Date of Award

Summer 1999

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Program/Concentration

Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Jack E. Robinson

Committee Member

Maurice R. Berube

Committee Member

Joseph Ford

Committee Member

Petra E. Snowden

Committee Member

Donna B. Evans

Abstract

This meta-analysis examined the effects of multicultural education on the racial attitudes of students in prekindergarten through twelfth grade. Multicultural education, which evolved as a direct result of the push for ethnic studies in schools, was operationalized for this study as programs and curricula dealing with racial and cultural diversity.

The findings of thirty selected studies were synthesized in this meta-analysis to examine whether students exposed to multicultural education developed more positive racial attitudes than students who did not. This meta-analysis compared the effect sizes of two dimensions of multicultural education, curricular intervention and reinforcement, to see the relative effectiveness of multicultural education on students' attitudes. The relative effectiveness of multicultural education in suburban and urban settings were compared in this meta-analysis. The relative effectiveness of multicultural education among age groups 3–8, and age groups 9–16 were also compared.

A total of 60 effect sizes were calculated in this meta-analysis. The total sample size for all the thirty studies was 5,916 students. The sample size ranged from 41 to 1,504, with a mean sample size of 197 students. The age of the participants ranged from 3 to 16.

The mean effect size of the 30 studies which was 0.488 shows that exposure to multicultural education led to a reduction in students' racial attitudes. However, the mean effect size of the 21 curricular intervention studies which was 0.645, was higher than the mean effect size of the reinforcement studies which was 0.08, indicating that the curricular intervention dimension of multicultural education was more effective in reducing students' racial attitudes. Multicultural education was more effective in reducing racial attitudes in urban areas with a mean effect size of 0.72 for the 8 urban studies, than in suburban areas with a mean effect size of 0.587 for the 15 suburban studies. Multicultural education was also more effective in reducing racial attitudes among 9–16 age group with a mean effect size of 0.751 for 15 such studies, than among 3–8 age group with a mean effect size of 0.208 for 14 such studies.

It is hoped that policy makers and specialists in education would use the results of this meta-analysis to design multicultural education that will lead to a reduction in students' racial attitudes by addressing the relevant needs at specific locations, and among age groups.

DOI

10.25777/tbra-4027

ISBN

9780599525092

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