Beyond Folklorama: a mixed-methods phenomenological study on the intercultural competence of preservice teachers

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Goulbourne, Melissa
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While Manitoba has made significant inroads in educational reform, the overall design and practice of education in the Province is still largely skewed toward a Eurocentric ideal. One of the factors contributing to this situation is the unpreparedness of prospective teachers to fully recognize and embrace the diversity present in their classrooms. This study used a mixed-methods approach, comprising surveys and interviews, to determine the characteristics that underlie the intercultural competence of a subset of preservice teachers. Ten (n=10) preservice teachers, recruited from a mandatory cross-cultural education course, were surveyed and/or interviewed to determine their thoughts, behaviours, and attitudes towards people from different cultures. Data collected during the first phase was assessed to uncover features of their intercultural sensitivity. Information gathered from follow-up face-to-face phenomenological interviews illuminated details of their lived-experience of intercultural competence. Findings revealed that the preservice teachers share ten characteristics of intercultural competence.Data gleaned from this investigation may be used by preservice, novice, and experienced teachers, as well as faculty and administrators of teacher education to reform the design and practice of multicultural education in grade school and higher education.
Intercultural competence, Preservice teachers, Culturally responsive teaching, Multicultural education