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The Influence of Globally Oriented Teachers’ Positionalities in World History Classrooms

Shatara, Hanadi Josephine

Globally oriented content and perspectives are urgently needed in United States secondary classrooms as the world continues to become more interconnected. U.S. secondary students are typically exposed to global topics in world history courses. There is limited research on the intersection of global education and world history, particularly within empirical studies concerning teachers’ positionalities and practice. This qualitative study explores this gap by asking: How do self-identified globally oriented world history teachers’ positionalities influence their curricular and pedagogical decisions? The sub-questions are: What identities, experiences, and surrounding social structures shape teachers’ understanding of themselves as global educators? Where/when/how do world history teachers position themselves within the knowledge, material, and teaching about the world? This study, utilizing interviews, elicitation tasks (concept mapping, identity card sort, global image ranking), and observations of teaching, investigated eight globally oriented New York City public school world history teachers. Findings suggest reconceptualizing teacher positionalities to include worldviews and place-based experiences abroad in addition to identities, subjectivities, and contexts. These intertwining aspects of world history teachers’ positionalities influenced their practice to teach with a global orientation in a world history classroom. Four worldviews were significant in how these teachers framed the world for themselves and their students: interconnectedness, justice-orientations, cosmopolitanism, and critical perspectives. Place-based experiences abroad were significant aspects to their positionalities in that they gained content knowledge of the place while confronting their social positions and privileges. These engagements contributed to the ways in which they approached their knowledge construction of the world in their approaches to curriculum and teaching. I suggest these aspects of teacher positionalities be integrated into future research in global education and social studies teacher education programs.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Teaching of Social Studies
Thesis Advisors
Schmidt, Sandra
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 6, 2020