Sojourn through Spiritual and Religious Tension: A Quantitative Study of Intercultural Competence and Worldview Development
Doctor of Ministry
Number of Pages
In today’s increasingly interculturally connected world, educators are charged to prepare students to be productive global citizens. The dilemma is determining pedagogy to effectively support students through the intercultural challenges they face during crosscultural experiences. This quantitative study investigated intercultural competence and worldview development, based on Milton Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity, and the relationship to students’ reflective processing of their spiritual and religious tension during a semester study abroad. To explore this relationship, the researcher applied a quasi-experimental strategy of inquiry using nonrandomized control (N=56) and treatment (N=42) groups. The voluntary participants were undergraduate students from a liberal arts university who were studying abroad for one semester in various types of programs in eight culture regions. The Intercultural Development Inventory was used to obtain participants’ comparative pre- and post-experience worldview development measurements. A second questionnaire collected participant reports about culture and language study before and during the study abroad, levels of interaction with host nationals, intensity factors and processing practices. Participants voluntarily read and worked through a workbook—the intervention. Among other things, the workbook instructed readers about worldview development and a particular reflective approach to process the cross-cultural sojourn. Analysis of the data indicated that while both the control and treatment groups’ worldview did develop, the change was not significant for the treatment group. In fact, the control group showed a higher average change score and was statistically significant. Though the numbers were small, analysis also showed a significant change score difference for those participants who both read the intervention and reflected about cultural differences, especially spiritual and religious differences. Those who only read the intervention showed significant negative worldview development. Finally, the study offers data supporting literature regarding confounding variables of student preparation, study location and social interaction that contribute to worldview development.
Doctor of Ministry
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.
Smith, N. L. (2010). Sojourn through Spiritual and Religious Tension: A Quantitative Study of Intercultural Competence and Worldview Development [Doctoral thesis, Bethel University]. Spark Repository. https://spark.bethel.edu/etd/868