Date of Award

9-6-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Ed.

Department

Education

First Advisor

Allen, Dr. Andrew

Keywords

cognitive dissonance, disorienting dilemmas, global mindedness, International Service Learning, transformational learning

Rights

CC-BY-NC-ND

Abstract

International Service Learning (ISL) initiatives have been increasingly adopted by North American universities to better ensure that teacher candidates are instilled with the global mindedness required to ensure all students, regardless of ethnic or cultural backgrounds, have equal access and opportunity to excel in Western education systems, which have traditionally been homogenous. However, because ISL initiatives are relatively new, few studies have explored the benefits of such programs. To determine the effectiveness of ISL initiatives, it is important to evaluate the impact they have on teacher candidates. The current phenomenological study examines the lived experiences of a group of teacher candidates who participated in an international community service-learning program in Tanzania, East Africa. A series of pre-immersion, immersion, and post-immersion interviews were conducted to determine how participants interpret and attach meaning to their experience and its impact on them personally and professionally. The findings suggest that participating in ISL, such as the Tanzania program, encourages teacher candidates to engage in critical self-reflection and that the life changing experiences gained through an ISL program challenge teacher candidates’ homogenous frame of reference and instil in them the global mindedness required to effectively teach in a multicultural setting. A longitudinal study should further examine the long-term benefits such programs have throughout a teacher candidate’s careers.

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