International education curriculum : stakeholder values and perceptions
Keller, Daniel John
O’Dwyer, John B.
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This study, undertaken with a view to increase understanding of international education, investigates the perspectives of international education held by stakeholders of international schools. Within a theoretical framework which distinguished an internationalist agenda from a globalist agenda, the extent to which those stakeholders surveyed valued international education was sought, as well as how well the implementation of education matched their expectations. A mixedmethods sequential explanatory study examined stakeholder values and perceptions, using a cross-sectional survey, and related them to demographic and contextual factors. The survey data were subjected to descriptive and inferential statistical analysis. The qualitative phase used three different cross-section methods: survey comments, focus group interviews, and personal interviews, all subjected to thematic and cross-thematic analysis. 483 parent and staff stakeholders of international schools, part of a corporate for-profit network located in the United Arab Emirates, responded to the survey. Results showed that international education was highly valued by the respondents, with significant differences related to the factors of school, primary language, educational attainment, and role in school (staff or parent). Stakeholders perceived international education was implemented less well, with significant differences related to the factors of school, number of international schools experienced, and role in school. Explanations related to results described why stakeholders may hold certain perspectives, why differences exist across certain factor categories, and why some differences focus on only part of the construct of international education.