Teachers' perceptions of their cultural competencies: An investigation in the relationships among teacher characteristics and cultural competence

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Leighton, Lindsay
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The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between teacher characteristics and cultural competencies in teachers. Participants were 120 teachers enrolled in graduate courses in the Faculty of Education at Mount Saint Vincent University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They completed a survey designed for this study, titled the Teachers' Perceptions of their Cultural Competence and a demographic survey. Teachers were divided into a number of groups based on the following teacher characteristics: sex (male, female); highest degree obtained (Bachelor, Masters); experience (novice -nine or less years, veteran - ten or more years); school level (elementary, secondary); subject (arts, sciences); courses with a cultural competency focus completed (no courses, at least one course); and professional development workshops with a cultural competency focus completed (no workshops, at least one workshop). Teacher characteristics were compared to the three different types of cultural competencies examined (awareness, knowledge, and skills) (Sue, 1989). Findings indicated significant differences among the types of cultural competencies, when compared with all teacher characteristics and main effects of sex, school level and workshops. Also, it was determined that school level and workshops accounted for most of the variance in total cultural competency scores and skills competency scores.
Nova Scotia teachers , Ethnic attitudes , Cultural competence