Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Development of Drury University’s undergraduate Global awareness curriculum: An appreciative Study

Suzanne Kay Jones, Fielding's School of Educational Leadership & Change

The United States is becoming more culturally diverse. One hundred years ago, “1 out of 8 Americans was of a race other than White; at the end of the century, the ratio was 1 out of 4” (Hobbs & Stoops, 2002, p. 71). With this changing ratio, communities and school populations have dramatically diversified; however, the methods for teaching teachers how to work effectively with different cultural groups have not kept up with these changes. The purpose of this study was to gather information to examine a model for the incorporation of global awareness or intercultural communication competence into an educational environment at the undergraduate level. This appreciative study examined the CORE program at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri because they have created a curriculum designed to help every student, including education students, to develop a global perspective, cultural awareness, and knowledge. Not only is every student starting from the undergraduate level taking global awareness classes, but global awareness is woven into the fabric of every department. By the time these students finish their education at Drury University, 3 out of the 4 undergraduate CORE areas will contain classes, whether Biology or Architecture, that have integrated a global perspective into their curriculum. This program is an example of a small private university that is working to accomplish a task that many large public universities have not attempted. I discovered 12 themes that outline the strengths and challenges of the program, as well as goals and aspirations of the participants for the future of this program. The information inof this dissertation may prove useful for others who might be considering a program like Drury’s or who want to integrate ICC into their academic programs.

Key terms: global awareness, cultural knowledge, cultural experience, intercultural communication competency, and teacher education.

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