Impacts of Teaching Critical Race Theory and Applying Contact Theory Methods to Student’s Cross-Cultural Competency in Diversity Courses

Julie Putnam Hart, Austin C. Kocher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We examine the outcomes of three different teaching methods in courses where cultural competency is a course objective: (1) multiculturalism lecture only, (2) student research and reporting on other cultural groups plus multiculturalism lecture, and (3) cross-cultural conversation partners applying contact theory plus multiculturalism lecture. Lectures in courses 1 and 3 also include antiracist and critical race theories that directly challenge colorblind racism. The study measures both cultural competency and colorblind racism before and after courses over a semester on 181 students at a small midwestern university. Cross-cultural competency scores improved significantly in all three courses but were significantly higher in the course that included both content on critical race theory and contact theory methods. Colorblind racism fails to improve in courses without critical race theory. These findings have implications for improving cultural competency outcomes among undergraduates from a variety of majors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTeaching Sociology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • critical race theory
  • cultural competency
  • diversity
  • teaching methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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