Our world is becoming more interconnected through international commerce, new technological developments, and vast communications systems. As a result, the ability to successfully communicate and interact in this global environment is of critical importance. Thus, institutions of higher education are actively developing programs to address the challenges of a new interconnected world through programs that include intercultural education. At the vanguard of such institutional efforts is the development and expansion of study abroad programs, specifically in the area of short-term international service learning. As these programs expand, it becomes important that research and analysis around such programs also develops.
To fill the gap in the existing literature, the focus of this study is an exploration of the perceived effects of an international arts-focused service learning program from the perspective of program participants who traveled to East Africa. The research design is a basic qualitative study utilizing Chickering and Reisser's seven vectors of student development and Bennett's model of intercultural sensitivity as a theoretical framework to explore the perceived identity development and intercultural development of the six participants from their perspectives.
The results of the study indicate a clear connection between the international service learning program and participants' perspectives related to identity and intercultural development. The results of the study also suggest that after a period of reflection, participants are able to more accurately describe the experience and its effects on their lives. Furthermore, the results suggest that the reflection process facilitates participants' ability to resolve issues that may be experienced at reentry, such as confusion about the trip's meaning and questions regarding life choices. Recommendations for future study are suggested in the areas of reciprocity, group dynamics, heritage seeking, and the reflection process.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Multicultural Education|
|Keywords:||Arts-based learning, International service learning, Student development, Study abroad|
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