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MAJOR research projects

  • Dissertation Project 

  • Fieldwork in Costa Rica and Italy

A primary goal and assumed outcome of study abroad programs is cross-cultural exchange and increasing mutually understanding between peoples of the world.  However, while the impact of participation in study abroad programs for U.S. students is increasingly well documented, there is little research that focuses on the ‘other’ side of the study abroad encounter, that is: the families, teachers, local staff, and business owners who engage with U.S. students while they are overseas.  This project explores how two host communities are impacted socially, culturally, spatially and economically by hosting American study abroad students.

  • Research funded by the Himan Brown Trust

  • Fieldwork in the U.S. and Costa Rica

  • Interviews, focus groups, participant observation

There are a number of programmatic interventions that aim to prepare pre-service teachers for teaching across racial and cultural difference; study abroad abroad is one such intervention.  While study abroad for pre-service teachers is still a burgeoning practice,  some qualitative studies have been conducted focusing on pre-service teachers’ experience abroad and faculty’s perception of their professional and academic growth. This study uses a variety of qualitative methods to explore 10 pre-service teachers' attitudes towards teaching across difference before, during, and after a study abroad program to Costa Rica. 

  • Critical discourse analysis

  • Participatory observation

  • Produced ethnographic film 'Northside'

Despite global refugee discourses, research on how teachers can best support refugee students is largely local in nature, centering on particular schools and districts in refugee-receiving counties. This work explores how taking a comparative international approach to better understanding refugee learners might benefit pre-service and in-service teachers’ ability to support diverse refugee students and their families.

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