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Fostering Value-Creative Global Citizens: Experiences of Students of Color in Service-Learning

  • Author(s): Nagashima, Ruby Nobuko
  • Advisor(s): Torres, Carlos A
  • et al.
Abstract

Educational institutions are looking to global citizenship education as an avenue to prepare students to be global-minded leaders and find creative solutions to global challenges. However, there is not much consensus on how to educate for global citizenship. The purpose of this study was to examine the potential for service-learning to educate for global citizenship and paid particular attention to the lived experiences of students of color (SOC) whose experiences are historically underrepresented in the service-learning research literature. This qualitative phenomenological study interviewed 13 SOC who participated in one service-learning program at Soka University of America (SUA). The following research questions guided my study: 1) How do the lived experiences of SUA undergraduate SOC shape their orientation towards ASB?, 2) In what ways do experiences in the ASB program at SUA contribute to students’ understandings of global citizenship?, and 3) How do the experiences of SOC in ASB inform their global citizenship orientations one to six years after program completion? Based on Daisaku Ikeda’s educational philosophy, a conceptual model for value-creative global citizenship was used for data analysis. This study uncovered that: 1) Family and Community, Previous Civic Engagement, and Class and Privilege influenced participants orientations toward service-learning, 2) the pedagogical practices employed in the service-learning program mediated participants’ understanding of global citizenship and were deeply contextualized within an ethos of SUA, and 3) participants continued to maintain strong orientations towards value-creative global citizenship up to six years after program completion. The research findings have strong implications for service-learning as one pathway to educate for global citizenship. Findings of the research also point to important pedagogical considerations for educators who seek to employ equitable practices for SOC and other students with marginalized identities in their work.

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