Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Educational Psychology


David Rindskopf

Committee Members

Bruce Homer

Erin Ax

Jay Verkuilen

Subject Categories

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Educational Psychology | Multicultural Psychology | School Psychology


multicultural school psychology


School psychology training programs have taken on the great responsibility of preparing practitioners who are culturally competent and able to provide effective services to a diverse range of students, families, schools, and communities. Literature in the related fields of counseling psychology and teacher training show evidence of the effectiveness of multicultural training on trainees’ and practitioners’ cultural competence, with some evidence that the instructional methods used in courses and workshops play a role in outcome. There is to date a dearth of research available in the school psychology literature to provide guidance to trainers and program administrators as to the type of training course that would produce the most culturally competent practitioners. The broad range of practices employed across training programs demands an investigation into the benefits and drawbacks of available instructional strategies.

This study investigated the utility of non-traditional instructional strategies (e.g., cultural immersion, reflective journaling, case conceptualizations, other intimate learning experiences) as compared to traditional lecture-based instruction in school psychology multicultural training courses and workshops. It also examined practitioners’ perception of task value of multicultural training and satisfaction with training experiences as predicted by different instructional strategies. Using a national sample of 119 practitioners, regression analyses were used to analyze how non-traditional instruction is related to multicultural competence, subjective task value, and training satisfaction. Exposure to more non-traditional instructional activities and exposure to a multicultural practicum was found to be related to self-reported multicultural competence. Self-reporting of multicultural competence was skewed towards the scale ceiling. Qualitative responses regarding training activities that participants found particularly useful also pointed towards the effectiveness of non-traditional strategies. Implications for training and research based on these findings were discussed.