The purpose of this study was to determine if a Structured Online Intercultural Learning (SOIL) experience represented a viable form of global experiential learning (GEL) that can yield beneficial effects in student transformation of the kind that are reported to result from “traditional” GEL (involving mobility). Specifically, this study investigated the influence of a sustained cross-cultural learning experience, made possible by online communications technologies, on preservice teachers’ global citizen identity development (their self-in-the world).
The research approach was inspired by design-based research and employed a parallel mixed-methods design, incorporating two quantitative assessment instruments (the Global Perspectives Inventory [GPI] and the Beliefs, Events, and Values Inventory [BEVI]) and a plethora of student-generated artifacts (the qualitative data). Twenty-six preservice teachers from the US and Macedonia learned together in a globally networked learning environment (GLNE) for 8 weeks. The findings showed that, although the participants were, in most cases, not able to articulate with certainty any perceived changes to their sense of self-in-the-world, both the qualitative and the quantitative data indicated that the experience did indeed result in at least modest positive changes for most of the participants.
The primary themes that emerged from the qualitative data related to self-in-the-world, were “knowledge acquisition,” “intercultural sensitivity development,” and “personal growth/self-improvement.” The quantitative data showed that U.S. students’ ideas of the attributes of a global citizen shifted positively following the intervention and that students in both groups strengthened their agreement with the statement “I see myself as a global citizen” at Time 2. Further, students reported that the real-time, small group cross-cultural conversations (via video conference), which were required by the course that served as the intervention in the study, were the most meaningful aspect of the experience. Finally, nearly half of the participants indicated that, as a result of their experiences in this course, they planned to incorporate global citizen education in their future teaching practice.
These results suggest that teacher educators should consider embedding globally networked learning experiences into teacher education curriculum and that preservice teachers should not only experience globally networked learning as students, but should also be encouraged to develop lesson plans involving globally networked learning for their future classrooms.
|Advisor:||DiStefano, Anna M.|
|Commitee:||Edwards, Jennifer L., Henkin, Megan, Killick, David, Palloff, Rena M.|
|School:||Fielding Graduate University|
|Department:||Educational Leadership for Change|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Teacher education, Educational technology, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), Global citizenship, Global identity, Global self, Globally networked learning environment, Telecollaboration|
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