Children and Families in a Multicultural Society

January 29, 2001

OFFICE HOURS: M W 10:00-11:30, M 1:00-3:45 and by
122 Children’s School, nr. Harkness Chapel,
OLIN 014

COURSE DESCRIPTION and OBJECTIVES. Through research literature and multi-media, this course examines the influences of culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, societal inequity, and racism upon the growth and development of children, adults and families. The course includes an emphasis on contemporary issues related to families and children in a diverse society including child-rearing, education, and media influences. Perceptions and mis-perceptions regarding children and families of diverse backgrounds are considered. Students are expected to grasp general and specific concepts and issues regarding families of diverse backgrounds. They are also expected to make practical connections between course curriculum, service learning observations and experiences at the Connecticut College Children’s Program, and personal life experiences. The concluding objective of the course is the enhancement of our ability to think knowledgeably and critically about the theoretical frameworks, concepts, and social issues that affect the development of children and families in today’s diverse and ever-changing world, and to improve our cultural competency skills.


Lynch, E. & Hanson, M. (1998), Developing Cross-Cultural Competence: A Guide For Working with Children and Their Families, 2nd Edition. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.

Okun, B. (1996). Understanding Diverse Families: What Practitioners Need to Know. NY: Guilford Press.

Tatum, B. (1997). “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”: And Other Conversations About Race. NY: Basic Books.


A flat 3-pronged folder for journal entries. Preferably UPC Code 73333-62630 or Ampad #36-121. Labeled with student’s name on the front, and properly labeled as instructed in “Journal Reflection Questions.”


Allen, B. & Butler, L. (1996). The Effects of Music and Movement Opportunity on the Analogical Reasoning Performance of African American and White School Children: A Preliminary Study. The Journal of Black Psychology, 22 (3), 316-28.

American Psychological Association (1994). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, DC: APA (currently 3 copies at the library on general reserve).

Blake, J. (1997). Lilacs. In Blauner, B. (Ed.),Our Mothers’ Spirits: On the Death of Mothers and the Grief of Men. NY: HarperCollins.

Brehm, S. & Kassin, S. (1996). Perceiving Groups (Chapter 4). In Social Psychology (Third Edition). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Carnes, J. (1995), Us and Them: A History of Intolerance in America, Montgomery, AL: Teaching Tolerance, A Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Chao, R. (1994). Beyond Parental Control and Authoritarian Parenting Style: Understanding Chinese Parenting through the Cultural Notion of Training. Child Development, 65, 1111-1119.

Chideya, F. (1995), Don’t Believe the Hype: Fighting Cultural Misinformation. NY: Plume/Penguin.

Cooper, J. California (1991). How, Why to Get Rich, in The Matter is Life. NY: Anchor Books/Doubleday.

Deater-Deckard, K., Bates, J., Dodge, K., & Pettit, G. (1996). Physical Discipline Among African American and European American Mothers: Links to Children’s Externalizing Behaviors. Developmental Psychology, 32 (6), 1065-1072.

Dunlap, M. (1997). The Role of the Personal Fable in Adolescent Service Learning and Critical Reflection. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 4, 56-63.

Dunlap, M. (1998). Voices of Students in Multicultural Service Learning Settings. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 5, 58-67.

Edwards, A. & Polite, C. (1992). Children of the Dream: The Psychology of Black Success, NY: Doubleday.

Feagin, J. & Sikes, M. (1994). Seeking a Good Education. In Living with Racism: The Black Middle Class Experience, Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Foster, M. (1994). Educating for Competence in Community and Culture: Exploring the Views of Exemplary Teachers. In M. Shujaa’s Too Much Schooling Too Little Education, Trenton NJ: Africa World Press, Inc..

Hale-Benson, J. (1986). Black Children: Their Roots, Culture, and Learning Styles. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press.

Jensen, R. (1998). Patriarchal Sex. In S. Schacht & D. Ewing (Eds.), Feminism and Men: Reconstructing Gender Relations. NY: New York University Press.

Jimenez, F. (1993). The Circuit. In T. Lopez (Ed.),Growing Up Chicana/o: An Anthology. NY: William Morrow & Co.

Kanter, R. & Stein, B. (1980). A Tale of O. New York, NY: Harper & Row. (Available in HMD 111B reserved materials).

Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Lee, G. (1997). Mah-mee. In Blauner, B. (Ed.),Our Mothers’ Spirits: On the Death of Mothers and the Grief of Men. NY: HarperCollins.

McIntosh, P. (1989). White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. Peace and Freedom, July/August.

Patterson, C. (1994). Children of the Lesbian Baby Boom: Behavioral Adjustment, Self-Concepts, and Sex Role Identity. In Greene, B. and Hered, G. (Eds.) Lesbian and Gay Psychology, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Pearlman, S. (1993), Late Mid-Life Astonishment. In Davis, N., Cole, E., & Rothblum, E. (Eds.), Faces of Women and Aging. NY: Haworth.

Salinas, M. (1993). The Scholarship Jacket. In T. Lopez (Ed.),Growing Up Chicana/o: An Anthology. NY: William Morrow & Co.

Schofield, Janet Ward (1986). Causes and Consequences of the Colorblind Perspective. In J. Dovidio & S. Gaertner (Eds.), Prejudice, Discrimination, and Racism. Orlando, FL: Academic Press.

Shujaa, M. (1994). Education and Schooling: You can have one without the other. In Shujaa’s Too Much Schooling Too Little Education, Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.

Suina, J. & Smolkin, L. (1994). From Natal Culture to School Culture To Dominant Society Culture: Supporting Transitions for Pueblo Indian Students. In P. Greenfield & R. Cocking (Eds.), Cross-Cultural Roots of Minority Child Development. NJ: Erlbaum.

Swann, J. (1992). Girls, Boys & Language: Language in Education. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

Tasker, F. & Golombok, S. (1995). Adults Raised as Children in Lesbian Families. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 65 (2), 203-215.

Tatum, B. (1992). Talking about Race: The Application of Racial Identity Development Theory in the Classroom. Harvard Educational Review, Vol. 62 (1), 1-24.

Terkel, Studs (1992). Friends, pp. 51-56. In Race: How Blacks & Whites Think & Feel About the American Obsession. NY: The New Press.

Tijerina-Jim, A. (1993). Three Native American Women Speak Women Speak About the Significance of Ceremony. In Davis, N., Cole, E., & Rothblum, E. (Eds.), Faces of Women and Aging. NY: Haworth.


Dunlap, M. (manuscript in press). Voices of Volunteers in Community Service for a New Century (Tentative Title). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Gibbs, J., Huang, L., & Associates (1998). Children of Color: Psychological Interventions with Culturally Diverse Youth. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Rose, M. (1989). Lives on the Boundary: The Struggles and Achievements of America’s Underprepared. NY: Free Press.

Shade, B. (1989). Culture, Style and the Educative Process. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publishers.

Tan, A. (1993). From the Joy Luck Club, Growing Up Asian American. New York: Avon Books.


(1) ATTENDANCE AND INFORMED PARTICIPATION. Regular attendance and participation in class discussions are required. Attendance will be taken daily. Failure to participate in class discussions and course work in a manner that suggests that you have been informed, in part, by your readings and other course resources can negatively affect your grade.

(2) SERVICE LEARNING is required on a regular basis. It is my philosophy that service learning experiences help to enhance academic learning, and vice versa, that academic learning can enhance service learning. Therefore, I require students to engage in supervised service learning involving children, adults, and/or families who are within any portion of the life span. This semester, all students will be placed at the Connecticut College Children’s Program at Holmes Hall (X2920). A representative from the program will visit to offer an orientation and to coordinate placement assignments during the first week of classes. A letter is attached for you to give to your service learning placement supervisor when you begin your service learning. Service learning should be arranged before, and begin no later than the week of, Monday, January 31, 2000.

(3) REFLECTION JOURNAL. The purpose of the reflection journal is for the regular documenting of all of your activities related to the course. Items that are to be included in the reflection journal are: your answers to the Journal Reflection Questions; feelings and insights regarding each of your service learning experiences; reactions to text readings, reserved readings, films guest speakers and other course related materials and experiences; insights gained related to the course; and a concluding summary to bring your journal to a close at the end of the semester. Entry submissions should be ongoing from the beginning of the course, are to be typed, double spaced, completed and submitted for grading as scheduled below. Your journals must reflect that you are completing, and seriously reflecting upon, your reading assignments, service learning, and other course-related experiences.

(4) TAKE-HOME MIDTERM AND FINAL EXAMS. The take-home midterm and final exams will be in essay format. They will involve analyzing in a culturally relevant manner the characters and circumstances in a multicultural scenario, film or other multi-media. Answers must be neatly typed, doubled spaced, in APA 4th Edition Publication Manual style, and well supported with citations and references (8-10 pages for the mid-term, and 12-15 pages for the final). The final should be considered cumulative. In addition, the instructor may issue a “pop quiz” at any time without advance notice.

(5) EVALUATION FORM. Must be completed by each student·s service learning supervisor before the end of the semester. It is your responsibility to verify with your supervisor that the evaluation has been mailed by the appropriate due date. Students are not to hand-deliver the evaluations to instructor or to her box. The evaluations should be mailed or delivered by the supervisors to: Prof. Michelle Dunlap, Box 5322 Connecticut College, 270 Mohegan Ave., New London, CT 06320-4196.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE. The reading assignments given below are required and are to be completed by the date they appear in the outline unless otherwise specified. Additional recommended or required readings may be assigned and/or reserved as we progress through the semester. If any additional assignments are announced in class, you are responsible for them. Most classes will take the form of lectures, discussions, and/or multi-media presentations.

M Jan. 24 Introduction to the Course and to Each Other.
Visit from Stephanie DiFrancesco of the Connecticut College Children’s Program for orientation and to arrange supervised service learning placements.
Service Learning Documentaries: The Connecticut College Children’s Program and Floor-Time by Stanley Greenspan.
Texts: Lynch & Hanson, ch. 1-3; and Okun, ch. 1.
Recommended Reserved: Shade, ch. 1.
Note: Homework for next class.

M Jan. 31 Cultural Explorations.
Text: Tatum (1997), ch. 1-5.
Reserved: Tatum (1992); Brehm & Kassin (ch. 4); Kanter & Stein (all); and Schofield.
Recommended Reserved: Dunlap (in press), preface & introduction.
Homework Assignment Due Today: After reading Tatum (1992) and Tatum (1997), ch. 1-2, prepare a one-page statement of your racial identity stage(s) for today’s class work.
Note: 2:30 Visit to the Connecticut College Children’s Program for Orientation (dress warmly for the walk).

M Feb. 7 What are Cognitive Styles? (Sociotypes vs. Stereotypes).
Documentaries: Eye of the Storm-Blue Eyes and Brown Eyes, and Michael Rose.
Reserved: Hale-Benson, ch. 2; Carnes (skim), and watch accompanying video documentary: Us and Them: A History of Intolerance in America.
Recommended Reserved: Dunlap (in press), ch. 8; Shade, ch. 7, 14 & 26.

M Feb. 14 Film: Mi Familia (My Family), and discussion.
Texts: Lynch & Hanson, ch. 5; Tatum (1997), ch. 8.
Reserved: Suina & Smolkin; Jimenez; Salinas; and Tijerina-Jim.
Recommended Reserved: Dunlap (in press), ch. 3 & 9; Shade, ch. 10; and Gibbs & Huang, ch. 4 & 7.

M Feb. 21 Families with European, Native American, and Hispanic/Latino Roots.
Texts: Lynch & Hanson, ch. 4 & 7; and Tatum (1997), ch. 6-7.
Reserved: Terkel (“Friends :Peggy Terry”); and McIntosh.
Recommended Reserved: Dunlap (in press), ch. 4; Gibbs & Huang, ch. 8.

M Feb. 28 Families with African Roots.
Meeting with Connecticut College Children’s Program teachers to discuss
service learning questions and experiences (location TBA).
Text: Lynch & Hanson, ch. 6.
Reserved: Cooper; Blake; and Dunlap (1997); APA Publication Manual, pp. 1- 22, 258-272
Recommended Reserved: Dunlap (in press), ch. 5; Gibbs & Huang, ch. 5-6
JOURNALS DUE in appropriate flat 3-pronged folders
TAKE-HOME MID-TERM EXAM DISTRIBUTED, Must be returned by Friday, Mar. 10.

M Mar. 6 Film: Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored, and discussion.
Reserved: Edwards & Polite (S. Taylor, pp. 175-179 and K. Mfume, p. 183-188); Chideya, ch. 6-7; and Feagin & Sikes.
Recommended Reserved: Dunlap (in press), ch. 6; Shade, ch. 2.

F Mar. 10 TAKE-HOME MID-TERM DUE (Hand deliver to Prof. Dunlap or the Human Development Dept. secretary, Ms. Lisa Atkinson).


M Mar. 27 Media and Stereotyping; Biracial/Multiracial Families.
Documentaries: Too Good to Be True (The Story of Marva Collins); and
sampling of An American Love Story series.
Texts: Tatum (1997), ch. 9; Okun, ch. 8-10; and Lynch & Hanson, postlude.
Reserved: Chideya, ch. 1, 4, 11, & 18; Shujaa; Documentary: Color Adjustment.
Recommended Reserved: Dunlap (in press), ch. 10; Gibbs & Huang, ch. 10.

Homework for later this week: Browse the Juvenile section of the Connecticut College library, and the Multicultural Resource Center adjacent to the Human Development Department to familiarize yourself with some of the new
multicultural books that are available for children and families. Be sure to discuss the collections in your journal.

M Apr. 3 Adoptive and Kinship Care Families.
Meeting with Connecticut College Children’s Program teachers to discuss
service learning questions and experiences (location TBA).
Text: Okun, 2-4, 11.
Reserved: Dunlap (1998).

W Apr. 10 Families with Asian Roots; Film: The Joy Luck Club, and discussion.
Text: Lynch & Hanson, ch. 8.
Reserved: Chao; and Lee(in Blauner).
Recommended Reserved: Tan; and Gibbs & Huang, ch. 9.

M Apr. 17 Gender, Sexism, .Sexual Orientation and Multicultural Issues in Every Day Life
(Connecticut College Alumni Speak).
Films: The Smell of Burning Ants; Trevor; and It’s Elementary: Talking about Gay and Lesbian Issues in School.
Text: Okun, ch. 5-7
Reserved: Swann, ch. 3 &5; Jensen, 1998; Pearlman & Healey; Patterson; Tasker & Golombok; and Documentary: Still Killing Us Softly.
Recommended Reserved: Dunlap (in press), ch. 7; Documentaries: Dialogues with “Mad Women” and Camp Lavender Hill.

M Apr. 24 Families with Middle and Far Eastern Roots; Film: Bhaji on the Beach, and discussion
Texts: Lynch & Hanson, ch. 11; Tatum (1997), ch. 10
Recommended Reserved: Dunlap (in press), ch. 11 & Afterword.

M May 1 Field Trip to Winthrop Elementary Public School.
Text: Lynch & Hanson, ch. 12.
Reserved: Ladson & Billings, ch. 6.
M May 8 Film: Crooklyn, discussion, and course wrap-up.
Text: Tatum (1997), Appendix (skim).
Reserved: Foster.
Recommended Reserved: Shade, ch. 25.
JOURNALS DUE TODAY in appropriate flat 3-pronged folders.
TAKE-HOME FINAL EXAM DISTRIBUTED, Must be returned by Thur. May 18.

Th May 18 TAKE-HOME FINAL EXAM DUE (Hand deliver to Prof. Dunlap or the Human Development Dept. secretary, Ms. Lisa Atkinson).

GRADING: Final course grades will be based on evaluation of the following (%’s are approximations):

Class Attendance and Informed Participation (15%)
Service Learning and Evaluation (15%)
Course Journals (20%)
Mid-Term (20%
Final Exam (30%)

LATE WORK: Work that is late will be reduced by 10% of the highest possible grade for that assignment for each day that it is late.

GRADING AND ACADEMIC HONESTY: In this course it is expected and assumed that students are familiar with and abide by Connecticut College’s Honor Code. Therefore, all assignments and exams must be written solely by the stated author, and for this course only. No assignments may be submitted to fulfill the requirements of more than one course unless explicitly agreed upon by the instructors of each of the courses. Suspected cheating, plagiarism, or other dishonesty will be referred immediately to Connecticut College’s judiciary board, and could result in a failing grade for that assignment or exam and/or for the course.
Michelle R. Dunlap, Ph.D.

FIRST LABEL YOUR JOURNAL FILE: Label your journal file with, 1) Your Name, Gender and Age; 2) Your Course# and Section; 3) The Semester (e.g., Fall, 1999); and 4) The Name of Your Service Learning Location.

SPECIAL NOTE FOR HMD 321: Your journal is to also be used for reflecting upon and responding to readings, films, guest speakers and other course related materials and experiences.

GENERAL FORMAT INFORMATION: The journal allows you to stretch your thinking beyond the boundaries of the classroom. It is intended as an opportunity for you to relate what you are studying about children, adults and families to what you see them doing as you observe them in your service learning settings as well as to reflect upon concepts and experiences related to the course.

LABEL EACH JOURNAL ENTRY: Each entry in the file should be labeled with the date of visit. Some students have titled their entries or added other personal touches.

HOW TO PROCESS OR TAKE NOTES: It is probably NOT a good idea to take notes for your journal while you are engaged at your service learning site. The best time to process is right after your service learning for that day, and then perhaps at any points after as you continue to think about your observations and experiences. Entries should be double spaced, and each entry should be dated. IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT AND IMPERATIVE THAT SERVICE LEARNERS REFER TO ANY CHILDREN, TEACHERS, ETC. BY INITIALS ONLY, AND NOT BY NAME, FOR THE SAKE OF CONFIDENTIALITY.

LENGTH OF ENTRIES: There is no set or required length for each entry; the length should be determined by your observation and your processing of it. As you become more at ease with writing in your journal, length will become less important. You should have at least one entry for each day that you observe. You may add more entries between visits as you see fit as you process course materials, service learning, etc.

FIRST JOURNAL ASSIGNMENT- INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING THE FIRST FEW ENTRIES: Questions to think about when observing and reflecting. These questions are to be addressed in the first few entries of your journal, and can be addressed even before your placement actually begins. Please do not fear answering honestly. There are no right or wrong responses in your journals. Thus, prior to and/or over the course of your first few service learning sessions, respond to the following questions in your journals:

1) Where is your service learning site? How will you be getting to your service learning site? Describe the surroundings of your site.

2) How did you come to select your particular observation site? In other words, what attracted you to this one over the others available?

3) What do you hope to learn or possibly discover about the children, adults or families or about the observation site? What do you hope to observe, learn or discover about child development by participating at your observation center?

4) What are your specific duties or tasks? Are you a tutor, peer model, or do you serve in some other capacity? What specifically will be your tasks and roles?

5) Describe the children, adults, or families (not necessarily each one, but collectively) with whom you are working in your service learning? With how many children, adults, or families do you come into contact? What are their age ranges and school grade levels? What do you happen to know about their lives and backgrounds (their Microsystems, Mesosystems, Exosystems and Macrosystems)? How might the participants be similar to one another? How might they be different from one another? Are there any that you might define as under-served or “at risk” for some reason? Why so? Why not?

6) Do you see any similarities between yourself as a child or adult and the children, adults or families in general or individually? What are the similarities? What are the differences?

7) What developmental deficits (physical, cognitive, psychosocial, emotional, spiritual, etc.), if any, do you think the participants have? What strengths and competencies do you think they have? What have you observed in their behavior that might illustrate these deficits, strengths, and competencies? You may include a discussion of deficits and strengths in their Microsystems(s), Mesosystem(s), Exosystem(s), and/or Macrosystem.

8) What questions stand out in your mind most about the participants? If you had a crystal ball and could investigate any aspect of their development, what would you want to focus on? Why? What would you want most to avoid focusing upon? Why?

9) Again, please do not fear answering honestly. There are no wrong or right responses in your journal. Remember that the purpose of your journal is to help you record, discuss, and reflect upon your observation experiences without fear of being graded on content. How do you feel at this point about this service learning experience? How do you view yourself with relation to the participants at this point? In other words, do you feel any attachment or connection (can you relate to the participants in any way)? In what areas do you relate? In what areas do you not? Why? Why not?

10) Where do you want to go from here with respect to your observations? Have any areas emerged yet that you think you might like to focus on in particular when you observe the participants. Are there any individual participants that you feel particularly interesting? Jot any ideas for future directions.

BASIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR FUTURE ENTRIES: In general, your journal entry should have two parts: (1) a record of what you have observed or experienced at the time, and (2) your response or reaction to it. Your reaction should focus on relating what you saw to information from the course. Personal reactions in the journal are encouraged, but the central thrust of the response should be the relationship between what you saw and the course content as much as possible.

Human Development Department
Michelle R. Dunlap, Ph.D.
Connecticut College
270 Mohegan Ave., Box 5322
New London, CT 06320-4196
(860) 439-2634 (Office)
(860) 439-5457 (FAX) (E-Mail)

January 24, 2000

Dear School or Agency Supervisor,

The student ____________________________ is enrolled in a Human Development Course that I teach. I believe that service learning experiences help to enhance academic learning, and vice versa, that academic learning can enhance service learning. Therefore, I require that all of my students engage in supervised service learning involving children, adults and/or families, coordinated through either the Connecticut College Children’s Program or the Connecticut College Office of Volunteer for Community Services (OVCS).

The above student is enrolled in my HMD ___321___ course. All students of my courses are expected to behave in accordance with the Connecticut College Children’s Program or OVCS guidelines for behavior and performance of duties. For students of my HMD 111B Introduction to Human Development Course, they are also asked by me to make as many connections as they can between basic course concepts and real life child behavior, and vice versa, real life behavior and concepts taught in the course. HMD 302 Social and Personality Development students are expected to focus more on social developmental issues, and social cognition issues as they perform their regular service learning duties. For students of my HMD 321 Children and Families in a Multicultural Society course, students are encouraged to focus their attention more on multicultural concepts, issues, challenges and resolutions. HMD 402 Social and Personality Development Research students are expected to think in terms of the implications of particular areas of research that they are pursuing for the service learning environments and/or children and families of service learning environments in which they are engaged.

Attached to this letter you will find an evaluation form that I would appreciate your completing at the end of the student’s service learning semester. It should be mailed directly to me. Your evaluation will not only provide valuable information for measuring the progress of my students, but it can also help me to improve on the design of courses in the future.

In the meantime, please feel free to contact me if I can provide you with more information regarding the service learning objectives that I have for my students, or if you have any other questions or concerns. I thank you again for helping to provide this service learning opportunity for one of my students.


Michelle R. Dunlap, Ph.D.
Your Name: ________________ Date: __________ Title of Film: ______________________
Film Analyses Work Sheet
HMD 321, Prof. Michelle R. Dunlap

Initial Instructions: Make 15 copies of the blank sheet, and use it for making notes when viewing films in class or as a reserved assignment (after the first week of class). Store completed sheets in your reflection journal.


I. Historical Context Issues

2. Inaccurate Stereotypical Media Images In the Film

3. Cognitive/Cultural Style Links (i.e., “Sociotypes” vs. Stereotypes)

4. Character(s)/Family Issues and Uniqueness

5. Connections to your own culture, family and/or experiences

6. Your emotional experiences with, and reactions to, the film. Which portions and why?

7. Other notes:

School: Connecticut College
Professor: Michelle R. Dunlap, Ph.D
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