Purpose – This study seeks to evaluate the application of a social‐virtual curriculum delivered through in‐classroom and web‐based activities, aiming to develop youth's social‐cultural skills, cultural competency and multicultural awareness. Specifically, the study evaluates the overall impact of the curriculum to the participating youth's Universality‐Diversity Orientation, diversity of contact, relativistic appreciation (RA) and comfort with differences. It examines the influence of gender, ethnicity and religion to the aforementioned variables. Finally, it aims to identify the role of the curriculum and the Web 2.0 in promoting multiculturalism and multicultural education and in changing youth's perceptions, and attitudes towards others. Design/methodology/approach – A quantitative approach was applied, using the Miville‐Guzman Universality‐Diversity Scale that measures an individual's Universal‐Diverse Orientation. Descriptive (frequencies, percentages, means, standard deviations and Cronbach's alpha) and inferential (the independent t ‐test, the paired‐sample t ‐test and the one‐way analysis of variances) statistics were conducted. Questionnaires were given to 303 students. The pre‐measurement took place in April 2008 (70 per cent response rate) and the post‐measurement took place in June‐July 2009 (45 per cent response rate). Findings – The study discusses the impact of the social‐virtual curriculum, the influence of gender, ethnicity and religion, the role of the social‐virtual curriculum and the Web 2.0 tools in promoting multiculturalism and multicultural education and in changing youth's beliefs, perceptions and attitudes towards others and the new learning, collaboration and communication culture established. Originality/value – The study constitutes the foundation for further research to be conducted regarding the educational use of Web 2.0 tools, the in‐depth examination of the application of the educational networking within the school curriculum.
Multicultural Education & Technology Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 23, 2011
Keywords: E‐learning; Web 2.0; Multicultural; Ethnicity; Gender; Religion; Youth; Culture; Social skills