Terenzini, Patrick, Cabrera, Alberto, Colbeck, Carol, Bjorklund, Stefani, & Parente, John
Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Classroom: Does it Promotes Student Learning?
Pennsylvania State University
Examines direct effect of classroom diversity on academic/intellectual outcomes and moderation of these by collaborative instructional approaches.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
The Journal of Higher Education
Vol. 72, No. 5, pp. 509-531
- Low levels of class diversity were negatively related to gains in both problem solving and group skills at statistically significant level.
- Medium levels of diversity appear to have a positive effect on learning.
- Data also suggest the possibility that low or high levels of classroom diversity may be negatively related to learning gains.
- Findings suggest a link between the level of racial/ethnic diversity in a classroom and students reports increases in their problem-solving and group skills.
- Talk about the different measures of diversity and interaction.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Academic Achievement, Classroom Composition, Diversity, Ethnicity, Instruction, Outcomes, Science
Method of Analysis:
7 ECSEL colleges of engineering
Unit of Analysis:
- 1258 engineering students enrolled at all 7 ECSEL (Engineering Coalition of Schools for Excellence in Education and Leadership). City of NY, Howard University, MIT, Morgan State U, Penn State, University of Maryland, University of Washington.
- Base sample consisted of 1,258 engineering students enrolled.
- 46% of the students were enrolled at the University of Maryland, 21% at the University of Washington, and 13% at the Pennsylvania State University, the remaining 20% were distributed approximately evenly across the City College of New York, Howard University, Morgan State university, and MIT.
- 74% enrolled in an ECSEL course
- 26% enrolled in a non-ECSEL
- Analyses based on the responses of 680 white students (58% of the sample) and 488 students of color.
- Data comes from the Classroom Activities and Outcomes Survey that is a multiple-choice questionnaire completed at the end of a course.
- Control Variables: Background characteristics, gender, race/ethnicity, high school academic achievement.
- IV: How often during the course they or their instructor engaged in each of 26 classroom activities. 5 factors related to specific instructional practices an student's perceptions of fairness in the treatment of minorities and women in the classroom by the faculty member and by other students. Classroom diversity is the independent variable of principal interest.
- DV: Results of the course for which they were completing the survey form.