Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Leadership and Policies


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Susan L Schramm-Pate


Curriculum for global citizenship education is gaining momentum as countries have experienced an increase in interdependence and interconnectedness through technology over the last century. Through qualitative research, this study employed a phenomenological methodology to understand how ten female elementary teachers in grades third- through fifth- at the site of the present study, located in Mundo Pax Elementary School (MPES), define global citizenship and how these teachers utilized their personal definitions to shape their curriculum within their classrooms. The data were collected through semi-structured personal interviews, the school-wide curriculum, teacher lesson plans, and final products projects. The researcher used the program Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software NVivo 10 to assist in the coding process, providing the researcher with a way to view themes from selected research segments. Themes that emerged from the interview data answered the research questions and include: 1) teacher perceptions about global citizenship; 2) roles and responsibilities for preparing global citizens; 3) promoting global citizenship in the classroom; and 4) challenges in global citizenship education.

Overall the teacher participants felt that global citizenship involves the awareness of similarities and differences among cultures other than the cultures of their students. Some teacher participants also felt a global citizen is someone who is affected by or has an impact on the world. Most of the teacher participants in the present study felt there should be a shared responsibility when teaching global citizenship, although a few teacher participants felt it was their sole responsibility. Lack of preparation and implementation time was reiterated as the largest barrier by the participants, many of whom also felt that resistance from other teachers created challenges when implementing a curriculum for global citizenship education. Participants also cited lack of support from parents/guardians and the effect parental attitudes have on students concerning other cultures. In addition, the impact technology has on students' interpersonal communication skills and a lack of monetary resources were cited as barriers.