Purdue University Graduate School
2023.12.7 Vahap Demir thesis.pdf (2.69 MB)

Constructing Global Classrooms: Influences on Social Studies Teachers' Curricular Integration of Global Topics

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posted on 2023-12-07, 18:40 authored by Vahap DemirVahap Demir

Developing students' global awareness and competencies is crucial in our increasingly interconnected world. This qualitative case study explored what influences social studies teachers' curricular decisions regarding incorporating global topics into their classrooms. The study focused specifically on five high school teachers in Indiana, USA who identified as interested in global education. Data collection involved individual semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, and document analysis. Interviews provided insights into teachers' purposes, goals, barriers, and decision-making regarding global curriculum integration. Observations and teaching artifacts offered direct evidence of classroom practices. Data was coded using a flexible inductive-deductive approach incorporating both data-driven and theory-driven codes.

Key findings were that teachers' own global experiences and mindsets strongly shaped their desire to develop students' global perspectives, despite facing external constraints like standardized curriculum and testing requirements. Teachers were driven by aims to expand students' worldviews, foster cultural appreciation, build skills for an interdependent world, and ignite passion for lifelong global learning. However, restrictive standards, content sequencing, and time limitations posed challenges. Still, internally driven teachers leveraged their agency as curricular gatekeepers to creatively infuse global topics through discussions, activities, and resources aligned with mandated outcomes. The study highlights the importance of developing internal global orientations in teachers while allowing curricular flexibility for meaningful global education. Findings inform efforts in teacher training, hiring, and professional development to support global citizenship teaching within systemic bounds.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Curriculum and Instruction

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Anatoli Rapoport

Additional Committee Member 2

Chrystal Johnson

Additional Committee Member 3

Steven Jake Burdick

Additional Committee Member 4

Phillip VanFossen

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