Term of Award

Spring 2011

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Grigory Dmitriy

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

Robert Lake

Committee Member 3

Nancy Shumaker

Abstract

This is a multicultural study of culture adaptation, language challenge, identity formation, and power struggle -"CLIP"- depicting three Arab students who have attended or are currently attending a University in the rural South East Region of the United States of America (circa 2009-2010) When Arab students go to college in the United States of America, two cultural extremities (East and West) meet and attempt to form relationships; two different languages, Arabic and English, written in opposite directions search for a middle page to help them communicate. Books in the Arab World are read right to left, while pages in the West are written left to right. Beliefs in "No God but One God" have to comprehend the complexity of the "Holy Trinity". The purpose of this qualitative study is to construct meanings from personal experiences by Arab students; to explore the cultural transformational process of adjustments to the U.S. university curriculum; to unfold the process of reconciliation of vast differences between the two cultures. "Guess who is coming to dinner" takes on a new meaning in a complex multicultural diverse environment. Diversity provides opportunities as well as challenges; it offers multiple possibilities to acquire new knowledge and to re-examine current ideals (Banks, 2001; Cummins, 1996; Ladson-Billings, 1994; Garcia, 1998). Concurrently, diversity arise racial prejudice and discrimination as challenges for multicultural way of living (McCarty, 1990; Sleeter, 1991; West, 1988). Universities are ideal places for diversity to meet, tell personal stories, exchange customs and ideals, and saver the bitter sweet taste of cultural contact. The research shows that the complexity of the cultural transformations of the three Arab students depends upon the cultural heritage they bring from their countries -Saudi Arabia (conservative authoritarian monarchy culture), Jordan (culture of liberal monarchy), and Israel (democratic culture). The study of this complexity based on the "CLIP" model provides a more complete insight of cultural transformation in Arab students. The "CLIP" concept is a new approach to understanding marginalized groups that go beyond cultural groups. The "CLIP" concept can be used in other disciplines to study many different aspects of these disciplines.

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