Cultural Bias, Self-Identity, and Self-Efficacy

Cultural Bias, Self-Identity, and Self-Efficacy

Angela M. Powell (Sam Houston State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2069-6.ch004
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The goal of this chapter is to provide an overview, promote awareness for cultural competence, and to illustrate various forms of deficiencies in multicultural education among educators in the United States. When serving as an educator, it is imperative to accept the responsibility of ensuring equal educational opportunity for all students. It is understood that most individuals naturally acculturate themselves with those whom they have connections with and are most comfortable with. This is no different among minority students who are new to the United States. Cultural norms must be acknowledged and students should be accommodated to foster a more engaging learning environment. Educators should engage in multicultural training and encourage culturally diverse and appropriate exchanges among all students. This will result in more confident students who would be more likely to feel connected, accepted, and esteemed; thus, giving students a foundation to to develop motivation to learn.
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The intent of this chapter is to provide the reader with an overview of the impact of cultural bias, self-identity, and self-efficacy. As the United States’ diverse population continues to increase, educators and administrators must be aware and prepared to provide diverse students an equal educational opportunity as their peers of the dominant culture.

Research findings indicating how cultural, social, and environmental barriers among minority students eventually lead to their academic decline compared to their non-minority peers is discussed. This chapter also focuses on the disproportionality of educational opportunities to minority students and offers recommendations to educators and administrators. Educators are urged to become culturally competent in order to give their current teaching modalities a face lift and be more aware of the changing make up of the country to better serve all students.

Educators and administrators will learn the definitions and impact of:

  • 1.

    Cultural bias,

  • 2.

    Cultural competence, and

  • 3.


Questions are provided at the conclusion of the chapter to provide more reflection and understanding on the importance of the topics of the chapter.



With the ever increasing minority population in the United States (Krogstad, 2015; U.S. Census Bureau, 2010), educators and administrators should be more aware of the potential barriers for minority students. The basic foundation for the success among minority students is dependent upon a positive relationship among cultural identity, self identity, and school environment (Banks et al., 2001; Cokley & Chapman, 2008; Tovar-Murray, Jenifer, Andrusyk, D’Angelo, & King, 2012). According to Ross, Powell, and Henriksen (2016), minority students often lack a sense of belonging when submerged within a different culture. Further, the “experience of navigating back and forth between the dominant culture and one’s own culture on a daily basis, or living a bicultural existence, can be stressful” (Ross et al., 2016).

There are several factors that educators and administrators should address in order for minority students to feel more accepted in the school environment; thus, fostering a more positive learning environment conducive to their academic success (Tovar et al., 2012). Cultural bias, cultural competence, and self-efficacy are particular areas of interest when it comes to the academic success of minority students (Banks et al., 2001; Harper, 2008; McKown & Weinstein, 2002; Peguero & Bondy, 2011). Cultural awareness and sensitivity is a necessity for minority student academic success. Educators and administrators must acknowledge variations in cultures and respect all cultures without guiding minorities according to the dominant culture. They should also be active in becoming more culturally competent (Clayton, 2011) and open to change offering more opportunities for diverse learning.

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