Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Multicultural education; Teachers, Foreign--Employment--Attitudes; Teachers--Iowa--Attitudes;


The purpose of the study was to investigate differences in cross-cultural effectiveness between classroom teachers in international settings and classroom teachers in Iowa, and to examine, within a multicultural education framework, instructional practices of international teachers.

It is well documented that in American schools today, classrooms are becoming more diverse in regard to socio-economic status, ethnicity, race, intellectual ability, language, and religious heritage. School children today represent an incredibly diverse population. Conversely, the teacher population continues to be primarily female, White and from a monocultural background. This creates a mismatch between student and teacher backgrounds, perspectives, and cultural understanding, which can significantly impact student achievement.

Literature provides evidence of programs and experiences that have positive impact on the cross-cultural learnings and attitudes of preservice educators. However, there is limited research addressing cross-cultural effectiveness of classroom teachers and their instructional practices in regard to diverse classrooms.

Both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies were utilized to investigate respondents' cross-cultural effectiveness and teaching practices. All participants completed demographic questions and the Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory (CCAI). The international teachers also completed narrative, open-ended survey questions and in-depth interview questions. All data was collected via electronic, online communication links and analyzed.

Results of the study indicated that while the international teachers were more cross-culturally adaptive than the Iowa teachers on all four dimensions of the CCAI and on the overall score, only on the emotional resilience dimension was the difference statistically significant. Findings also indicated the international teachers were highly engaged in school, community, and cultural activities, connected personalized learning to student and family cultures, set high expectations for students, valued and respected students and their cultures, believed they could make a difference, used appropriate multicultural materials and instructional strategies, and exhibited great passion and commitment to their teaching. These findings directly link to the multicultural education research and further define the qualities of an effective multicultural teacher as perceived within the reality of international educational practice.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Greg Stefanich, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (viii, 283 pages)



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