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Dr. Yooyeun Hwang, Education

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With the ever-increasing classroom diversity, developing competency in culturally responsive teaching is critical to successful teacher preparation. Culturally responsive teaching values diverse students' cultures and utilizes them to maximize instructional effects for each student. Keeping in mind that Hope College is a Christian Institution, there may be some religious biases and unique challenges compared to a public university. Religion is a less discussed topic in diversity-related courses, so our research aims to investigate the influence of religious diversity in teaching. For our study, we administered a survey to eight classes at Hope College in varying grades (i.e., Freshman vs. Seniors) and major disciplines (Education majors vs. non-Education majors). The survey asked students to classify words that imply different religious beliefs and briefly explain their choice. We predict that people with low prior knowledge about the world's various religions will agree more on these stigmas because they base their opinion on common stereotypes rather than facts. Consequently, higher exposure to cultural diversity in education will result in students forming more informed views on religions and their stereotypes, developing individuals into more effective, culturally responsive teachers.


Title on poster differs from abstract booklet. Poster title: Religious Diversity and Culturally Responsive Teaching

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