Publication Date



This study examined whether and why an academic mentoring program affected how skillfully its participants communicated with students from a different cultural environment. Based on theory and research about achieving perspective shift via intercultural contact, this longitudinal study assessed changes in the observed intercultural communication abilities of White preservice teachers over their 8 months as academic mentors for members of an African American cultural group, from whom they themselves learned realities of institutional racism. Analysis revealed several statistically significant improvements in these novice teachers’ observed interactional abilities over time. By highlighting actual improved actions, these results extend previous attitude-focused and affect-focused research about intergroup contact outcomes. Advancing antiracism education aims, this report also explicates the teacher training experience that successfully prepared these novice teachers to invest in communicating mindfully and skillfully across cultural boundaries.

Author Supplied Keywords

contact hypothesis, intergroup contact, mentoring, intercultural communication skills, antiracism, instruction, teaching


antiracism; intercultural communication in education; mentoring in education

Publication Information

The archived version is the accepted manuscript.

Kerssen-Griep, J., & Eifler, K. (2008). When cross-racial contact transforms intercultural communication competence. Journal of Transformative Education, 6, 251-269. © 2008 Sage Publications. DOI: 10.1177/1541344608330125





Document Type

Journal Article