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Title:Students' perspectives and learning from a cross-cultural online course: The influence of a critical pedagogical approach
Author(s):Devers, Christopher John
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Johnston-Parsons, Marilyn A.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bruce, Bertram C.; Hug, Barbara; Ndimande, Bekisizwe S.
Department / Program:Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline:Curriculum and Instruction
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):sociocultural theory
critical pedagogy
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to learn about students’ learning through cross-cultural online education. The participants were students involved in the course “Teaching and Learning about Africa” at the University of Illinois and the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Students were able to participate in their native country while interacting with others abroad. The course explored various topics related to education in South Africa, the United States, and the world. The research questions were: What do students learn in a cross-cultural online environment? and What does an online environment add to or detract from cross-cultural education? Data from the interviews were coded into categories, and later as broader themes emerged, these were linked to the two research questions. Online survey data were analyzed using statistical methods. The theoretical framework for the study included both sociocultural (Dewey, 1902, 1915, 1916) and critical pedagogy perspectives (Freire, 1970). The discussion explored how challenging the students’ worldviews through online chat sessions, assigned readings, and assignments cultivated a problem-posing and authentic educational atmosphere, which offered students the chance to think critically, learn, and grow both academically and personally. In addition, an interpretation of how the development of trust, openness, and textual communication influenced the students’ participation in this course was explored.
Issue Date:2009-05
Citation Info:Devers, C. J. (2009). Students’ perspectives and learning from a cross-cultural online course: The influence of a critical pedagogical approach. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Publication Status:unpublished
Peer Reviewed:is peer reviewed
Rights Information:© 2009 Christopher John Devers
Date Available in IDEALS:2009-05-12

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