During the Summer II Session the Department of Education and School Psychology offered ED 350/453, Multicultural Education in a Pluralistic Society. This course is a multi-cultural class for teachers and school psychologists designed to enhance cultural sensitivity.

This three week intensive course focuses on enhancing students’ understanding of their own cultural heritage and connection to acquired beliefs, traditions, and customs; and developing a critical perspective on key issues important to teaching in diverse school settings (e.g., school structure, curriculum, pedagogy, community, peer group, etc.).

The development of a cultural assessment based on an interview setting with JCU international students one of the key experiences involved. This interview is used to learn about the individual’s preparation for coming to America, specific culture, perceptions of adjustment to America, as well as comparing the educational systems of both countries. Megan McBride, Assistant Director of International Services at JCU, was instrumental in identifying the international students who participated in the interviews. Silas Ifeany, Nigeria; Maria Indini, Greece; Abel Teferra, Ethopia; Arshiya Mariam, Pakistan; and Andre Alamina, Belize are the international students who were interviewed.

The course was instructed by Audrey E. Ellenwood, Ph.D., (American) and Rick Snyders, D. Litt. et Phil who have been teaching multi-cultural education courses since 1995. As an extension, students are invited to participate in Project Leaning Around the World (PLATW), a 501 3c charity which gathers educational supplies and helps to build playground equipment for educationally needy children in rural South Africa. Since its initiation over 400 students from John Carroll University and other Ohio universities have participated. The students travel to South Africa for 21 days.  Drs. Snyders and Ellenwood develop and attend all educational and inter-cultural activities with them.  This year two JCU school psychology students participated in the experience, Racheal Duck and Jessica Sheehan.  They both plan to return to South Africa again next summer with PLATW.

Posted on August 3, 2016