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2004-2005 Faculty Research Fellows

Dawn Anderson
Associate Director
International Study Programs
Northeastern University
1 Meserve Hall

Charting the Hero’s Journey: A comparative study analyzing the effects of POE practices and principles on students from underrepresented groups that study abroad

Dawn will study the effects that POE practices and principles will have on underrepresented students that choose to break from the ranks and study abroad. She plans to follow two groups of students studying in a program in Africa, through a third party administrator like Council on International Education and Exchange (CIEE) or School for International Studies (SIT). Each group will be required to keep a journal with no less than a minimum two-page entry each week while abroad.

One group will be closely monitored and will meet on-line before, during and after the program via Blackboard. During the program, they will participate regularly in an on-line discussion framed by Linda Chisholm’s book Charting the Hero’s Journey and it’s twelve stages of studying abroad. Dawn plans to schedule seven virtual meetings, the first of which will be for introductions, expectations and Q&A. The following six will discuss two stages each meeting. There may be an eighth to wrap up. All participants must read the book before departure.

The other group will have a rather loose unmonitored structure where Dawn would connect with them no more than three times, while they are abroad. She would “check in” to get an update on their experience. Hopefully, this study will shed light on challenges international educators abroad have been facing when trying to address the needs and concerns of underrepresented groups.

This project will have the three components of POE:

1) Explicit Integration of Theory and Practice
The very nature of study abroad combines theory and practice. They are practicing the lessons learned and experiencing them first hand without any escape or return to the world in which they were raised.

2) Structured Opportunities for Reflection in Real Time
Journal requirements

3) Collective Learning through Dialogue with Others
Blackboard discussions

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