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Responding to racism: measuring the effectiveness of an anti-racism program for secondary schools

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Title: Responding to racism: measuring the effectiveness of an anti-racism program for secondary schools
Author: Culhane, Stephen F.
Degree Master of Arts - MA
Program Curriculum Studies
Copyright Date: 1995
Subject Keywords Racism -- British Columbia; Racism -- British Columbia -- Study and teaching (Secondary)
Abstract: This thesis reports on the effectiveness of an anti-racist training program implemented at secondary schools in Vancouver and Richmond in February and March of 1995. The program used Responding to Racism; a guide for High School Students, prepared by the author, with John Kehoe and Lily Yee. Training involved three hours of anti-racist role-play exercises from Responding to Racism. A pretest-posttest control group design was employed to measure: retention of given models for dealing with racist incidents, post-treatment levels of racism, and behavioral reactions during a staged racist incident. Ten social studies classes from two schools made up a sample population of 262 students. Following half-day workshops, three teachers carried out the program with a total of six classes of either grade 9 or 11 students. Four additional classes continued with regular curriculum to serve as the Control sample. The Cultural Diversity Scale (Kehoe, 1982, 1984), was given as a pretest to establish Control to Experimental group equivalency. A posttest Written Response to Racist Incidents instrument, used to measure knowledge of how to respond to a racist incident, found a significant positive difference between Experimental and Control groups, (t=(3.83) p.<.001). Post-training levels of racism, evaluated through the Evidence of Racism Scale, were not significantly different (+.16Sd). The final postmeasure, the Racist Incident Behavioral Scale (Culhane, 1995), found significant positive effect among a sample of 68 students (40-Exp./28-Cntl.), (t=(3.33) p.<.001). Students undergoing treatment were in the 68th percentile of Control students on the Written Response to Racist incidents, (+.47Sd), and the 92nd percentile (+1.23Sd) of Control subjects on results from the Racist Incident Behavioral Scale. Experimental students did not show significant difference when compared to Control subjects on items pertaining to empathy for the victims of racism. The results suggest the program was most successful in changing behaviour, over attitudes, within the context of a relatively short-term time period. Responding to Racism provided students with methods for responding to racist incidents which were evident on written and behavioral measures. Support given to the victims of the racist incidents, opposition to the perpetrators, and positive attempts to limit the racism in each incident were all significantly more apparent in responses of Experimental students over Control. The results reaffirm the utility of role-play anti-racist training, and validate the use of Responding to Racism as an effective package for use in secondary school settings, notably in regards to changing student behaviour in racially-motivated situations.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/3739
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]

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