Date of Graduation
In order for teachers to be able to think and teach globally, they must be involved in cross-cultural experiences; experiences that lead to change. The purpose of the present study is to provide information that may be of value in determining if the experiences of a field course designed around a trip to Costa Rica generate professional and personal change in the teachers who participate in the course. Methods for data collection included (1) in-depth, open-ended interviews of the participants before and after the field course; (2) participant observation of the field trip; (3) evaluation of participant journals; and (4) creation of an on-line participant web page. Interview data were combined with data from the journals and the descriptive data from the participant observation narrative. The final stage of data analyses was the synthesis of categories, themes, and patterns that emerged from the data. A direct correlation was found to exist among cross-cultural field experiences, reflective activities, and teacher change in the present study. The teachers who participated in the field course exhibited enhanced global environmental awareness, increased knowledge of rainforests, and a willingness to incorporate their newly acquired knowledge into their classrooms. Due to their experiences in Costa Rica, the nine teacher participants of the present study were changed; all nine exhibited professional changes and all but one exhibited personal changes.
Romeo, Peggy A., "Cross-cultural field experiences in Costa Rica: A qualitative study of teacher change." (2001). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9671.