Philosophy

Study Abroad Transformative Experiences: A Mixed Methods Study of Perspective Transformation.

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Keywords: study abroad, education abroad, transformative learning, disorienting dilemma, critical reflection, perspective transformation Abstract: The purpose of this mixed-methods study, grounded in transformative learning theory (TLT), was to
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    Study Abroad Transformative Experiences: A Mixed Methods Study of Perspective Transformation  by Roger Lane Russell A Dissertation Submitted to the College of Education in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education University of Mary Hardin-Baylor 2014  ii APPROVAL PAGE This dissertation was submitted by Roger L. Russell under the direction of the persons listed below. It was submitted to the College of Education and the Dean of the Graduate School and approved in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.  ________________________________________ _______________________ Christie Bledsoe, Ed.D. Date Committee Chair  ________________________________________ _______________________ Marlene Zipperlen, Ed.D. Date Committee Membe r Dean of the College of Education Director of Graduate Studies, College of Education  ________________________________________ _______________________ Michelle Reina, Ph.D. Date Committee Member  ________________________________________ _______________________ Collin Wilborn, Ph.D. Date Dean of the Graduate School  iii ABSTRACT Study Abroad Transformative Experiences: A Mixed Methods Study of Perspective Transformation. Russell, Roger L., 2014: Dissertation, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, College of Education. Keywords: study abroad, education abroad, transformative learning, disorienting dilemma, critical reflection, perspective transformation The purpose of this mixed-methods study, grounded in transformative learning theory (TLT), was to explore student experience of disorienting dilemma, engagement in critical self-reflection, and involvement of a mentor facilitating reflection regarding study abroad experiences that resulted in perspective transformation (PT). The Study Abroad Transformative Experiences Survey (SATES) was the instrument for collecting quantitative data to examine TLT. Using the SATES online instrument, participants also rated 57 study abroad learning activities that influence perspective transformation. SATES quantitative data was used to address the research questions as well as to select four candidates who had experienced PT for follow-up interviews. SATES interview data added depth to the quantitative findings and allowed an unanticipated theme to emerge. Results of the study affirm the value of study abroad to PT but also indicate  prior student expectation may play a role as well.  iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am a blessed man. The riches of my life are not found in possessions, powers, or positions, but people. Dr. Austin Vasek affirmed my value and the validity of my research question when he encouraged me to join this doctoral program. Dr. Marlene Zipperlen has enriched me with her counsel and occasional consolation. Dr. Robert Rose has been my friend, encourager, and baseball buddy  par excellence . Over the years of this program, no one has worked harder for me than Dr. Christie Bledsoe. She has gifted me with time and seemingly tireless effort as editor extraordinaire  and dissertation committee chair. My other committee members, Dr. Zipperlen and Dr. Michelle Reina, made great contributions to the ultimate quality of this study and the clarity of its reporting. However, I have never had an enriching experience that compared to sharing the doctoral journey with 25 other cohort members. Almost every weekend and certainly every summer institute included both laughter and tears. You are the best and I am better  because of it. Finally, there is Melinda, my darling, my wife, and my bride. Her patience and support made this journey not only possible but a pleasure. She gave me time and space to study, research, and write. She is the most gracious person I know and I am thrice  blessed because of her.  v TABLE OF CONTENTS Page CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1  Nature of the Problem 3 Statement of the Problem 3 Purpose of the Study 4 Research Method and Design 5 Background of the Problem 7 Evidence of the Problem 8 Setting/Organizational Profile 9 Research Questions and Related Hypotheses 9 Theoretical Framework 11 Significance of the Study 12 Definition of Terms 13 Scope of Study 15 Limitations 15 Delimitations 16 Assumptions 17 Summary 18 CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF LITERATURE 20 Documentation 21 Historical Overview 21 Current Findings 22
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