Global Citizenship Development in College: International Service-Learning Students’ Meaning-Making after Returning Home
Axlund McBride, RaeLyn Alicia
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Several scholars argue that higher education should play a central role in facilitating the development of interculturally competent, global citizens who participate actively and constructively in our interconnected world (e.g., Davies & Pike, 2009). However, little is known about if or how we are facilitating global citizenship development among college students, especially within the context of international service-learning (ISL) experiences and from students’ own perspectives. This phenomenological study explored how college students who participate in ISL programs aimed at developing global citizenship competencies perceive and describe their experiences as they transition back home. I conducted in-depth interviews with 10 students who engaged in an ISL program that took place in Kenya, Rwanda, and the United States in winter 2016. From the interviews, emerged three metathemes that broadly describe how these students interpreted their experiences and emerging understandings as they transitioned home: (1) redefinition of learning, (2) redefinition of community, and (3) redefinition of self. My findings suggest that ISL experiences have the potential to facilitate among participating college students not only substantial perspective transformation across the domains of learning, community, and self, but also development of specific global citizenship competencies within each of these broad areas.
- Education - Seattle