Academic journal article Journal of Allied Health

Curriculum Resources for Cultural Diversity Education

Academic journal article Journal of Allied Health

Curriculum Resources for Cultural Diversity Education

Article excerpt

As part of the 2001 Coalition for Allied Health Leadership, a review of curriculum resources for teaching diversity courses in allied health programs was conducted. A synopsis of the most relevant resources and an example of a generic diversity course for programs preparing entry-level allied health professionals, are presented. J Allied Health. 2002; 31:117-120.

AMERICANS SEEM TO AGREE that growing diversity and globalization make it more important than ever for all individuals to understand people who are different than themselves. Diversity awareness and education have become societal imperatives. Allied health educators in the United States are supporting the implementation of diversity courses and programs, and faculty see the educational benefits of a diverse campus and classroom. Although the degree of commitment to diversity through sustained effort varies among individual faculty members, and some diversity educators struggle to convince a few skeptical colleagues of the importance of diversity work, the allied health education community seems to have come to a practical consensus in support of diversity education and increasing the diversity of the allied health work force.1

The consensus for diversity education seems to be supported by the employers of allied health professionals. Diversity education enables faculty and students to learn crucial skills, including communicating with individuals of differing backgrounds, teamwork, and problem solving, all of which are essential to success in an increasingly multicultural patient population and work force. In a multiethnic society, it is important for health care providers to understand the range of cultural behaviors and the health behaviors and lifestyles of people in the context of the patient's cultural perspective.

Purpose of Project

We undertook a diversity project as a requirement of the 2001 Coalition for Allied Health Leadership program. The diversity project encompassed two facets as follows: 1) identifying relevant literature and audiovisual resources that could be used as background readings and viewings or in other ways as part of diversity courses in allied health curricula and 2) formulating an example syllabus for a course that can be used in curricula preparing entry-level allied health professionals.

Resources for Teaching Cultural Diversity

Following is an alphabetical list of print and audiovisual resources that can be used as components of diversity courses. Each resource has a brief synopsis of the resource content.

1. Batts V Modern Racism: New Melody for the Same Old Tunes. EDS Occasional Papers, No. 2. Cambridge, MA: Episcopal Divinity School, 1998.

Detailed and thorough examples of the numerous ways in which modern racism has become more covert and hidden but still is present in our professional and personal lives, including interpersonal and institutional racism, are described in this publication. The impact of covert racism of whites toward minority groups is discussed, including internalized oppression.

2. Batts V, Brown JL. Multicultural Process of Change: Assumptions and Definitions. Cambridge, MA: Visions, Inc, 1991.

This publication includes a comprehensive vocabulary of diversity terms and ground rules that can be used in diversity discussions and dialogues. Group exercises to enable participants to develop a working knowledge of the common vocabulary, grasp the concept of target and nontarget groups, and understand the many forms of overt and covert oppression as well as the levels and types of oppression inflicted on target groups, are also presented.

3. The Essential Blue Eyed: Trainer's Edition. San Francisco, CA: California Newsreel, 1999.

This videotape documents an experiment done by Jane Elliot, an elementary teacher in a small town in Iowa in the 1960s. The experiment was done after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. …

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