Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Rebecca Hovey


This capstone examines the concept of reciprocity and its practical applications between cross-cultural education programs and their local communities. Against a backdrop of rapid internationalization in universities and schools nationwide, a workshop and guidebook were carefully designed to provide programs with the means to start thinking more in-depth about the nature of their relationships with community partners. The Participatory Action Research (PAR) process is used as the foundation for this exploration of reciprocity, and the curriculum focuses on sharing and processing reciprocity-related experiences, ideas, and information between program staff and partners. The ultimate goal of such a process is to make improvements that are mutually beneficial. Programs begin by exploring the meaning and importance of reciprocity. Next, they examine the different theories behind the desire to collaborate, thus raising an interesting discussion of the tension between self and collective interest. Programs then use several frameworks to analyze whether existing partnerships are reciprocal. Finally, programs develop an action plan to integrate community partners into the PAR process. With both the program and community perspective represented, healthier, more reciprocal relationships can develop.


Curriculum and Instruction | International and Comparative Education