Globalization, curriculum and international student communities : a case study of the United World College of the Atlantic
This thesis explores micro-level effects of globalization in the domain of education. Specifically, it seeks a deeper understanding of the dynamics between international education and human attitudes and behaviour in the context of an international student community. The research is based on a case study of the United World College of the Atlantic - an international pre-university college in Wales, which has a demonstrable commitment to international education. The central research proposition can be stated as follows: Curricular and pedagogical interventions which aim to: (i) transmit a vision of an interdependent global society; (ii) promote an ethic of service; (iii) preserve cultural heritage; and (iv) promote international understanding are effective tools for the development of globally oriented, participatory student communities. The research indicates that a number of curricular and pedagogical interventions which pertain to (i) - (iv) above, hold potential for the development of globally oriented, participatory student communities. The findings suggest that: • The concept of 'vision' is multifaceted requiring analysis in four dimensions: an idealistic vision; a vision of the current world situation; a vision of the Atlantic College community; and a vision of human potential. • Interventions associated with service-learning appear to stimulate development in four areas: character building, skill formation, social relations and international understanding. • Values education - bearing on the preservation of cultural heritage and the promotion of international understanding - is transmitted through a 'pedagogy of philosophical inquiry' and reflects a relativist epistemological position. Such an approach to values education poses dilemmas in a pluralist community. The concept of citizenship - at local, national and international levels - is an underlying theme. The working definition of international education adopted in this thesis is stated thus: International education is a transformative discourse which locates all fields of enquiry in a supranational frame of reference and upholds the cause of peace. Key words: globalization, curriculum, international student communities, United World College of the Atlantic, international education, values education, citizenship education, pedagogy.