for employment in an increasingly pluralistic society after college Makes psychology more relevant for all students

4 Importance of Teaching about Diversity May encourage students from all backgrounds to enter the psychology profession Will increase students’ knowledge of psychology Will enrich students’ emotional and personal development







11 Teaching Diversity: Experiences and Recommendations of APA Division Two Members Jane Simoni, Kathy Sexton-Radek, Karen Yescavage, Harriette Richard, Alene Lundquist

12 Diversity Survey- Purpose Descriptive data on respondents, their institutions, and students Respondents’ attitudes toward teaching diversity issues Respondents’ recommendations for diversity resources

13 Teaching Diversity Survey Survey distributed to Division 2 members in 1995 Survey sent to 2,108 members 703 members responded Return rate- 33%

14 Diversity Survey- Demographics 14% Asst. Professor 23% Assoc. Professor 37% Full Professor 5% Emeritus 8% Teachers 6% Adjunct Instructors 1% Visiting Professors 6% Other Positions

15 Diversity Survey- Demographics 33% Liberal arts college 20% Community college 11% Technical institution 11% Research university 19% Comprehensive university 6% high school

16 Diversity Survey- Demographics 40%- Less than 3,000 students 19%- 3,000- 4,999 students 12%- 5,000- 6,999 students 11%- 7,000- 9,999 students 18%- Greater than 10,000 students

17 Diversity Survey- Demographics 37% Suburban institution 32% Urban institution 29% Rural institution

18 Diversity Survey- Demographics 27% Midwest 21% Mid-Atlantic 21% South 9% West 7% New England

19 Diversity Survey- Demographics 80% White students 10% African American students 6% Hispanic students 3% Asian American students 1% Native American students

20 Diversity Studies- Demographics 62% Women 38% Men

21 Diversity Study- Multicultural Courses Taught 12% Psychology of Gender 2% Psychology of Minority Groups 2% Racism and Sexism in America 3% Women and Society 15% taught one of four multicultural courses

22 Diversity Survey- Importance of Diversity Education in Courses 1 (not important) 5 (of major importance) Mean- 3.94 SD-.86 Between 3 (somewhat important) to 4 (important)

23 Diversity Survey- Time Allotted to Discussion of Diversity 14%- One class period 40%- A couple of classes 20%- A couple of weeks 13%- Most of course

24 Diversity Survey- Issues of Diversity 89% Ethnicity and social class 77% Ageism 73% Appreciation of diversity 71% All sexual orientations 40% Cultural isms 12% Gender perspectives

25 Diversity Survey- Goals in Teaching Diversity Issues 85% Heighten sensitivity and awareness 77% Broaden understanding of human condition 72% Tolerance 44% Enhance psychological mindedness 32% Expose personal perspectives 13% Political action 8% Other

26 Diversity Survey- Pedagogical Methods to Attain Goals 69% Lectures & discussions 57% Textbook readings 49% Field trips and discussions 39% Other 38% Guest speakers 37% Selected readings 35% Student Presentations 28% Videotape and discussions 25% Research papers

27 Diversity Survey-Barriers, Aids, and Successful Strategies Three open-ended items about barriers, facilitating factors, and successful strategies Two raters & content analysis of respones Interrater reliability (.90 to.94)

28 Diversity Survey- Barriers 27% Incorporating diversity issues into courses was not relevant 23% Time constraints

29 Diversity Survey- Barriers (con’t) 25%- No barriers Most barriers listed by less than 10% of respondents Student apprehension Lack of adequate resources College univ. curriculum Professor inadequacy Low department support Campus climate Heightened tension Community climate

30 Diversity Survey- Facilitating Factors 30% Resource rooms & books 17% Workshops Less than 10% College curriculum Videotapes Campus climate Community perception Student attitudes Parental attitudes

31 Diversity Survey- Successful Strategies 18% Discussion 14% Experiential activities 11% Cross- disciplinary approaches Less than 10% Student presentations Campus-wide activities Media presentations Community activities Papers Journal articles

32 Teaching Diversity: Experiences and Recommendations of APA Division Two Members Follow-Up Study Loreto Prieto, Val Whittlesey, Diane Herbert, Carlota Ocampo, Allison Schomburg, and Dominicus So

33 Diversity Survey- Follow-Up Study Survey distributed to Division 2 members in 2000 Survey sent to approximately 3,000 members 648 members responded Return rate- 22%

34 Diversity Study- Follow-Up Study Although the return rate was lower than original study, the demographic institutional, campus, and course based characteristics of the 2000 sample match known population parameters of 2002 STP membership survey. Also, descriptive data on respondents, their institutions, and students similar to 1995 study. Results similar to 1995 study; respondents’ attitudes toward teaching diversity issues and recommendations for diversity resources.

35 Diversity Survey- Follow-Up Issues of Diversity 94% Race/ethnicity 94% Sexual orientation 91% Sex/gender 86% Ageism 82% Social class 78% Physical disabilities 78% Religion 73% International 70% Mental/learning disabilities 66% Language differences

36 Diversity Survey-Follow-Up Barriers 57% Time constraints 36% Lack of perceived training/resources 21% Diversity issues are not relevant to course content 18% Student apprehension about dealing with diversity issues

37 Diversity Survey- Follow-Up Study For the follow-up study, faculty respondents were additionally asked four questions: - their own personal level of acceptance toward diverse persons (broadly defined) - the level of importance they attached to incorporating diversity issues into their courses - their estimation of the level of importance their students attached to having diversity issues incorporated into courses - the level of acceptance they have felt from their students when diversity issues have been incorporated into courses

38 Diversity Survey- Follow-Up Study Each item was constructed on a 5-point Likert scale with Not accepting/not important and Very accepting/very important as polar anchors.

39 Diversity Survey- Follow-Up Study Faculty acceptance of diverse persons (mean = 4.7; sd =.53). Faculty perceptions of the importance of incorporating diversity issues into their coursework (mean = 4.2; sd =.94). Faculty perceptions of the importance their students attach to having diversity issues incorporated into their courses (mean = 3.4; sd =.99). Faculty perceptions of the acceptance of students to incorporation of diversity issues into course work when instructors included it (mean = 3.9; sd =.82).

40 Diversity Survey- Recommendations of Both Studies Ensuring that more psychology faculty see the relevance of diversity issues in the psychology curriculum. Overcoming time constraints and lack of training and knowledge of diversity that faculty feel. Need to focus on all facets of diversity. Examining directly student attitudes of the importance they attach to incorporation of diversity into course work and their acceptance of this incorporation.

41 Review of Diversity Research in Teaching of Psychology: Summary & Agenda Carlota Ocampo, Jane O’Connor, Loreto Prieto, Val Whittlesey

42 Diversity Review David Johnson’s database obtained from the webpage of the Office for Teaching Resources in Psychology Used to identify TOP works published from 1974 to 1999 Authors manually consulted TOP 2000 issues

43 Diversity Review- Diversity Categories Aging Disability Gender International Nontraditional students Race/ethnic Several diversity categories Sexual orientation Social class Religion

44 Diversity Review- Taxonomy of Methodologies Activities Articles Bibliographies Comments Course descriptions Demonstrations Empiricals Equipment Reviews Software Surveys Symposias Interviews

45 Diversity Review- Raters.91 Interrater agreement coefficient in determining which articles were diversity related.97 Interrrater agreement coefficient in determining the diversity category that the articles fit into.90 Interrater agreement coefficient in determining the methodology for the diversity studies

46 Diversity Review- # and % of TOP Diversity Studies Total Studies Published 1974- 2000 N = 1,860 Total # of Studies Published 1974- 1987 N = 994 Total # of Studies Published 1988- 2000 N = 866 Diversity Studies 1974- 2000 N = 136 7.31% Diversity Studies 1974- 1987 N = 46 4.63% Diversity Studies 1988- 2000 N = 90 10.39%

47 Diversity Review- Diversity Categories of Studies 35% Gender 17% International 13% Aging 12% Several categories 10% Race/ethnicity 10% Sexual orientation 3% Nontraditional students 0% Social class 0% Disability 0% Religion

48 Diversity Review- Methodologies of Diversity Studies 30% Articles 25% Courses 19% Activities 10% Empiricals 5% Comments 4% Surveys 3% Demos 2% Interviews 1% Software 0% Bibliographies 0% Equipment 0% Reviews 0% Symposias

49 Diversity Review- Frequent Diversity Methodologies International articles- N = 12 Gender courses- N = 11 Gender empirical studies- N = 10 Gender classroom activities- N = 9 Gender articles- N = 8 Several diversity category articles- N = 7 Aging classroom activities- N = 7 Racial/ethnic courses- N = 6

50 Diversity Review- The 70 works in the previous slide represent 50% of all diversity studies published in TOP between 1974 to 2000 Publications concerning gender issues constitute 38 or 28% of total diversity works

51 Diversity Review 28 diversity empirical works represented 1.5% of all published works in TOP and 21% of diversity studies published in TOP from 1974-2000 Eight (28.5%) of empirical diversity articles during the earlier period 20 (71.4%) of empirical diversity articles during the latter period

52 Diversity Review- Empirical Diversity Studies Gender (17; 61%) Sexual orientation (4;14%) Aging (3;11%) General diversity (3;11%) International (1;3.5%)

53 Diversity Review- Empirical Diversity Studies One-third of studies exploratory in nature Gender based issues offered more information regarding previous findings or theory related to study in question

54 Diversity Review- Recommendations Increase amount and programmatic focus of diversity research Increase theory driven empirical research using experimental design Continued attention to differential impact of teaching curriculum, materials, and methods on diversity

55 Diversity Review- Recommendations (con’t) Increased use on development of instruments to measure diversity teaching goals Increased examination of underexamined groups Increased knowledge about psychology and its ability to address diversity issues Increased understanding of and support of diverse psychology professoriate






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