Christa Boske

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Wasonga, Teresa A. (Teresa Akinyi), 1961-||Miranda, Wilma

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


School superintendents--United States--Attitudes


This quantitative study investigated superintendents’ multicultural attitudes and actions. To achieve this objective, 1,087 superintendents, who were members of the American Association of School Administrators, completed the self-reported, singlestaged, electronic survey. The survey consisted of four sections: (1) A modified Multicultural Questionnaire (MCQ); (2) A modified Diversity Action Survey (DAS); (3) A National Diversity Leadership Questionnaire; and (4) A Personal Heritage Questionnaire. Smith’s (1998) conceptual framework, adopted by the National Association of Colleges of Education, was the lens used to conceptualize this study. In this framework, Smith suggests that educators who do not believe that specific knowledge and skills are required to educate marginalize students are genericists, while those who believe otherwise, are multiculturalists. Completed data sets were analyzed by descriptive statistics, correlations, ANOVA analyses, and regression. In this study, the respondents scored moderate (2.0-3.0) on both multicultural attitudes and diversity actions. The study found a positive correlation between multicultural attitudes and diversity actions. There were significant differences in multicultural attitudes and diversity actions between superintendents who served school districts with up to 25% and over 25% marginalized populations. When groups were compared, only minority respondents scored significantly higher on both multicultural attitudes and diversity actions over their White counterparts. Among other groups (gender, age, socio-economic status of childhood family, religion, type of district served, and childhood family composition) significant differences were found only in multicultural attitudes. Through a regression analysis, a significant model predicting diversity actions from multicultural attitudes was selected. The study found a positive significant correlation between attitudes and diversity actions. The study also indicated that personal heritage characteristics impact multicultural attitudes and diversity actions. In this study, respondents projected increases up to 15% in marginalized populations over the next 10 years. These findings suggest that respondents leaned towards Smith’s genericist perspective. The discrepancy between the marginalized population projections and respondents’ moderate scores, in both attitudes and diversity actions, suggests the need for greater awareness of multicultural attitudes and how these impact diversity actions. Based on this study, it is recommended that schools of education encourage diverse student/faculty composition, create interactive multicultural experiences, model effective diverse pedagogical practices, encourage self-analysis, and immerse educators/school leaders in purposeful diverse learning communities.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [176]-198).


xvi, 243 pages, map




Northern Illinois University

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