Using international volunteer experiences to educate university students for global citizenship

  • Author / Creator
    Jorgenson, Shelane
  • Several writers have described the aim of global citizenship education as developing in students a global ethic of social justice. Western post-secondary institutions have endeavored to educate students for global citizenship by traveling to and volunteering in developing countries. Such programs have the potential to perpetuate the epistemic violence of colonialism by ignoring the ways in which students appropriate the developing world as ‘other’ as use these experiences to solely benefit themselves. In order to address such issues and concerns, this qualitative study used post-colonial theory to analyze the experiences and reflections of six participants who participated in a Canadian university global citizenship program in Thailand. The study suggests that culture and perceived cultural differences have a major effect on how students understand their identity and agency as global citizens, bringing forth dimensions of ambivalence and cultural hybridity. In order for programs to develop a global ethic of social justice, however, students need to be informed and reflexive about the social-historical context of the country they are visiting as well as their positionality in relation to the people they engage with.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2009
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.