Type of Document Dissertation Author Golay, Patricia A. URN etd-06292006-231440 Title The Effects of Study Abroad on the Development of Global-Mindedness Among Students Enrolled in International Programs at Florida State University Degree Doctor of Education Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Robert Schwartz Committee Chair Stacey Rutledge Committee Co-Chair Ivonne Audirac Committee Member Jon Dalton Committee Member Shouping Hu Committee Member Keywords
- International Education
- Global Education
- Study Abroad
- Cross-Cultural Education
Date of Defense 2006-05-18 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe purpose of this study was to determine if a semester of study abroad influenced the development of global-mindedness among students enrolled in International Programs at Florida State University. The primary research question focused on whether a significant difference in global-mindedness was achieved in students after a semester of study abroad. The study also examined (a) whether a significant difference in global-mindedness occurred for all study participants after one semester, (b) if those among the study abroad group who had frequent contact with members of the host community differed significantly in global-mindedness from those who did not, and (c) if study abroad location influenced global-mindedness development.
The instruments used for the study were the Global-Mindedness Scale (Hett, 1993) and the Host Culture Contact survey (HCC). The GMS measures five dimensions: cultural pluralism, responsibility, efficacy, globalcentrism, and interconnectedness. The HCC measures the type and frequency of contact with the host culture. Pre- and post- surveys were then administered to participants in a web-based format.
The study abroad group and a non-study abroad group completed a demographic profile and the Global-Mindedness Scale at the beginning of the Spring 2005 semester. At the end of the semester both groups completed the Global-Mindedness Scale and the study abroad group completed the additional instrument. Of the 576 surveys that were emailed to students, 196 students responded to the pre-test. After post-testing, 73 usable surveys were returned. Results were based on those respondents.
Post-test results for the study abroad group (n=49) were significant for cultural pluralism and the total post-test. There was no significant difference found on any dimensions of global-mindedness or the total post-test in the non-study abroad group (n=24). Post-test results also indicated a significant difference for cultural pluralism, responsibility, globalcentrism and the total post-test for all respondents (N=73) after one semester.
A non-significant result was found among study abroad students who had frequent contact with the host culture. However, a positive correlation existed between “home-stay” and the development of overall global-mindedness for students (N=13) who responded “yes” to staying with a member of the host country at some point in their study abroad program. Location was found to be non-significant.
The results confirmed two of the four hypotheses: (a) that there would be a significant difference in the global-mindedness of students after one semester, and (b) that there would be a significant difference between the global-mindedness of students who studied abroad and those who studied only at their home campus. The results obtained could be attributed to the study abroad experience, previous travel or work abroad, or students’ multicultural experiences in their home country. For the study abroad group, cultural pluralism was the only dimension of global-mindedness found to be significant along with the total post-test. Learning in other dimensions may require instructional methods such as service learning or culture education to examine both the objective and subjective aspects of culture.
Recommendations for future research include comparisons between the lesser attended Spain, Italy, and Panama study centers with the London study center to examine the impact of language or culture on global-mindedness development; the addition of focus groups and longitudinal studies to reveal more information about student characteristics and more detail on individual experiences and how they relate to the transformational learning; comparisons between the global-mindedness of study abroad students who have had a greater degree of domestic multicultural interaction with those who primarily originate from homogenous backgrounds; and the addition of Bennett’s Intercultural Development Inventory to gauge at what stage a student is in intercultural competence.
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