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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Diffusion of Ideas and Knowledge: The Impact of Student Project Work on Action and Change
by Zacchini, James Edward, Ed.D., University of St. Thomas (Minnesota), 2017, 86; 10692979
Abstract (Summary)

With the ongoing paradigm shift from an industrial era seeking the free flow of goods over permeable but significant physical borders, to that of a knowledge economy featuring global interconnectivity and an increasingly borderless electronic frontier, we find ourselves with an educational model designed to support the former bygone age. Global Competence (GC) offers a conceptual framework for the ability to thrive in an interconnected, and ambiguous world and is important topic not only in the field of education and within Organization Development (OD). The role global competence plays in impacting teacher learning and student engagement has taken on increased significance as new skills, attitudes, and behaviors are required to tackle the ambiguity and shifting borders which are a hallmark of the internet age. This interpretivistic case study explored to what degree student project work, built around global competence themes, and featuring project-based learning, and design thinking, had in diffusing knowledge within a local school community and its extended network during the project and academic year 2015- 2016. Certain ideas reflected in the projects did in fact have the power to diffuse further into the community beyond the proximity of the students and impact change. However, the strongest finding indicated that the true power of these student projects and ideas lay in their ability to act as a springboard for a deeper diffusion of the educational model of Global Competence itself more deeply into the community. With the flow of information and how best to manage so heavily impacting the organizational development practitioner’s ability to govern and guide gradual and positive change, the results are significant towards discerning what ideas should diffuse and how best to encourage their spread.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jamieson, David
Commitee: Hinrichs, Gina, Salisbury, Mark
School: University of St. Thomas (Minnesota)
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 79/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education, Organization Theory, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Design thinking, Diffusion, Global competence, Project-based, Social networks, Social physics
Publication Number: 10692979
ISBN: 978-0-355-41462-2
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