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ERIC Number: ED569774
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 244
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3039-5417-7
Transformative Learning through Education Abroad: A Case Study of a Community College Program
Brenner, Ashley A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Temple University
This case study examined how participating in a short-term education abroad program fostered transformative learning for a small group of community college students. As a participant-observer, I utilized ethnographic methods, including interviews, observations, and document analysis, to understand students' perceptions of their experiences studying in Peru for two weeks. The following questions guided the research: How do participants describe their perceptions of their experiences studying abroad? How do participants' biographies impact their perceptions of their experiences? How do programmatic features influence participants' perceptions of studying abroad? To investigate these questions, I utilized Glaser and Strauss' (1973) constant comparative method, in which I systematically and simultaneously collected and analyzed the data. Kiely's (2005) transformative learning model for service-learning served as a frame through which I analyzed participants' experiences. Four key themes concerning learning processes and outcomes emerged from this analysis. The new relationships that students forged and the intensive language classes provided the most impactful learning experiences. As a result of studying abroad, the participants reflected on and reassessed their own lives and expressed a desire to engage in future international travel. This study's findings illustrate the transformative potential of short-term study abroad programs for community college students. Previous short-term study abroad research has primarily investigated the outcomes of students' participation in four- to eight-week programs at four-year institutions; few studies have documented community college students' learning processes in very short education programs. The insights gained from this study contribute to the extant study abroad literature and inform community college administrators and faculty as they design and implement education abroad programs at their institutions. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Peru