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Considerations in developing a multi-ethnic research team to conduct multicultural educational research

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Abstract:

Considerations in Developing a Multi-Ethnic Research Team to Conduct Multicultural Educational Research

Conducting educational research with increasingly diverse school populations requires equally diverse research teams. This is especially true when conducting qualitative research, because matching researcher and participant by ethnicity encourages disclosure. Team ethnic composition can also increase rigor in qualitative data analysis by triangulation from analysts with different perspectives. Despite the benefits using multi-ethnic research teams, few have investigated how these types of teams are chosen and instructed to participate in all phases of the research process as a well-informed and cohesive unit.

This paper examines experiences gained in preparing for and conducting a focus group study among ethnically diverse middle school students in the Midwestern USA. The mixed-gender team consisted of three PIs and four graduate students from Arab, African, East Indian, and European descent. Various religions were also represented among the team including; Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Christianity. Additionally, two members of the research team were immigrants. Although the team belonged to the schools of education in two collaborating universities, the students came from various undergraduate academic disciplines including: education, anthropology, and history.

Employing optimal contact conditions; equal status, cooperation, shared goals, and authority support (Allport, 1954/1979; Pettigrew, 1998), this paper presents ways in which intergroup harmony can be enhanced among multi-ethnic research team members, while at the same time developing competency in techniques for qualitative data collection and analysis. In addition, we demonstrate how careful preparation has the duel usefulness of preparing team members to work with each other and with participants in cross-cultural contexts.

References

Allport, G. W. (1954/1979). The Nature of Prejudice. Cambridge, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Pettigrew, T. F. (1998). Intergroup contact theory. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 65–85.
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Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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MLA Citation:

Kumar, Revathy., Seay, Nancy. and Warnke, Jeff. "Considerations in developing a multi-ethnic research team to conduct multicultural educational research" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 01, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p494026_index.html>

APA Citation:

Kumar, R. , Seay, N. P. and Warnke, J. , 2011-05-01 "Considerations in developing a multi-ethnic research team to conduct multicultural educational research" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p494026_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Considerations in Developing a Multi-Ethnic Research Team to Conduct Multicultural Educational Research

Conducting educational research with increasingly diverse school populations requires equally diverse research teams. This is especially true when conducting qualitative research, because matching researcher and participant by ethnicity encourages disclosure. Team ethnic composition can also increase rigor in qualitative data analysis by triangulation from analysts with different perspectives. Despite the benefits using multi-ethnic research teams, few have investigated how these types of teams are chosen and instructed to participate in all phases of the research process as a well-informed and cohesive unit.

This paper examines experiences gained in preparing for and conducting a focus group study among ethnically diverse middle school students in the Midwestern USA. The mixed-gender team consisted of three PIs and four graduate students from Arab, African, East Indian, and European descent. Various religions were also represented among the team including; Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Christianity. Additionally, two members of the research team were immigrants. Although the team belonged to the schools of education in two collaborating universities, the students came from various undergraduate academic disciplines including: education, anthropology, and history.

Employing optimal contact conditions; equal status, cooperation, shared goals, and authority support (Allport, 1954/1979; Pettigrew, 1998), this paper presents ways in which intergroup harmony can be enhanced among multi-ethnic research team members, while at the same time developing competency in techniques for qualitative data collection and analysis. In addition, we demonstrate how careful preparation has the duel usefulness of preparing team members to work with each other and with participants in cross-cultural contexts.

References

Allport, G. W. (1954/1979). The Nature of Prejudice. Cambridge, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Pettigrew, T. F. (1998). Intergroup contact theory. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 65–85.


Similar Titles:
Conducting Multi-Generational Qualitative Research in Education: A Study in Grounded Study

Negotiating Boundaries within a Multi-Ethnic Interdisciplinary Research Team Committed to Social Justice

Holocaust Education in Estonia at the Nexus of Civic Education and Multicultural Education: Advancing Tolerance or Inflaming Ethnic Tensions?


 
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