Cultural Competence as an Ethical Requirement: Introducing a New Educational Model

Lauren Rogers-Sirin, Selcuk R. Sirin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Demographic data show a trend toward increasing racial and ethnic diversity among students in public schools, but the teaching population is projected to remain largely White and female. Without proper training, teachers will be ill equipped to meet the educational needs of these diverse students and run the risk of unwittingly perpetuating prevalent stereotypes and discriminatory practices about certain racial and ethnic groups. This preliminary study offers a theoretically driven model for training, the Racial and Ethical Sensitivity Training KIT (REST-KIT), which is designed to (a) increase preservice teachers' ability to recognize ethical dilemmas related to intolerance in schools and (b) provide preservice teachers with techniques and skills for handling these dilemmas. The REST-KIT is unique in that it ties cultural competence to ethical principles based on professional codes of ethics accepted by school professions and emphasizes that cultural competence is a professional requirement, not a personal choice. Pre- and posttests were given to ascertain the program's effectiveness. Both a self-report and a behavior-based measure indicated that participants showed more cultural competence after completing the workshop. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-29
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Diversity in Higher Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Quick-REST
  • cultural competence
  • multicultural
  • professional ethics
  • racial and ethical sensitivity training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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