Publication Date

2006

Abstract

Do global education programs really affect their participants' attitudes and actions regarding social action? These programs are designed to make a difference in individuals' lives, to lead to social change by providing participants with an experiential educational experience that educates and inspires them to action. These programs strive to work towards the creation of lasting social change, but how effective are they? This paper examined the question: What do participants in global education experiences report as effects of their experience on their social change attitudes or efforts? The study was based on the Victoria International Development Education Association's (VIDEA) Harnessing the Wave project's experiential education component in Zambia. Data collection included a qualitative questionnaire and content analysis of self- reflection papers and image maps. Each instrument was given prior to their departure to Zambia and again upon their return, in order to ascertain the amount of, if any, change in their attitudes and actions regarding social change. Do such experiences lead to action? The study concluded that this experiential educational program in Zambia through VIDEA did have a positive impact on participants' attitudes and efforts towards social action. The extent of the impact varies, but it was clear through this research that this global education program really did affect their participants' attitudes and actions regarding social action. These findings can be used in the promotion and design of further international experiential education programs, as they conclude that such programs have a positive impact on our society through their positive impact on participants' attitudes and actions regarding social action.

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