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Information Technology and International Relations: Using On Line, Interactive Simulations to Transcend Time, Space, and Attitudes
Unformatted Document Text:  A second category of research looks at the context in which the learning process takes place. These studies include factors outside the classroom associated with membership in social groups, years of enrollment in college, religious belief, and interaction with peers and faculty. Lottes (1994) examined changes in socio-political attitudes at an elite university, looking at the contextual influences of fraternity and sorority membership, years in college, and religious background. She reports that seniors scored higher on measures of social conscience, liberalism, tolerance toward homosexuality and feminism than they did as freshmen with no significant differences in the degree of changes between male and female students, religious affiliation or membership in fraternities-sororities. Wilder (1986) looked at the development of students’ intellectual values comparing fraternity members, former members and independents. He reports that the year of enrollment was more prominent than membership in a fraternity. Robinson (2004) found that fraternity members held more stereotypical gender attitudes when compared to members of sorority or non-fraternity and non-sorority members. Loeb (1992) reports decreased prejudices and greater concerns about politics and environmental issues in his study of potential areas of change during the first two years of college, Other studies focus on religion as a learning context. Juergensmeyer introduces his book about the global rise of religious violence by recognizing “the power of religion to provide a transformative vision of human potential” (2000: xiii, 6). Appleby describes religious teachers’ opportunity to “guide an ongoing, organic interpretive process. ” (2000: 56). Foster reports that students who continued enrollment in a “Christian liberal arts” college made “greater gains in moral reasoning and greater movement toward identity achievement than those who did not continue enrollment” (Foster, 1999: 52). Lee (2002) studied factors in college life that might influence students’ religious beliefs. She found that students tended toward changes in their beliefs; but a greater number experienced a strengthening rather than a decline in their convictions. Students’ interaction among peers and faculty are the subject of several other contextual studies. Dey (1996) reports that changed political attitudes were influenced in equal measure by students’ interaction with peers and with faculty, and the changes occurred in the direction of institutional norms. Mihlem (1998) also examined socio-political attitude change, but concludes that peer influence is more instrumental than faculty norms in explaining the phenomena. Angelique (2002) studied the effects of an intervention to help students become politically empowered. Those who participated in the intervention showed greater feelings of political commitment but a lesser sense of political efficacy when compared to a control group. A third category in the literature examining students’ attitudes reports on transnational comparisons. Much of this work is descriptive in nature neither exploring nor explaining change, but it does offer a useful insights and comparative data. The broadest in scope is Inglehart’s (1998) source book for cross national data. This extensive study examined values and beliefs in forty countries, including those of youth as well as individuals with

Authors: Stover, William.
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A second category of research looks at the context in which the learning process takes
place. These studies include factors outside the classroom associated with membership in
social groups, years of enrollment in college, religious belief, and interaction with peers
and faculty.
Lottes (1994) examined changes in socio-political attitudes at an elite university, looking
at the contextual influences of fraternity and sorority membership, years in college, and
religious background. She reports that seniors scored higher on measures of social
conscience, liberalism, tolerance toward homosexuality and feminism than they did as
freshmen with no significant differences in the degree of changes between male and
female students, religious affiliation or membership in fraternities-sororities. Wilder
(1986) looked at the development of students’ intellectual values comparing fraternity
members, former members and independents. He reports that the year of enrollment was
more prominent than membership in a fraternity. Robinson (2004) found that fraternity
members held more stereotypical gender attitudes when compared to members of sorority
or non-fraternity and non-sorority members. Loeb (1992) reports decreased prejudices
and greater concerns about politics and environmental issues in his study of potential
areas of change during the first two years of college,
Other studies focus on religion as a learning context. Juergensmeyer introduces his book
about the global rise of religious violence by recognizing “the power of religion to
provide a transformative vision of human potential” (2000: xiii, 6). Appleby describes
religious teachers’ opportunity to “guide an ongoing, organic interpretive process.
(2000:
56). Foster reports that students who continued enrollment in a “Christian liberal arts”
college made “greater gains in moral reasoning and greater movement toward identity
achievement than those who did not continue enrollment” (Foster, 1999: 52). Lee (2002)
studied factors in college life that might influence students’ religious beliefs. She found
that students tended toward changes in their beliefs; but a greater number experienced a
strengthening rather than a decline in their convictions.
Students’ interaction among peers and faculty are the subject of several other contextual
studies. Dey (1996) reports that changed political attitudes were influenced in equal
measure by students’ interaction with peers and with faculty, and the changes occurred in
the direction of institutional norms. Mihlem (1998) also examined socio-political attitude
change, but concludes that peer influence is more instrumental than faculty norms in
explaining the phenomena. Angelique (2002) studied the effects of an intervention to
help students become politically empowered. Those who participated in the intervention
showed greater feelings of political commitment but a lesser sense of political efficacy
when compared to a control group.
A third category in the literature examining students’ attitudes reports on transnational
comparisons. Much of this work is descriptive in nature neither exploring nor explaining
change, but it does offer a useful insights and comparative data. The broadest in scope is
Inglehart’s (1998) source book for cross national data. This extensive study examined
values and beliefs in forty countries, including those of youth as well as individuals with


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