Presentation Type

Presentation

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

Phyllis Ngai

Faculty Mentor’s Department

Communications

Abstract

Globally, refugees are displaced at high rates and must integrate into a society where they are an ethnic minority. Since 2016, the International Rescue Committee has resettled over 300 refugees in Missoula; about 20% of which are school-aged children. Therefore, it is important that schools facilitate refugee inclusivity and intercultural competence within student peer groups. To aid in solving this global problem, we developed a project using the three steps of Human-Centered Design that aimed to enhance teacher competence, knowledge and increase the access to resources needed to address this global problem in the classroom setting. For the inspiration phase, we reviewed relevant literature and interviewed experts. During ideation, we integrated ideas and insights collected to develop and design our project, which includes a print and online diversity resource educational toolkit for use by pre-service and in-service teachers in elementary classrooms. The implementation intended to involve piloting the toolkit for six weeks in Missoula elementary classrooms with potential adaptation for school settings with similar characteristics beyond the Missoula community. Our five objectives that guide the development of the toolkit components are to 1) reduce prejudice in schools with daily exposure and practice; 2) enhance multicultural education and widen cultural representation in classrooms; 3) supplement existing language acquisition support for refugee students/parents and teachers; 4) enhance classroom introductory period for refugee students by including diverse representation in the classroom and inspiring students to be welcoming of refugee children; 5) streamline access to educational resources for teachers. As part of the implementation, we conducted pre/post-surveys to assess attitude change among students and teachers. In addition, we obtained feedback from teachers globally on toolkit improvements for its sustainable implementation. The expected learning outcomes are to decrease prejudice and enhance intercultural competence necessary for welcoming communities for refugees in a diverse society.

Category

Interdisciplinary (GLI)

Share

COinS
 

Culture Connect: Diversity Resource Toolkit

Globally, refugees are displaced at high rates and must integrate into a society where they are an ethnic minority. Since 2016, the International Rescue Committee has resettled over 300 refugees in Missoula; about 20% of which are school-aged children. Therefore, it is important that schools facilitate refugee inclusivity and intercultural competence within student peer groups. To aid in solving this global problem, we developed a project using the three steps of Human-Centered Design that aimed to enhance teacher competence, knowledge and increase the access to resources needed to address this global problem in the classroom setting. For the inspiration phase, we reviewed relevant literature and interviewed experts. During ideation, we integrated ideas and insights collected to develop and design our project, which includes a print and online diversity resource educational toolkit for use by pre-service and in-service teachers in elementary classrooms. The implementation intended to involve piloting the toolkit for six weeks in Missoula elementary classrooms with potential adaptation for school settings with similar characteristics beyond the Missoula community. Our five objectives that guide the development of the toolkit components are to 1) reduce prejudice in schools with daily exposure and practice; 2) enhance multicultural education and widen cultural representation in classrooms; 3) supplement existing language acquisition support for refugee students/parents and teachers; 4) enhance classroom introductory period for refugee students by including diverse representation in the classroom and inspiring students to be welcoming of refugee children; 5) streamline access to educational resources for teachers. As part of the implementation, we conducted pre/post-surveys to assess attitude change among students and teachers. In addition, we obtained feedback from teachers globally on toolkit improvements for its sustainable implementation. The expected learning outcomes are to decrease prejudice and enhance intercultural competence necessary for welcoming communities for refugees in a diverse society.