Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Date of Award


Access Type

Campus Access

Document type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Program

Education; Teacher Education & School Improvement

First Advisor

Marge Magouirk-­‐Colbert

Second Advisor

Linda L. Griffin

Third Advisor

Joyce Avrech Berkman

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Secondary Education and Teaching


This qualitative research multi-case study examined the biographical and classroom experiences of three small city New England high school social studies teachers to determine how they construct meaning out of their own beliefs and experiences regarding global education and technology. The study used in-depth phenomenological interviews and classroom observations to achieve its purpose. The school participated in the Global Connections & Exchange Program (GCE), a computer-mediated international project. The following steps were used for data analysis: (a) verbatim transcription of all audio tapes, (b) multiple readings of interview transcripts, observation notes, and artifacts, (c) codification and classification of all data, and (d) connection of categories and determination of the relationship between them using the constant comparative analysis method (Merriam, 1998; Rossman & Rallis, 2003; Corbin & Strauss, 1967). The results of this study support five thematic findings: (a) The teachers' developed sense of global awareness and multi-perspectives was a result of their "spheres of influence"--social, cultural, historical, and environmental--as well as the opportunities and other circumstances that presented themselves during their formative years; (b) The teachers perceived that a majority of their values and beliefs about education, teaching, and learning were acquired outside their teacher education program; (c) The teachers' values and beliefs influenced the ways in which they saw their role as a teacher, taking into account all aspects of teaching, from the ways in which teachers build classroom community to the ways in which they facilitate the content; (d) The teachers perceived that their teacher education programs offered no formal training as to how a teacher integrates both technology and global perspective into classroom practice; (e) Participation in the GCE Program provided teachers with the opportunity to experience supported authentic professional development in the areas of technology integration and global education in the classroom.