Advancing Innovation in Global Education: Reflective Experiences of Prospective Teachers as Difference Makers




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.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biography

Iman C. Chahine, University of Massachusetts Lowell

University of Massachusetts Lowell, United States of America

North-West University, South Africa


Bakhtin, M. M. 1986. Speech Genres and Other Late Essays. Translated by V. W. McGee. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

Benveniste, E. 1971. “Subjectivity in Language”. In Problems in General Linguistics, edited by M. E. Meek, 223–30. Coral Gables, FL: University of Miami Press.

Boaler, J. 2002. “Learning from Teaching: Exploring the Relationship between Reform Curriculum and Equity”. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education 33 (4): 239–58. DOI:

Bybee, R. 2010. “Advancing STEM Education: A 2020 Vision”. Technology and Engineering Teacher 70 (1): 30–35.

Cevallos-Torres, L., and M. Botto-Tobar. 2019. Problem-Based Learning: A Didactic Strategy in the Teaching of System Simulation. Cham: Springer Nature. DOI:

Collington, T. L. 2002. “‘History Is Not Just a Thing of the Past’: The Chronotopic Transpositions of La Reine Margot”. Lit: Literature Interpretation Theory 13 (2): 97–116. DOI:

Common Core State Standards Initiative. n.d. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Accessed May 11, 2023.

De Fina, A. 2003. Identity in Narrative: A Study of Immigrant Discourses. London: John Benjamins. DOI:

Duch, B., S. Gron, and D. Allen, eds. 2001. The Power of Problem Based Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Kugemann, W., S. Aceto, C. Dondi, and N. Kastis. 2009. “Inspiring Young People to Become Lifelong Learners in 2025”. Learnovation Vision Paper No. 1.

Larmer, J., and J. Mergendoller. 2010. “Seven Essentials for Project-Based Learning”. Educational Leadership 68 (1): 34–37.

Li, Y., K. Wang, Y. Xiao, and J. E. Froyd. 2020. “Research and Trends in STEM Education: A Systematic Review of Journal Publications”. International Journal of STEM Education 7 (11). DOI:

National Research Council. 2010. Preparing Teachers: Building Evidence for Sound Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. DOI:

Redecker, C., and Y. Punie. 2013. “The Future of Learning 2025: Developing a Vision for Change”. Future Learning 2 (1): 3–17. DOI:

Salas-Pilco, S. Z. 2013. “Evolution of the Framework for 21st Century Competencies”. Knowledge Management and E-Learning: An International Journal 5 (1): 10–24. DOI:

Schleicher, A. 2014. “21st Century Education for Student Success and Economic Development”. In Transforming Education for the Next Generation: A Practical Guide to Learning and Teaching with Technology, 1–11. Intel Education.

Scott, C. L. 2015. “The Futures of Learning 2: What Kind of Learning for the 21st Century?”. UNESCO Education Research and Foresight Working Papers.

Strobel, J., and A. van Barneveld. 2009. “When Is PBL More Effective? A Meta-Synthesis of Meta-Analyses Comparing PBL to Conventional Classrooms”. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning 3 (1): 44–58. DOI:

Thomas, G. 2011. How To Do Your Case Study: A Guide for Students and Researchers. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.

Trullàs, J. C., C. Blay, E. Sarri, and R. Pujol. 2022. “Effectiveness of Problem-Based Learning Methodology in Undergraduate Medical Education: A Scoping Review”. BMC Medical Education 22: 104. DOI:

UN (United Nations). 2022. The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2022. New York, NY: UN.

Vega, V. 2015. “Project Based Learning Research Review”. Edutopia, updated December 1, 2015.

Wiggins, G., and J. McTighe. 2011. The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Yin, R. 2017. Case Study Research and Applications: Design and Methods. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.




How to Cite

Chahine, Iman C. 2023. “Advancing Innovation in Global Education: Reflective Experiences of Prospective Teachers As Difference Makers”. Education As Change 27 (May):17 pages.



Received 2022-12-09
Accepted 2023-04-09
Published 2023-05-22