Prioritizing Experiential Learning and Self-Reflection in the Development of Multicultural Responsiveness
This phenomenological study investigated the experiences of counselling psychology graduate students who completed the self-reflective field activity in the context of a practicum course. For this course assignment, students chose a minority cultural group that they were unfamiliar with (e.g., a specific ethnic or religious group). They were then asked to a) identify their assumptions about this group (pre-reflections)
b) attend a community event hosted by the chosen group, and c) reflect on how their perspectives changed over time (post-reflections). Participants completed an in-depth qualitative interview about their learning and engagement regarding the self-reflective field activity. An inductive content analysis methodology was used to analyze participants’ pre- and post- reflection logs as well as transcribed qualitative interviews. Results yielded three overarching categories, depicting participants’ experiences prior to, during, and after the assignment. Implications for cultural competence training are discussed, including the benefits of experiential learning as well as the need for self-reflection inside and outside of the classroom.
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