• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.


Cultural Competency in Service-Learning

Page history last edited by Ariane Hoy 4 years, 3 months ago


Color-Blindness– A focus on the universality of humans without regard to racial and ethnic differences; a mode of modern racism that minimizes aspects of racial difference and denies that racism is an issue in contemporary society (Case, 2007; Gushue & Constantine, 2007; Lewis, Neville, & Spanierman, 2012: Plaut, V. C., Thomas, K. M., & Goren, M. J., 2009; Philipsen, 2003).


Critical Race Theory (CRT) – A theoretical framework that maintains that race and racism are deeply embedded in the structure of modern society, rather than just individual acts of racial prejudice (Ladson-Billings, 1998, 2005; Parker & Lynn, 2002).


Discrimination– The “differential treatment on the basis of race that disadvantages a racial group,” which includes “both individual behavior and institutional practices” (National Research Council, 2004, p. 55).


Diversity– The state of having various races or cultures in a group (Abrams & Moio, 2009; Endres & Gould, 2009; Simons & Cleary, 2006).


Ethnicity– “Cultural characteristics shared by a group of people, including religion, ancestry, national origin, and language,” plus habits, values, and shared understandings (Philipsen, 2003, p. 230).


Experiential Education – A pedagogical method that takes students outside the classroom environment to provide hands-on experience related to their field of study (Eyler, 2009; Kolb, 1984; Miettinen, 2000; Moore, 1981; Rose & Paisley, 2012).


Intercultural competence – The development of skills and behaviors that allow an individual to interact effectively and appropriately with people from a different culture or background; sometimes referred to as cultural competence or multicultural competence (Chen, McAdams-Jones, Tay, & Packer, 2012; Colvin-Burque, Davis-Maye, & Zugazaga, 2007; Deardorff, 2011; Purnell, 2005).


Interculturalism– The presence of many cultures with a focus on meaningful interaction, equal representation, and equity; a respectful cross-pollination of cultures (Espino & Lee, 2011; Kandaswamy, 2007).


Multiculturalism– The presence of many cultures with a focus on recognizing, understanding, and celebrating diverse and differentiated groups and individuals (Crisp & Meleady, 2012; Kandaswamy, 2007; Plaut, Thomas & Goren, 2009; Sperling, 2007).


Privilege– The unearned advantages, immunities, and entitlements that some groups or individuals have over others, which impact economics, power, and opportunity. Privilege varies with time, place, and cultural contexts (Abrams & Moio, 2009; Endres & Gould, 2011; Niehuis, 2005; Rose & Paisley, 2012).


Race– A social construct that groups people based on skin color, but without any credible basis in biology (Bonilla-Silva, 2014; Philipsen, 2003; Tatum, 1992).


Service-learning (S-L) – The definition of service-learning is debated among researchers and practitioners, and includes various manifestations ranging from co-curricular volunteerism to service directly tied to the academic curriculum (Billig, 2003). For the purposes of this study, service-learning is defined as a mode of experiential education in which community service is linked with curricular or co-curricular learning objectives. Reciprocity and reflection are key components to effective service-learning (Einfeld & Collins, 2008; Endres & Gould, 2009; Jacoby, 1996; Speck & Hoppe, 2004).




Perceptions of Race and Privilege: Intercultural Competence and Service-Learning in the Mississippi Delta (Antonow, 2015)


Color-Blind Racial Attitudes Scale SCORING INFORMATION

Neville, H. A., Lilly, R. L, Duran, G., Lee, R. M., Browne, L. (2000). Construction and Initial Validation of the Color-Blind Racial Attitudes Scale (CoBRAS). Journal of Counseling Psychology, 47, 59-70.

Directions. Below is a set of questions that deal with social issues in the United States(U.S.). Using the 6-point scale, please give your honest rating about the degree to which you personallyagree or disagree with each statement. Please be as open and honest as you can; there are no right or wrong answers. Record your response to the left of each item.


1 2 3 4 5 6

Strongly Strongly

Disagree Agree


1. ____ Everyone who works hard, no matter what race they are, has an equal chance to become rich.


2. ____ Race plays a major role in the type of social services (such as type of health care or day care)

that people receive in the U.S.

3. ____ It is important that people begin to think of themselves as American and not African American,

Mexican American or Italian American.

4. ____ Due to racial discrimination, programs such as affirmative action are necessary to help create equality.


5. ____ Racism is a major problem in the U.S.


6. ____ Race is very important in determining who is successful and who is not.


7. ____ Racism may have been a problem in the past, but it is not an important problem today.


8. ____ Racial and ethnic minorities do not have the same opportunities as White people in the U.S.


9. ____ White people in the U.S. are discriminated against because of the color their skin.


10. ____ Talking about racial issues causes unnecessary tension.


11. ____ It is important for political leaders to talk about racism to help work through or solve society’s problems.

12. ____ White people in the U.S. have certain advantages because of the color of their skin.


13. ____ Immigrants should try to fit into the culture and adopt the values of the U.S.


14. ­____ English should be the only official language in the U.S.


15. ____ White people are more to blame for racial discrimination in the U.S. than racial and ethnic minorities.


16. ____ Social policies, such as affirmative action, discriminate unfairly against White people.


17. ____ It is important for public schools to teach about the history and contributions of racial and ethnic minorities.

18. ____ Racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. have certain advantages because of the color of their skin.


19. ____ Racial problems in the U.S. are rare, isolated situations.


20. ____ Race plays an important role in who gets sent to prison.



The following items (which are bolded above) are reversed score (such that 6 = 1, 5 = 2, 4 = 3, 3 = 4, 2 = 5, 1 = 6): item #2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 15, 17, 20. Higher scores should greater levels of “blindness”, denial, or unawareness.


Factor 1: Unawareness of Racial Privilege consists of the following 7 items: 1, 2, 6, 8, 12, 15, 20

Factor 2: Unawareness of Institutional Discrimination consists of the following 7 items: 3, 4, 9, 13, 14, 16, 18

Factor 3: Unawareness to Blatant Racial Issues consists of the following 6 items: 5, 7, 10, 11, 17, 19


Results from Neville et al. (2000) suggest that higher scores on each of the CoBRAS factors and the total score are related to greater: (a) global belief in a just world; (b) sociopolitical dimensions of a belief in a just world, (c) racial and gender intolerance, and (d) racial prejudice. For information on the scale, please contact Helen Neville (hneville@uiuc.edu).


Recommendations for Institutions of Higher Learning & Strategies for Implementation



Strategies for Implementation

Institutionalize service-learning and other experiential learning opportunities



  • Centralize resources for service-learning, especially assistance with cultural, racial, and socioeconomic exploration for faculty and students

  • Incorporate a specific registration designation for service-learning courses

  • Create a network of community partners as a resource for faculty developing service-learning courses

  • Nurture partnerships between the institution and community partners, to create consistent and meaningful relationships


Make service-learning accessible to students across diverse groups and programs









  • Offer courses in a variety of academic disciplines

  • Promote service-learning courses to a diverse student population

  • Accommodate students with special needs, such as mobility issues, dietary restrictions, or religious practice

  • Provide service options that allow students to incorporate them into schedules including academic, work, and family obligations

  • Provide transportation for students for whom that may be an obstacle

Expand the role of intercultural competence as a learning objective


  • Proactively embrace diversity beyond simply increasing numbers of minority students, but rather fostering engagement among students and faculty from various races, ethnic groups, and national origins

  • Create programs that expose students to people of color as leaders and authority figures, not simply as impoverished and underprivileged

  • Review language used in institutional documents, specifically diversity plans, to avoid deficit-based descriptors when describing service-learning


Offer faculty development opportunities to enhance teaching and learning




  • Apprise faculty of best practices in service-learning course design

  • Inform faculty about student development and racial identity theory

  • Guide faculty on the role of race and privilege in service-learning


Perceptions of Race and Privilege: Intercultural Competence and Service-Learning in the Mississippi Delta (Antonow, 2015)


Recommendations for Faculty & Strategies for Implementation



Strategies for Implementation

Examine the many facets of service-learning and its potential for student learning and development


  • Explore cultural, racial, historical, and socioeconomic context of service location and its community

  • Understand the role of race and privilege in service-learning experiences

  • Explore student development and racial identity theory

  • Consider the layers of understanding involved in intercultural competence, for both faculty and students

Generate purposeful and intentional service-learning course design

  • Understand best-practices in service-learning course design

  • Consider whether the course goal is exposure or engagement and plan accordingly

  • Determine if a direct or indirect model of service-learning works best to achieve learning objectives

  • Establish whether charitable or social justice outcomes better advance the course goals

  • Provide students with contextual information about the service environment before a service-learning experience

  • Design a course that allows for students from various backgrounds to excel

Encourage open communication and enhanced reflection

  • Encourage dialogue before, during, and after the service experience

  • Provide students with vocabulary to facilitate dialogue about service-learning experiences and their responses to those experiences

  • Include specific prompts and probes for reflection

  • Create a safe, open environment for questions and conversation about challenging topics

  • Provide an option for anonymous questions for particularly challenging inquiries


Create opportunities where students can learn from one another



  • Provide opportunities for a cohort of students to serve at a site

  • Create opportunities for group reflection

  • Help students recognize the layers of understanding to foster empathy among classmates from different backgrounds


Perceptions of Race and Privilege: Intercultural Competence and Service-Learning in the Mississippi Delta (Antonow, 2015)