Kit Harris, ASCD Research

ED Pulse Poll Results: How Interested Are You in Multicultural Competency Training?

ASCD continually seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that face educators of all levels. Recently, the ASCD SmartBrief ED Pulse poll addressed the need for and the interest in multicultural competency training in education.

As demographics change in communities across the U.S., the importance of training educators to interact effectively with people of different cultures grows. Some feel that the root of the achievement gap between cultural minority and majority students suggests that some sort of communication disconnect often occurs in minority classrooms because of a cultural mismatch between teachers and students.

A total of 345 readers responded to this question, which provides two different findings. One finding is whether or not they feel this type of training is needed in their schools. The other is whether or not they themselves are interested in this type of training. Six out of ten ASCD SmartBrief readers reported that multicultural training is needed in their schools (64 percent). Half reported that they are very interested in receiving training (45 percent), and another third are somewhat interested (33 percent).

This survey question was included in ASCD SmartBrief, a free daily e-mail news service that provides summaries and links to major education stories and issues, which has more than 200,000 subscribers. Using ED Pulse, the weekly online poll, data was collected from 345 readers, starting on November 21, 2013. Online surveys do not provide a random sample, as participants are self-selected, meaning that a margin of sampling error cannot be calculated or quoted. In addition, the population and sample are limited to those with access to computers and an online network. However, online surveys have been shown to produce results that have proven to be reliable predictors of outcomes, including election results. If you have a question on education that you would like to see addressed in a future ED Pulse poll, feel free to submit it in the comment section below, along with any other comments.

Kit Harris is the marketing research lead at ASCD. The quantitative and qualitative research work done is in support of strategic initiatives in marketing, membership, product/program/service development, and conferences/meetings. Harris started her career in Chicago at a marketing research firm, then moved to D.C. to serve as the research director at advertising agency Earle Palmer Brown & Associates. Prior to coming to ASCD, she ran her own research firm.

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