Integrating multicultural education and computer-mediated communication: Opportunities and challenges
Ann D. Thompson
In response to national and international agendas of globalization, a number of educators are exploring the integration of multicultural education and computer-mediated communication (CMC) as a promising practice for meeting requests of educational reform. The popular belief is that the cause and goals of multicultural education can be served by CMC, due to its ability to foster access to and cultivate the development of previously unavailable, dynamic, self-sustaining learning communities. While this practice is predicted to continue, currently research in this area is sparse and existing research leaves much to question about the validity of the practice;Seeking to gain a better understanding of the integration of multicultural education and CMC, I conducted a study in which an integration of multicultural education and CMC was employed to foster an on-line forum, which supplemented a graduate English course, entitled, U.S. Multiculturalism and the Composition Curriculum. An interpretivist/postposivist research paradigm was used to unveil the dynamics of the integration. In this dissertation, I present the findings of the study in the form of three papers (to be submitted to scholarly journals). The first paper examines the current literature on the integration of multicultural education and CMC. The second paper uses a case study approach to shed light on the intricacies of a multicultural education-CMC environment. And, the third paper foregrounds the experiences of the participants and gives suggestions for future practices.