Sinclair, Karen (2019, January-April). An analysis of educators’ understandings of cultural competence. Methodological Innovations. (ePub prior to print). (doi: 10.1177/2059799119825563)

Abstract: This article presents the findings of a research study that used Q methodology to explore educators’ understandings of cultural competence. Cultural competence has been acknowledged as an important concept in the education profession and has also been the subject of considerable debate across other disciplines. It is a multifaceted concept in that there is a multiplicity of meanings associated with it. This article describes the application of Q methodology as a comprehensive and rigorous approach to explore educators’ understandings of cultural competence. Data collected from 18 participants were subjected to a by-person factor analysis that yielded two significant factors. The findings validate some common elements of existing understandings of cultural competence, however, discrepancies between factors pointed to a more nuanced understanding of the role of families and communities in developing understandings about cultural competence. The findings reported are specifically in an Australian context, however, given the current importance of the nature of cultural competence across a range of disciplines worldwide, it is suggested that the findings may resonate across disciplines locally and globally.

Karen Sinclair <> is in the School of Creative Industries, University of South Australia, Magill, Australia.