Advancing Innovation in Global Education: Reflective Experiences of Prospective Teachers as Difference Makers
Keywords:problem-based learning, minor in education, undergraduate level impactful experiences
This study investigates the reflective experiences of 13 undergraduate students as they engaged in a project-based learning environment in an undergraduate course on global and local issues in education. During the course, students’ journal reflections that consisted of internal reactions and learning were qualitatively analysed over several iterations using a multi-layered coding scheme of both inductive and open codes. Results of the study revealed three major themes embedded within levels of expressions through which students narrated their experiences during the course. At each level, students’ perspectives shifted as they negotiated and presented themselves in relation to others and to the course content. Theme 1 emerged at the lexical level: expressing distancing, involvement, and solidarity with topics and classmates. Theme 2 emanated at a textual/pragmatic level: dialogue as a vehicle to stress nuances of agentive positions and self- representations as capable educators, and theme 3 arose at the interactional/social level: chorality and an inherent sense that the voyage into the new land (education as a discipline) is essentially a collective enterprise. Through project-based experiential learning, students became invested in their local community while grappling with far-reaching global problems. In the process, they experienced firsthand how personal educational experiences are connected to universal ones.
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