Promoting multicultural understanding and positive self-concept through a distance learning community: Cultural connections

  • Lauren Cifuentes
  • Karen L. Murphy
Development

Abstract

We explored the effectiveness of distance learning and multimedia technologies in facilitating an expanded learning community among two teachers and their students in geographically separated schools. The teachers collaboratively developed curricular activities and identity-forming multicultural activities for their K-12 students to conduct over the distance. Predominantly Hispanic students in a school on the Texas border with Mexico communicated regularly over a school year with diverse students in a partner school hundreds of miles to the north. They participated in collaborative activities and shared multimedia files via interactive videoconference. Using qualitative research methods, we discovered that the participating teachers developed empowering multicultural relationships while their students developed multicultural understanding and positive self-concept. Examples of empowerment and positive self-concept included raised levels of academic aspirations and heightened poise during public speaking.

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Copyright information

© the Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren Cifuentes
    • 1
  • Karen L. Murphy
    • 2
  1. 1.the Department of Educational Curriculum and Instruction, College of EducationTexas A&M UniversityCollege Station
  2. 2.Department of Educational Curriculum and Instruction, College of EducationTexas A&M UniversityCollege Station

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