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Examining the Role of Cultural Responsiveness in Leadership Education among Diverse College Students

Title: Examining the Role of Cultural Responsiveness in Leadership Education among Diverse College Students.
Name(s): Chunoo, Vivechkanand Sewcharran, author
Guthrie, Kathy L., professor directing dissertation
Padavic, Irene, university representative
Schwartz, Robert A., committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Education, degree granting college
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Doctoral Thesis
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2018
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (146 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Since the early 2000s, the number of leadership education programs in the United States has more than doubled (Riggio, Ciulla, & Sorenson, 2003; International Leadership Association, 2015). Despite this proliferation, very little attention has been paid to the role of cultural responsiveness in leadership education. Cultural responsiveness is vital to future success of leadership studies programs because they, just like all higher education, act as cultural capital-building mechanisms. If greater attention is not paid to the experiences of students from diverse backgrounds, leadership studies programs will continue to perpetuate the existing social order, ultimately undermining the goal of creating leaders capable of positive sustainable change. The present study focused on the nexus between cultural responsiveness, leadership education, and cultural capital. It sought to answer the following research questions: (1) What do leadership educators identify as cultural responsiveness in their instruction?; (2) What classroom experiences do leadership students identify as honoring their multiple, intersecting social identities?; (3) Where do reports of cultural responsiveness among leadership studies instructors and students converge, and where do they diverge? Answering the first research question required semi-structured interviews with leadership instructors to uncover their efforts toward cultural responsiveness. This information was used to create a survey to gauge student experiences along the aspects described in the interviews. The second research question was addressed through descriptive quantitative analysis of survey data. The final question was answered through inferential quantitative analysis of survey information. Findings and results uncovered substantial evidence of cultural responsiveness within the leadership studies program under investigation. Instructors’ social identities, personal histories, professional preparation, and academic training impacted their cultural responsiveness abilities. Similarly, nuanced leadership education philosophies, unique motivations, and varied paths to leadership education impacted how instructors approached students’ cultural and academic development. Course syllabi, textbooks, assignments, and speakers were just some of the ways instructors infused cultural responsiveness into their distinctive styles of leadership education. Moreover, a broad spectrum of pedagogical choices characterized instructors’ capacity for cultural responsiveness. Augmented by the theory-to-practice-to-theory framework of the Undergraduate Certificate in Leadership Studies, instructors were empowered to teach and change courses toward cultural responsiveness. The survey resulting from instructors’ reports demonstrated reliability and validity for use in the present study and captured students’ perceptions of cultural responsiveness. Results of quantitative analyses indicated students perceived their instructors as culturally responsive across numerous facets of education. Perceptions varied by student identities and among the courses in which they were enrolled. Future research should focus on intersections of social identities, the unique experiences of transfer students, and supporting courses not included here. Practice implications include careful consideration of cultural responsiveness among students from diverse religious backgrounds, transfer students and nontraditionally aged students. Curricular implications should include focusing on the culturally responsive leadership learning environments created in Leadership in Group and Communities, Latinx Leadership, and Peer Leadership.
Identifier: 2018_Sp_Chunoo_fsu_0071E_14315 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester 2018.
Date of Defense: February 14, 2018.
Keywords: Culture, Diversity, Education, Inclusion, Leadership, Multiculturalism
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Kathy L. Guthrie, Professor Directing Dissertation; Irene Padavic, University Representative; Tamara Bertrand Jones, Committee Member; Robert A. Schwartz, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Education, Higher
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Chunoo, V. S. (2018). Examining the Role of Cultural Responsiveness in Leadership Education among Diverse College Students. Retrieved from