Journal of Global Citizenship & Equity Education, Vol 2, No 2 (2012)

Promoting Global Citizenship Outside the Classroom: Undergraduate-Refugee Service Learning at Lehigh University

Gisella Gisolo, Sarah Eliza Stanlick


Global citizenship education aims to develop students into engaged citizens of the world. As Richardson (2008) explains, global citizenship is one manifestation of social studies education that gives students a "wider and more sophisticated understanding of self and community". The Global Citizenship Program at Lehigh University requires students to examine the questions of meaning and value associated with the theme of citizenship within today's global world. Through a mandated service-learning requirement, first year Global Citizenship students were exposed to the global-local connection between themselves and refugees resettled in the Greater Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, United States. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of service learning as a facilitator for global citizenship awareness and self-concept for the students. This study is the result of a mixed-methods research design that incorporates both qualitative measures (e.g. document analysis) and quantitative data (e.g. psychometric and survey data) to create profiles of student growth and change. Through this analysis, it was concluded that service learning promoted concepts of social justice and global citizenship by the students, as well as leading to meaningful character development in realms such as empathy and tolerance for ambiguity.


Global Citizenship, Cultural Studies, Service Learning

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