Forms of support for and challenges to fostering international-mindedness: perspectives about the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program from different school contexts
Lane, Jennie Farber
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This study investigates students’, teachers’ and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program coordinators’ perceptions of forms of support for and challenges to international-mindedness. It specifically investigates how the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program core components: Creativity, Activity, Service, Theory of Knowledge, and Extended Essay foster the pillars of international-mindedness (multilingualism, intercultural understanding and global engagement). The research used mixed methods to explore perceptions of international-mindedness within three schools in Istanbul, Turkey. The qualitative phase used semi-structured interviews, focus groups, lesson observations, and document review. The quantitative phase applied a pre and post-test design to measure intercultural understanding and the global engagement. The quantitative portion of the study compared data from schools with a Turkish (national) student body to a school that had more international staff and students and found no significant difference between and among students’ pre and post levels of intercultural understanding and global engagement in terms of improvement after one year of International Baccalaureate Diploma Program education. The study identified ways intercultural understanding and global engagement are fostered as well as various factors that undermined the implementation of international-mindedness. Regarding the three pillars of international-mindedness, the study revealed examples of the core components (especially about global knowledge, intercultural issues and community service) work to foster intercultural understanding and global engagement. The role of multilingualism and its relation to the other pillars was less clear, resulting in a reinterpretation of the international-mindedness conceptual framework used to guide the study. The revised framework illustrates that intercultural competence and global engagement should be the main components, supported by knowledge, skills, dispositions, and agency related to international-mindedness. Other researchers and educators can use this framework and associated methods to examine how international mindedness is implemented in different schools and to develop strategies to support global citizenship pedagogy in other regions of the world.
Intercultural Understanding International Education
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