The Influence of Cross-Cultural Experiences & Location on Teachers’ Perceptions of Cultural Competence

Solange Lopes-Murphy


The increasing cultural and linguistic diversity in academic settings necessitates greater cultural competence on the part of teachers, which in turn necessitates a greater understanding of both the level of cultural competence among teachers and the experiences that enhance cultural competence. Teacher educators and pre- and in-service teachers from two geographic regions in the U.S. completed a cultural competence survey, and their responses were used to construct a cultural competence score. Cultural competence scores were higher in the East location than in the Midwest location, and scores of participants were positively related to the extent of three cross-cultural experiences (speaking a foreign language, having been abroad, and having friends from other cultures). ANCOVA revealed an independent effect for teacher group and cross-cultural experiences, but not for location. The results of this study highlight the the need to improve teacher training in cultural competence and the importance to institutions of higher learning of understanding the cross-cultural experiences typical of the regions from where they draw their students.


cultural competence, teacher education, PK-12 education, cross-cultural experiences

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ISSN 1527-9316