Diversity training is a type of prejudice reduction and social inclusion intervention in need of “action research”—an integration of research and theory with practice (Lewin, 1946). Hundreds of workplaces and schools use some form of diversity training, but most interventions are not grounded in theory and there is little evidence of program impact. A recent study of a school diversity training program illustrates how action research can address theoretical issues using experimental methods and unobtrusive outcome measures. For future research, the literature on intergroup contact (Pettigrew, 1998) can provide theoretical guidance while testing and refining its principles in the application and investigation of diversity training. Action research will benefit diversity training and the broader theoretical and applied project of prejudice reduction and the promotion of social inclusion.
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