The purpose of the study was to establish how CRPs are applied in universities in Zimbabwe for effective teaching of culturally diverse HSE classes. The level of cultural heterogeneity in today’s university health science classrooms has become very high hence the need to manage diversity to ensure effective teaching and learning has become a must. Various studies show that university classrooms of today are characterized by a diverse range of HSE students in terms of their cultural backgrounds . Separate studies by  and  found that discriminatory teaching practices in university classrooms continue resulting in negative learning experiences for many of the HSE students who are referred to as others and are always othered during their classroom interactions. CRPs can therefore be used to navigate the challenge of managing diversity in these classrooms. The need therefore, for university HSE lecturers to be multi-culturally aware of cultural differences among their HSE students becomes very important for effective teaching [3, 4, 5]. This means that there is a need for HSE lecturers to have a certain level of multi-cultural competence for them to be able to deal with issues of cultural diversity in their classrooms through the use of CRPs. The study was guided by the following research questions:
- What factors influence the implementation of CRPs in culturally diverse HSE classes in universities?
- What challenges do university HSE lecturers face in the application of CRPs to ensure effective teaching and learning of culturally diverse HSE classes in universities?
- How significantly does the application of CRPs contribute to diversity effective teaching of culturally diverse HSE classes in universities?
- What challenges do HSE lecturers face in their application of CRPs in the teaching of culturally diverse HSE classes in universities?
Culture and Culturally responsive pedagogies
Culture has an influence on student learning and social adjustment and is defined by [6: 2] as “the shared learned meanings and behaviours derived from living within a particular life activity” which according to  and , encompasses various aspects that include customs and values, traditions, communication, attitudes, beliefs, learning styles, rituals, behaviours as well as language. According to , a number of resource pedagogies that arose through the 1970s up to the 1990s aimed at finding the intersection between pedagogy, culture and language included the CRPs. CRPs have been consistently associated with various positive student academic outcomes such as improved academic performance, improved attendance, development of positive attitudes and a sense of self-awareness [9, 10, 11]. Responsive, according to , means to react quickly and positively, to respond with interest and enthusiasm, hence connotes receptiveness and eagerness. CRPs also known as culturally appropriate pedagogies (CAPs) therefore refer to a pedagogies that enable HSE lecturers in universities to “quickly and positively respond with interest and enthusiasm to the diverse cultures of HSE students” [7: 5). CRPs by definition are teaching approaches that use cultural characteristics, experiences and perspectives of culturally diverse HSE students as catalysts for effective teaching [12, 13, 14, 4, 36, 8].
Research model and hypotheses formulation
The study is informed by the symbolic interactionist theory which was developed by  further improved by [. Interactionism also called the symbolic interactionist theory or perspective is predicated on the idea that in a social context, individuals create meanings and then act in some way based on these subjective meanings . Verbal communication in which words are the predominant symbols is key to subjective meaning making (subjective interpretation) evident in social interactions in social contexts which lead to different emotions (positive and negative) in people. These emotions lead to different ways of behaving and acting that have an influence, in the context of university classrooms, on continued participation in learning by HSE students . Subjective interpretations from a social context such as a classroom can contribute to positive emotions such as pleasure and excitement which facilitate learning or to negative emotions such as worry, nervousness, and shame among others, which disrupt learning [20 - 24]. In a nutshell, the symbolic interactionist theory argues that people behave and act the way they do because of the meanings they attach to communicative stimuli from a social context such as a classroom.
In the context of the current study, Figure 1 shows that the symbolic interaction theory helps to inform HSE lecturers in university classrooms about how certain behaviours, actions, assumptions and expectations they and their HSE students make, affect how learning progresses in culturally diverse HSE classrooms, especially with regards to the quality of teacher-student interaction as well as student-student interaction. University HSE lecturers should therefore always provide opportunities for HSE students to interact among themselves as well as with the HSE lecturers. A study by  found that opportunities for discussions through the use of flexible groupings provide HSE students with a chance for them to mix, mingle and interact between themselves as well as with the teachers thus ensuring that HSE students of diverse cultures learn from each other during lessons.
Factors influencing application of CRP
In their separate studies, ,  and  found that the symbolic interaction theory helps HSE lecturers in university classrooms to be able to modify teaching to meet the learning needs of culturally diverse HSE students through the use of differentiated instruction thus successfully manage diversity in classrooms. For HSE lecturers to be able to do this, they must possess multi-culturally competency. In two other separate studies by  and , results showed that social context symbols that HSE lecturers use in classrooms that include gestures, words, labels, streaming, grouping and paying more attention to certain groups of HSE students, can create either positive or negative emotions that affect learning in classrooms because of the types of emotions they create in HSE students.
A study by  found that different forms of communication produce emotions that result in different ways of behaving and acting that have an influence, in the context of classrooms, on continued participation in learning by HSE students. The words, gestures and labels teachers and HSE students use on some HSE students, the attention they give to other HSE students and classroom management strategies the HSE lecturers reflective the level of multi-cultural competency they possess  and this has an effect on teaching and learning (see Figure 1). In their studies,  and  found that classroom management activities such as building a caring and supportive classroom learning environment, setting a positive tone for all HSE students as well as setting clear expectations to encourage all HSE students from diverse cultural backgrounds to aim high lead to effective diversity management. Such contextual symbols are interpreted differently (subjectively) by the diverse HSE students in the classrooms in a way that either facilitate or affect effective teacher-student and student-student interaction in the classroom thus affect learning and effective management of diversity in university classrooms in the end.
H1: There is a significant statistical relationship between the application of CRP in HSE university classrooms and verbal and non-verbal communication.
H2: There is a significant statistical relationship between the application of CRPs in HSE university classrooms and cultural knowledge of HSE students by HSE lecturers.
H3: There is a significant statistical relationship between the application of CRPs in HSE university classrooms and student-teacher-interaction.
H4: There is a significant statistical relationship between the application of CRPs in HSE university classrooms and classroom management.
Culturally responsive pedagogies and effective teaching of culturally diverse HSE students
Various studies have shown that for HSE lecturers to be able to effectively manage diversity for effective teaching, they should employ CRPs. Such pedagogies ensure that teaching is more personally appealing, meaningful and effective to HSE students, as academic knowledge and skills development in HSE students is situated within their lived experiences and frames of reference [12, 33 – 35]. Furthermore, a study by  found that use of CRPs requires adequate knowledge by HSE lecturers of cultural knowledge (cultural backgrounds) of all their HSE students as a base or starting point, and should include the development of curricula that have cultural diversity elements in their content. Separate studies by ,  and  found that effective management of diversity that leads to effective teaching requires teachers to make pedagogic decisions and implement teaching approaches that promote academic and social development of HSE students, encourage teacher-student interaction, build teamwork aimed at diverse HSE students, and reduce competition.
In their study also, [15:3] found that to be able to effectively manage diversity through the use of CRPs, HSE lecturers need to “possess adequate cultural knowledge, prior experiences, and frames of reference of their diverse HSE students in order to make their learning encounters in classrooms more relevant and effective”. In his study also,  found that to be able to manage diversity in their classrooms and effectively teach diverse HSE students through the use of CRPs, HSE lecturers should employ approaches that satisfy the learning needs of different HSE students’ epistemologies particularly with regards to how HSE students organise their world cognitively through their diverse language and symbols.  as well as  in their separate studies also found that for HSE lecturers to successfully apply CRPs to manage diversity and effectively teach their diverse HSE students, they need to employ multiple pedagogies in which they seek multiple perspectives from their HSE students, acknowledge all their diverse HSE students’ comments, contributions and responses as well as use heterogeneous cooperative groupings to build teamwork among diverse HSE students.
H5: There is a significant statistical relationship between application of CRP and effective teaching of culturally diverse HSE students in universities.