Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Ann D. Thompson


Demographic trends indicate that the nation's school population is increasing in its percentage of children of color, while the teacher education students are largely European American women from rural areas. Additionally, these teacher education students have little experience with, or knowledge of diverse cultures. It is against this backdrop that a 1999 federal study revealed that "teaching students from diverse cultural backgrounds" and "using technology in the classroom" were areas for which neither new teachers nor veterans felt well-prepared (U.S. Department of Education, 1999). These major revelations highlight the need for teacher education programs to implement program changes that will prepare preservice teachers who are knowledgeable, sensitive to cultural diversity and able to use technology effectively in the classroom;The purpose of this study was: (a) to investigate the cultural sensitivity of preservice teachers who were minoring in educational computing, (b) to compare the cultural sensitivity of students who minor in educational computing with a matched group of students who were not minoring in educational computing, and (c) to find factors that contribute to high levels of cultural sensitivity as measured by the Cultural Diversity Awareness Inventory (CDAI);The subjects for the study were drawn from two groups of preservice teachers enrolled in a teacher preparation program at a predominantly white, Midwestern university. One group consisted of students who were minoring in educational computing and the second group consisted of students who were not minoring in educational computing (non-minor students);Results indicated that both groups had cultural sensitivity levels in the positive range, but neither group had an average response at the agree level. Further, the following factors were found to contribute to higher levels of cultural sensitivity as measured by the CDAI: (a) living in an urban setting, (b) the required curriculum courses for the educational computing minor, (c) level of interaction with ethnic minorities, and (d) participation in a Multicultural Nonsexist Education class. The findings in this study support the need for preservice teacher programs to implement changes that help prepare teachers who will be culturally sensitive and able to use technology effectively to promote academic success and equity for all students.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Carline Bradford Phillips



Proquest ID


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File Size

163 pages