International Educational Interactions and Students’ Critical Consciousness: A Pilot Study

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Abstract

Online technologies facilitate connections between students around the world, but their impact on occupational science and occupational therapy students’ critical consciousness about culture is underexplored. In this article we present research on five groups of occupational science and occupational therapy students across two cohorts at one Midwestern university. We used a pretest–posttest group design and the Multicultural Experiences Questionnaire to investigate the potential influence of students’ exposure to international educational interactions on their multicultural experiences and desires. Of 157 students surveyed, those who experienced the greatest number of international educational interactions demonstrated statistically significant increases in their desire to become acquainted with other people of different backgrounds and to explore their own prejudices and biases. Given the transformative potential of international educational interactions, future research must assess the ways in which such interactions affect critical cultural consciousness apart from other educational content and design.

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