Creating Productive Learning Environments in Culturally Pluralistic Classrooms

  • Revathy Kumar
  • Stuart A. Karabenick
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 21)

Recent technological advances and changing economic conditions have prompted significant population shifts from developing countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East to Western nations — including the United States. The receiving nations' resultant increase in demographic heterogeneity has raised serious concerns regarding how such immigration affects the schools and institutions of higher education, since it is these institutions that face the challenging task of preparing individuals to adapt to more culturally and socially complex societies (Cushner, 1998). In this chapter we examine the current status of multicultural education — a response of Western countries in general, and of the United States in particular — to meeting the needs of culturally diverse student populations. We then draw on social identity theory as a framework for understanding inter-group interactions in schools. Finally, we examine achievement goal theory, a social cognitive approach to motivation, which suggests ways to transform school and classroom cultures so that they promote inter-group harmony and support the learning and development of all students.


Social Identity Prospective Teacher Social Identity Theory Multicultural Education Goal Structure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abrams, D., & Hogg, M. A. (1990). Social identity theory: Constructive and critical advances. New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf.Google Scholar
  2. Agnes, M. (1947). Influences of reading on the racial attitudes of adolescent girls. Catholic Educational Review, 45, 405–420.Google Scholar
  3. Cited in Banks (1995). History, goals, status, and issures.In Banks, J. A. & McGee Banks, G. A. (Eds.) p. 3–24. Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education. NY: Macmil-lan Publishing.Google Scholar
  4. Allport, G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Reading. MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  5. Ames, C. (1992). Classrooms: Goals, structures, and student motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84, 261–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. American Psychological Association. (2003). Guidelines on multicultural education, training, research, practice, and organizational change for psychologists. American Psychologist, 58, 377–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ames, C., & Archer, J. (1988). Achievement goals in the classroom: Students' learning strategies and motivation processes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80, 260–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Amir, Y. (1976). The role of intergroup contact in change of prejudice and race relations. In P. Katz (Ed.), Towards the elimination of racism (pp. 245–380). New York: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  9. Anderman, E. A., & Maehr, M. L. (1994). Motivation and middle school grades. Review of Educational Research, 64, 287–310.Google Scholar
  10. Anderman, L. H. (1999). Classroom goal orientation, school belongs and social goals as predicators of students' positive and negative affect following transition to middle school. Journal of Research and Development in Education, 32, 90–103.Google Scholar
  11. Aronson, E., & Patnoe, S. (1997). The jigsaw classroom. New York: Longman.Google Scholar
  12. Avery, P. G., & Walker, C. (1993). Prospective teachers' perceptions of ethnic and gender differences in academic achievement. Journal of Teacher Education, 44, 27–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Banks, J. A. (1997). Multicultural education: Historical development, dimensions, and practice. In J. A. Banks & C. A. Banks (Eds.), Handbook of research on multicultural education (1st ed., pp. 3–24). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  14. Banks, J. A. (2002). An introduction to multicultural education. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  15. Banks, J. A., & McGee Banks, C. A. (Eds.) (1995). Handbook of research on multicultural education (1st ed.). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  16. Banks, J., & Banks, M. C. (1997). Equity pedagogy and multicultural education. In J. A. Banks (Ed.), Educating citizens in a multicultural society (pp. 78–87). New York, NY: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  17. Barry, N. H., & Lechner, J. V. (1995). Preservice teachers' attitudes about and awareness of multicultural teaching and learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, 11, 149–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Baumeister, R. F., Twenge, J. M., & Nuss, C, K. (2002). Effects of social exclusion on cognitive processes: Anticipated aloneness reduces intelligent thought. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 817–827.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Berry, J. W., Phinney, J. S., Sam, D. L., & Vedder, P. (2006). Immigrant youth: Acculturation, identity, and adaptation. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 55, 303–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Bettencourt, B. A., Dorr, N., Charlton, K., & Hume, D. L. (2001). Status difference and in-group bias: A meta-analytic examination of the effects of status stability, status legitimacy, and group permeability. Psychological Bulletin, 127, 520–542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Bourhis, R. Y., Moise, L. C., Perreault, S., & Senecal, S (1997). Towards an interactive acculturation model: A social psychological approach. International Journal of Psychology, 32, 369–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ciges, A. S., & Lopez, R. G. (1998). The challenge on intercultural education in Spain. In K. Cushner (Ed.), International perspectives on intercultural education (pp. 146–168). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  23. Cochran-Smith, M. (1995). Color blindness and basket making are not the answers: Confronting the dilemmas of race, culture, and language diversity in teacher education. American Educational Research Journal, 32, 493–522.Google Scholar
  24. Crocker, J., & Luthanen, R. (1990). Collective self-esteem and in-group bias. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 60–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Cushner, K. (1998). Intercultural education from an international perspective: An introduction. In K. Cushner (Ed.), International perspectives on intercultural education (pp. 1–13). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  26. Darling-Hammond, L. (2001). The challenge of staffing our schools. Educational Leadership, 58, 12–17.Google Scholar
  27. Darling-Hammond, L. (2006). Constructing 21st century teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 57, 3000–3314.Google Scholar
  28. Delpit, L. D. (1990). Language diversity and learning. In S. Hynds (Ed.), Perspectives on talk and learning (pp. 247–266). Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.Google Scholar
  29. Delpit, L. (2006). Lessons from teachers. Journal of Teacher Education, 57, 220–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Dixon, J., Durrheim, K., & Tredoux, C. (2005). Beyond the optimal contact strategy: A reality check for the contact hypothesis. American Psychologist, 60, 697–711.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Dodge, K. A., Lansford, J. E., Burks, V. S., Bates, J. E., Pettit, G. S., Fontaine, R., et al. (2003). Peer rejection and social information-processing factors in the development of aggressive behavior problems in children. Child Development, 74, 374–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Dovidio, J., Gaertner, S., & Kawakami, K. (2003). Intergroup contact: The past, present, and the future. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 6, 5–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Eccles, J. S., & Midgley, C. (1989). Stage/environment fit: Developmentally appropriate classrooms for early adolescents. In R. E. Ames & C. Ames (Eds.), Research on motivation in education (pp. 139–181). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  34. Eldering, L. (1996). Multiculturalism and multicultural education in an international perspective. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 27, 315–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ethier, K. A., & Deaux, K. (1994). Negotiating social identity when contexts change: Maintain ing identification when responding to threat. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 243–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gay G. (1971). Ethnic minority studies: How widespread? How successful? Educational Leadership, 29, 108–112.Google Scholar
  37. Gilbert, S. L. (1995). Perspectives of rural prospective teachers toward teaching in urban schools. Urban Education, 30, 290–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Gollnick, D. M. (1993). Multicultural education: Policies and practices in teacher education. In C. A. Grant (Ed.), Research and multicultural education: From the margins to the mainstream (pp. 218–239). Bristol, PA: The Falmer Press, Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  39. Goodwin, A. L. (1994). Making the transition from self to other: What do preservice teachers really think about multicultural education? Journal of Teacher Education, 45, 119–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Graham, S., & Juvonen, J. (2002). Ethnicity, peer harassment, and adjustment in middle school: An exploratory study. Journal of Early Adolescence, 22, 173–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Grant, C. A. (1978). Education that is multicultural _ Isn't that what mean? Journal of Teacher Education, 29, 45–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Higgins, E. T. (1987). Self-discrepancy: A theory relating self and affect. Psychological Review, 94, 319–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hooghoof, H., & Delnoy, R. (1998). Intercultural education: Approaches in the Netherlands. In K. Cushner (Ed.), International perspectives on intercultural education (pp. 94–119). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  44. Hogg, M. A. (2003). Social identity. In M. R. Leary & J. P. Tangney (Eds.), Handbook of self and identity (pp. 462–479). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  45. Horst, C., & Holman, A. (2006). Bringing multicultural education into the mainstream: Developing schools for minority and majority students. In L. D. Adams & A. Kirova (Eds.), Global migration and education: Schools, children, and families (pp. 17–33). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  46. Jackson, E. P. (1944). Effects of reading upon the attitudes toward the Negro race. The Library Quarterly, 14, 4–54Google Scholar
  47. Cited in Banks (1995). History, goals, status, and issue. In J. A. Banks & C. A. McGee Banks (Eds.), Handbook of research on multicultural education (pp. 3–24). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  48. Jaret, C. (1995). Contemporary racial and ethnic relations. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  49. Kaplan, A., & Maehr, M. L. (1999). Achievement goals and student well-being. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 24, 330–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Kaplan, A., Middleton, M. J., Urdan, T., & Midgley, C. (2001). Achievement goals and goal structures. In C. Midgley (Ed.), Goals, goal structures, and patterns of adaptive learning (pp. 21–51). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  51. Karabenick, S. A. (2004). Perceived achievement goal structure and college student help-seeking. Journal of Educational Psychology, 96, 569–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Karabenick, S. A. (2003). Seeking help in large college classes: A person centered approach. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 28, 37–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Karabenick, S. A. (Ed.). (1998). Strategic help seeking: Implications for learning and teaching. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  54. Karabenick, S. A., & Newman, R. S. (Eds.). (2006). Help seeking in academic settings: Goals, groups, and contexts. Mahwah, NJ:Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  55. King J. E. (1997). Thank you for opening our minds: On praxis, transmutation, and Black studies in teacher development. In J. E. King, E. R. Hollins, & W. C. Hayman (Eds.), Preparing teachers for cultural diversity (pp. 156–169). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  56. Kumar, R. (2003). Multicultural education and achievement goal theory. In M. L. Maehr & P. R. Pintrich (Eds.), Advances in Motivation and Achievement: Vol. 13. Motivating students, improving schools. Greenwich, CT: JAI PressGoogle Scholar
  57. Kumar, R. (2006). Students' experiences of home-school dissonance: The role of school academic culture and perceptions of classroom goal structures. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 31, 253–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Kumar, R., Gheen, M. H., & Kaplan, A. (2002). Goal structures in the learning environment and students' disaffection from learning and schooling. In C. Midgley (Ed.), Goals, goal structures, and patterns of adaptive learning (pp. 143–173). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  59. Ladd, G. W. (1990). Having friends, keeping friends, making friends, and being liked by peers in the classroom: Predictors of children's early school adjustment? Child Development, 61, 1081–1100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Ladson-Billings, G. (1993). Culturally relevant teaching: The key to make multicultural education work. In C. A. Grant (Ed.), Research and multicultural education: From the margins to the mainstream (pp. 106–121). Bristol, PA: The Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  61. Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The dreamkeepers: Successful teachers of African American children (1st ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  62. Ladson-Billings, G. (1995). But that's just good teaching! The case for culturally relevant pedagogy. Theory into Practice, 34, 159–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Larke, P. J. (1990). Cultural diversity awareness inventory: Assessing the sensitivity of pre-service teachers. Action in Teacher Education, 12, 23–30.Google Scholar
  64. Law, S., & Lane, D. (1987). Multicultural acceptance by teacher education students: A survey of attitudes. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 14, 3–9.Google Scholar
  65. Maehr, M. L., & Midgley, C. (1991). Enhancing student motivation: A school-wide approach. Educational Psychologist, 26, 399–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Maehr, M. L., & Midgley, C. (1996). Transforming school cultures. Boulder, CO: Westview, Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  67. McDiarmid, G. W. (1992). What to do about differences? A study of multicultural education for teacher trainees in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Journal of Teacher Education, 43, 83–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. McIntyre, A. (1997). Making meaning of Whiteness. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  69. Meece, J. L., Anderman, E. M., & Anderman, L. H. (2006). Classroom goal structure, student motivation, and academic achievement. Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 487–503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Melnick, S. L., & Zeichner, M. Z. (1997). Enhancing the capacity of teacher education institutions to address diversity issues. In J. E. King, E. R. Hollins, & W. C. Hayman (Eds.), Preparing teachers for cultural diversity (pp. 23–39). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  71. Montreuil, A., & Bourhis, R. Y. (2001). Majority acculturation orientations toward “valued” and “devalued” immigrants. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 32, 698–719.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Moosa, S., Karabenick, S. A., & Adams, L. (2001). Teacher perceptions of Arab parent involvement in elementary schools. The School Community Journal, 11, 7–25.Google Scholar
  73. Nesdale, D., & Todd, P. (2000). Effects of contact on intercultural acceptance: A field study. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 24, 341–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Neumann, V. (1998). Intercultural pedagogy as an alternative to a monoculturally oriented education: The case of Romania. In K. Cushner (Ed.), International perspectives on intercultural education (pp. 170–184). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  75. Newman, B. M., & Newman, P. R. (2001). Group identity and alienation: Giving the we its due. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 30, 515–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Nieto, S. (1996). Affirming diversity: The sociopolitical context of multicultural education. New York: Longman.Google Scholar
  77. Oakes, J. (2005). Keeping track: How schools structure inequality. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  78. Pettigrew, T. F. (1997). Generalized intergroup contact effects on prejudice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 173–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Pettigrew, T. F. (1998). Intergroup contact theory. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 65–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Pettigrew, T. F., & Troop, L. R. (2006). A meta-analytic test of intergroup contact theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 751–783.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Phinney, J. S., Horenczyk, G., Leibkind, K., & Vedder, P. (2001). Ethnic identity, immigration, and well-being: An interactional perspective. Journal of Social Issues, 57, 493–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Roeser, R., Midgley, C., & Urdan, T. (1996). Perceptions of the school psychological environment and early adolescents' psychological and behavioral functioning in school: The mediating role of goals and belonging. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 402–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Sleeter, C. E. (1985). A need for research on preservice teacher education for mainstreaming and multicultural education. Journal of Educational Equity and Leadership, 5, 205–215.Google Scholar
  84. Sleeter, C. E. (2001a). Preparing teachers for culturally diverse schools: Research and the overwhelming presence of Whiteness. Journal of Teacher Education, 52, 94–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Sleeter, C. E. (2001b). Epistemological diversity in research on preservice teacher preparation for historically underserved children. In W. Secada (Ed.), Review of research in education (Vol. 25, pp. 209–250). Washington, DC: American Education Research Association.Google Scholar
  86. Sleeter, C. E., & Grant, C. A. (1987). An analysis of multicultural education in the United States. Harvard Education Review, 7, 421–444.Google Scholar
  87. Smith, R., Moallem, M., & Sherrill, D. (1997). How preservice teachers think about cultural diversity. Educational Foundations, 11, 41–62.Google Scholar
  88. Spencer, M. B. (1999). Social and cultural influences on school adjustment: The application of an identity-focused cultural ecological perspective. Educational Psychologist, 34, 43–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Steele, C. M. (1997). A threat in the air: How stereotypes shape intellectual identity and performance. American Psychologist, 52, 613–629.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Su, Z. (1996). Why teach: Profiles and entry perspectives of minority students as becoming teachers. Journal of Research and Development in Education, 29, 117–133.Google Scholar
  91. Su, Z. (1997). Teaching as a profession and as a career: Minority candidates' perspectives. Teaching and Teacher Education, 13, 325–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Stephan, W. G., & Stephan, C. W. (2001). Improving intergroup relations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  93. Tajfel, H. (1978). Social categorization, social identity, and social comparison. In H. Tajfel (Ed.), Differentiation between social groups: Studies in the social psychology of intergroup relations (pp. 62–76). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  94. Tajfel, H. (1981). Human groups and social categories: Studies in social psychology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  95. Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1979). An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. In W. G. Austin & S. Worchel (Eds.), The social psychology of intergroup relations (pp. 7–24). Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
  96. Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1986). The social identity theory of intergroup behavior. In S. Worschel & W. G. Austin (Eds.), Psychology of intergroup relations (pp. 7–24). Chicago: Nelson-Hall.Google Scholar
  97. Tatum, B. D. (2003). Why are all the Black kids sitting together in the cafeteria? and other conversations about race. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  98. Turner, J. C. (1982). Towards a cognitive redefinition of the social group. In H. Tajfel (Ed.), Social identity and intergroup relations (pp. 15–40). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  99. Twenge, J. M., Catanese, K. R., & Baumeister, R. F. (2002). Social exclusion causes self-defeating behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 606–615.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. The Unit Accreditation Board (2006, October). Second draft of revisions to the unit standards. Retrieved January 15, 2007, from dUnitStds06.doc.
  101. Verkuten, M. (2005). Ethnic group identification and group evaluation among minority and majority groups: A test of multicultural hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 121–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Valli, L. (1995). The dilemma of race: Learning to be color blind and color conscious. Journal of Teacher Education, 46(2), 120–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Ward, C., Bochner, S., & Furnham, A. (2001). The psychology of culture shock. Philadelphia, PA: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  104. Webb, N. M., & Mastergeorge, A. M. (2003). The development of students' learning in peer-directed small groups. Cognition and Instruction, 21, 361–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  105. Webb, N. M., Nemer, K. M., Kersting, N., & Ing, M. (2004, April). The effects of teacher discourse on student behavior in peer-directed groups. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA.Google Scholar
  106. Wittig, M., & Molina, L. (2000). Moderators and mediators of prejudice reduction in multicultural education. In S. Oskamp (Ed.), Reducing prejudice and discrimination (pp. 295–318). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Revathy Kumar
    • 1
  • Stuart A. Karabenick
    • 2
  1. 1.Judith Herb College of EducationThe University of ToledoToledo
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MichiganYpsilanti

Personalised recommendations