Title page for ETD etd-10252006-134555

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Grant, Allen C.
Author's Email Address agrant@lsu.edu
URN etd-10252006-134555
Title The Development of Global Awareness in Elementary Students through Participation in an Online Cross-Cultural Project
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Educational Leadership, Research & Counseling
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Janice Hinson Committee Chair
Jerry Willis Committee Member
S Kim MacGregor Committee Member
Yiping Lou Committee Member
Cavan McCarthy Dean's Representative
  • global awareness
  • cultural awareness
  • distance education
Date of Defense 2006-10-11
Availability unrestricted
This study provided insights about how to develop online cross-cultural projects designed to foster global awareness in upper elementary-age students. Three schools, located in the southern United States, Mexico and Turkey, implemented a cross-cultural model as part of a comparative case study. The primary goal of this research was to gain an understanding of how these populations develop global awareness in an online environment. A second goal was to determine the necessary implications for practice when conducting online, cross-cultural projects in upper elementary classrooms. During eight weeks of implementation, students participated in cross-cultural groups as members of an online community. Qualitative data were collected from the online threaded discussions, focus group interviews with eight case study participants, teacher interviews, parent interviews and observations. Quantitative data from the Inventory of Intercultural Sensitivity (ICCS) survey was collected. Results showed that online cross-cultural projects are an enjoyable and viable means of developing global awareness in upper elementary age students, and that the development of global awareness in an online environment is dependent upon changes in participantsí social comfort zones. Changes in social comfort zones were shown to best occur through social, collaborative experiences, with gender, learning styles and country of origin playing an important role in the design of the online cross-cultural projects. In addition, the study determined that while students enjoy learning about global issues from other students rather than from teachers and textbooks, active teacher involvement in cross-cultural project is necessary for student success. The project concluded that collaborative, constructivist instructional design is essential for the development of online cross-cultural projects.
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