1. Ukoha, Roseline BSN, RN, FNP(c)

Article Content

As a student from Nigeria, and as the classrooms in America's schools today become more culturally diverse, the article Teaching Strategies Used With Success in the Multicultural Classroom 1 was very uplifting. The author described the strategies she uses in lecturing in her multicultural classroom using the headings: Consistent outlines, visuals, content review, questioning, group work, cultural aspects of disease, note taking guides, and language issues.


During my undergraduate years, I learned firsthand how difficult teaching or learning in a culturally different environment could be. For example, in one of my examinations, the instructor gave bonus questions on The Wizard of Oz. I did not answer the questions because I did not know what The Wizard of Oz was. It would have been nice if the instructor had known the strategies the author is using successfully in her classroom.


Despite the multicultural sweep in our classrooms, some teachers continue to be oblivious to the multicultural status of their classrooms. These teachers do not have the skill of cultural empathy, which is "the ability to recognize, understand, and acknowledge the identity, experience, and position of a culturally different person without denying one's own cultural identity." 2


It is important for teachers to have this skill so they can succeed in teaching any student, no matter his or her cultural background. Additionally, it is important for students to know how multicultural issues affect their lives personally, socially, politically, economically, and culturally. 3 They must be taught to understand and appreciate other students from different cultural backgrounds so that they will be able to take care of their multicultural patients.


I applaud the author for realizing the problems she had in her multicultural classroom and for developing methods that she is using to solve them. However, these methods or strategies lack a theoretical basis. These strategies need to be testable and research is needed to strengthen the evidence-base for teaching nursing in a diverse classroom. Morrison et al designed an instrument consisting of 9 questions which, if appropriately asked and applied, would make reports of educational interventions (like the ones created by Flinn) very valuable because "educational interventions may ultimately impact on patient care as well as affecting individuals' learning." 4


In light of this, it is important to develop interventions that can be tested. The author acknowledged in her conclusion that the strategies that worked in her class might not work in another class, but if these strategies are put through research test and positive empirical evidence obtained and published, many teachers in the same situation would be confident in applying them in their own classrooms.




1. Flinn J. Teaching strategies used with success in the multicultural classroom. Nurs Educ. 2004;29(1):10-12. [Context Link]


2. Karim AU. A developmental progression model for intercultural consciousness: A leadership imperative. J Education Business. 2003;79(1):34-39. [Context Link]


3. Gay G. The importance of multicultural education. Educational Leadership. 2003/2004;61(4):30-35. [Context Link]


4. Morrison JM, Sullivan F, Murray E, Jolly B. Evidence-based education: development of an instrument to critically appraise reports of educational interventions. Medical Educ. 1999;33:890-893. [Context Link]