Theses Doctoral

Cross-Cultural Practices of Adult Educators in Blended Global Education

Gironda, Linda Ann

This qualitative study explores how adult educators use a blended teaching format, that is, the use of face-to-face teaching combined with online technology, to promote cross-cultural understanding between students from different cultures. This study is based upon the following assumptions: (1) cross-cultural understanding can be achieved through blended global education; (2) technology and online international education can help students achieve the benefits of cross-cultural understanding; and (3) by promoting cross-cultural understanding, students will learn to challenge assumptions, create new perspectives, gain global competence, and embrace international diversity.
This study examines the dedicated work of adult educators who participated in an online international teaching program, to have students from different countries, use technology to collaborate on shared projects in order to foster and promote cross-cultural understanding. The primary sources of data were: in-depth interviews with 20 adult educators, 10 from the United States and 10 from Mexico; a focus group of related academic and university professionals; and documentary analysis.
The bounded case study examined, among other things, the adult educators' perceptions of differences in teaching in a face-to-face, online, and blended global format; the activities used within a blended global context to promote understanding among students from different cultures; the ways in which adult educators learned how to teach in this environment; and finally, those factors that facilitated or inhibited the process of cross-cultural understanding within this blended global format.
Key findings included the power paradox of synchronicity; the blended cultural diversity paradigm; the impact of international collegial partnerships; and the anxiety and embrace of language challenges. A key finding was that, based upon the level of technology interaction coupled with the academic content of the collaborative work, students can achieve different levels of cross-cultural understanding from awareness to appreciation to advocacy.
A primary recommendation from this study is that adult educators and institutions should embrace technology as a creative and innovative way to help students achieve cross-cultural understanding and global competence in today's changing economy.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Organization and Leadership
Thesis Advisors
Volpe, Marie
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 6, 2019