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Conceptions of global citizenship: A comparative study of American and European university students

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Abstract:

In the United States, much of the promotion of study abroad is made with the simple promise: 'If you study abroad you will become a global citizen.' However, this claim is rarely accompanied by a definition of what global citizenship actually means or of how it will be achieved as an outcome of international study. In Europe, on the other hand, educational mobility is championed as a way to create a feeling of 'European Citizenship' among today's university students, however the notion of 'global citizenship' as an enticement is not used. In this study, supported by two university research centers and a Fulbright grant, a sample of American study abroad and European Erasmus students were asked to react to the notion of global citizenship, both in terms of what they think it means and if they believe their international educational experiences will help them become more sentient citizens of the global community. The study also asked them to reflect more generally on their identity as citizens, including perceptions of national and regional affiliation. Following 'Variation Theory,' the research methodology Phenomenography was used to document conceptual variation within and among both samples. The results led to the creation of a new theoretical framework that provides a continuum of five distinctly different ways, in comparative perspective, that each group of students understands their identity as global learners. The reaction of U.S. study abroad and European mobility students to ideals of national, regional and global citizenship point out important differences in the motivations, goals, and expectations that students in each context have for engaging in international education. These findings also provide helpful guideposts for American and European policy makers and international education providers to rethink their program marketing and engage with outgoing students about their roles as ambassadors and international learners.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492284_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Streitwieser, Bernhard. and Light, Gregory. "Conceptions of global citizenship: A comparative study of American and European university students" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Apr 30, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492284_index.html>

APA Citation:

Streitwieser, B. and Light, G. , 2011-04-30 "Conceptions of global citizenship: A comparative study of American and European university students" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492284_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In the United States, much of the promotion of study abroad is made with the simple promise: 'If you study abroad you will become a global citizen.' However, this claim is rarely accompanied by a definition of what global citizenship actually means or of how it will be achieved as an outcome of international study. In Europe, on the other hand, educational mobility is championed as a way to create a feeling of 'European Citizenship' among today's university students, however the notion of 'global citizenship' as an enticement is not used. In this study, supported by two university research centers and a Fulbright grant, a sample of American study abroad and European Erasmus students were asked to react to the notion of global citizenship, both in terms of what they think it means and if they believe their international educational experiences will help them become more sentient citizens of the global community. The study also asked them to reflect more generally on their identity as citizens, including perceptions of national and regional affiliation. Following 'Variation Theory,' the research methodology Phenomenography was used to document conceptual variation within and among both samples. The results led to the creation of a new theoretical framework that provides a continuum of five distinctly different ways, in comparative perspective, that each group of students understands their identity as global learners. The reaction of U.S. study abroad and European mobility students to ideals of national, regional and global citizenship point out important differences in the motivations, goals, and expectations that students in each context have for engaging in international education. These findings also provide helpful guideposts for American and European policy makers and international education providers to rethink their program marketing and engage with outgoing students about their roles as ambassadors and international learners.


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