Teachers’ Perspectives on Global Citizenship Education in Central Appalachia
Keywords:social studies, global citizenship education, rural education, Appalachian studies
This paper reports on a sequential mixed-methods (quan à QUAL) study that explored rural Appalachian teachers' perspectives and pedagogical decisions about Global Citizenship Education (GCE). In phase one, a questionnaire was completed by social studies teachers (n=19) from remote and distant rural high schools located in Central Appalachia across two states. Closed-ended items were analyzed through descriptive statistics. Open-ended items were coded to elicit themes that helped to answer the research questions. In phase two, two participants from the original sample were interviewed to uncover their experiences navigating GCE in their unique community contexts. Findings suggest social studies teachers in rural Appalachia, while not using the exact terminology of global citizenship, support multiple types of global citizenship aims. They tend to perceive their communities as homogenous, isolated, and conservative, which presented both challenges to and stimuli for teaching global curricula. Participants tend to perceive much of their global curricula as contrarian in their communities and, therefore, relied on professional tact and community-based knowledge as rural natives to inform their pedagogical decisions.