Global Education Politics and Policy: Discourses, Coalitions, and Co-Construction among Globally Committed National, State, and District Actors Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Tichnor-Wagner, Ariel
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • Our world today is more interconnected than ever before due to unprecedented levels of economic, political, social, and cultural globalization. There is growing recognition among policymakers, practitioners, and NGOs that schools must prepare students to live in a global society. Global education is one way of teaching that aims to prepare students with the attitudes, knowledge, and skills needed for citizenship in a globalized world. This three-article dissertation examines the politics and policies of global education in the United States on national, state, and local levels. The first article examines dominant discourses that national policy entrepreneurs have evoked when advocating for global education. A content analysis of documents disseminated by advocacy groups, foundations, government institutions, NGOs, and professional educator organizations promoting global education found that neoliberal and nationalist discourses were used most frequently overall. Yet neoliberal and nationalist discourses were also “stacked” alongside other discourses and not used by multiple NGOs.   The second article uses the advocacy coalition framework to understand the evolution of state global education policy in one critical case: North Carolina. Analysis of interviews with 26 key informants and over 140 policy documents revealed that a broad coalition of governmental and non-governmental actors representing education, policymaking, and business sectors coalesced around four major policy objectives: systemic integration of global content and perspectives, language programs, international partnerships, and teacher training focused on global competency development. These beliefs translated into state policy incrementally passed between 2000 and 2015. Strategies that coalition members identified as catalyzing policy action included incremental will-building, setting a vision and following through, and creating hubs. The third article uses policy co-construction theory to explore how two globally committed school districts in North Carolina adapted state global education initiatives. Findings from this comparative case study demonstrate district-level actors’ agency in adapting state global education initiatives based upon local context and multi-directional influences.  Overall, these three studies illuminate the beliefs, strategies, structures, and contexts that have shaped the adoption and implementation of global education policies on a national, state, and local scale and hold implications for policymakers and practitioners seeking to instill global competencies in K-12 students.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Houck, Eric
  • Gaudelli, William
  • Cohen-Vogel, Lora
  • Brown, Kathleen
  • Glazier, Jocelyn
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016

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