Promoting Global Citizenship in a Large Enrollment Political Science Course: The Role of Project-Based Learning
28 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2013
Date Written: August 19, 2013
A large and growing body of research has recently turned its attention to the promotion of global citizenship as an essential component of undergraduate education. Although there is considerable consensus on the value of this goal, there is less agreement as to how it is best achieved or assessed. Are some pedagogical interventions or approaches more effective than others? Recent studies have made advances in more concretely defining and operationalizing the concept of global citizenship, but few have rigorously assessed substantive learning gains in this area, and fewer still have assessed changes in global values or political efficacy as the consequence of specific pedagogical interventions. This study contributes to efforts to address this gap by examining the impact of project-based learning in a large (227 student) upper-division political science course. Using a global citizenship survey developed by Levintova, Johnson, Scheberle and Vonck (2011), we compare pre- and post-project survey scores to assess three dimensions of global citizenship: (1) global knowledge, (2) global empathy, and (3) global political efficacy. We find that project-based learning contributes to the development of global citizenship skills at statistically significant levels in all three areas. Qualitative analysis of student responses to an open-ended end-of-term survey question also provides compelling evidence for the use of project-based learning as an effective means for promoting increased understanding of global citizenship and the skills supportive of it.
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