Learning with and from Each Other: An Exploration of U.S. Black and White Management Students in a Diversity Education Course
I employed quantitative pre-post assessments of students' ethnic identity salience (Phinney, 1996), ambiguity tolerance (Budner, 1960), cross-cultural adaptability (CCAI instrument), and attitudes toward diversity (Ponterotto, et al., 1996) at the begining to graduate students enrolled in a semeter-long diversity course at a school of management in the United States. At the end of the semester, I inductively analyzed their learning journals (submitted weekly) for insight into how changes occured. Findings showed that White U.S. students experienced significant changes including increased ethnic identity salience, and decreased negative attitudes toward diversity. While their Black classmates made no significant changes on the quantitative measures, their learning and development was seen in the qualitative measures: in learning journals, within which they reflected upon issues and reframed them from different perspectives. This suggested that though their diversity-related identity development was less malleable, they experienced a deeper, less quantified form of learning. Complete findings are presented as well as implications for diversity educators.
Keywords: Diversity Education, Management Education
Dr. J. Goosby Smith
Associate Professor of Management, Martin V. Smith School of Business & Economics, California State University Channel Islands