The standard belief in the United States has been that diversity positively affects students' learning. As such, the use of race as a criterion to bring about diversity in education has been an accepted practice for the past 30 years, though not without strife and contention. Particularly, recent years in the U.S. have brought a rising tide of opposition to race-based policies, culminating in the landmark United States Supreme Court decision in June 2007 that made it unconstitutional to use race as a criterion to achieve diversity in America's public schools. The Supreme Court ruling came a day after the preliminary results of this study were presented in Johannesburg, South Africa, a nation wrestling with its own history of race-based policies on education. In the U.S., the Supreme Court case and most other education-driven diversity initiatives centered on diversity of students in the classroom. The ruling presumably would also bar the use of race as a criterion in the selection of faculty. Whether it is America, South Africa or anyplace where there is a
majority and a minority, an empowered and a disempowered, faculty are considered the center and core of any learning institution. This paper uses a case study to examine faculty and student perceptions, to answer the question: What is the impact of diverse faculty on student learning and what implications might the findings have in education, not only in America, but across national and cultural borders.
|Keywords:||Teacher, Student, Faculty, Race, Ethnicity, Perception, Reality, Effect, Learning, Outcome|
Chair, Journalism Department, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
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