The global and the local: Programs that predict critical thinking and cultural appreciation development in students

Christopher Johnstone, Krista Soria, Tiago Bittencourt, Millicent Adjei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Increasingly, colleges and universities across the United States are encouraging students to study abroad, citing enhanced cultural appreciation and critical thinking skills as intended outcomes. However, on every campus, there are students who cannot participate in learning-abroad opportunities because of visa, financial, familial, or other personal reasons. At the same time, some students are more drawn to opportunities for engagement in their own communities than outside the United States. This article discusses a study that focused on student outcomes for alumni of domestic and international programs designed to be cross-cultural and experiential in nature. The findings suggest that U.S.-based service-learning opportunities that are intentionally experiential and contain cross-cultural elements may be just as effective in developing students’ cultural appreciation and critical thinking skills as international experiences. Results also indicate that programmatic elements may be as strong of a predictor of student outcomes as location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
JournalInternational Journal for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement
Volume6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • Critical thinking
  • Cross-cultural
  • International service-learning

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