Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Bárbara C. Cruz, Ed.D.

Committee Member

James A. Duplass, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Cheryl R. Ellerbrock, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer R. Wolgemuth, Ph.D.


Cross-Cultural Awareness, Global Education, Narrative Inquiry, Simulations


This narrative inquiry explores the process through which a combination of coursework, field experiences, and experiential classroom activities engaged pre-service teachers with opportunities to expand their perspective upon culturally normative conceptions of values, beliefs, and worldview. Due to the current racial and ethnic demographic gap separating the professional ranks of the teaching force and the increasingly diverse population of students in the United States, cross-cultural awareness is imperative for both teacher education programming and membership in a culturally pluralistic society.

Drawing on multiple data points, the narrative illuminates the participant voices, context, and dynamic social process of teaching and learning. The findings comprise a heuristic portrait that describes the process of how the instructor, students, and the researcher approached cross-cultural awareness from within the walls of a university classroom.

The findings demonstrate how normative frames of reference in the class were meaningfully and experientially contrasted through a purposive curriculum under the guidance of an exemplar instructor. Findings included that cognitively dissociative cross-cultural simulations, with attendant debriefings, were effective means for engaging students in reflecting on culturally normative cognition and behaviors. This in part was due to the curricular decisions of an experienced instructor – students for the most part felt comfortable in reflecting and challenging their cultural assumptions and experiences. Not as effective was the engagement of guest speakers as a means for students to reflect on their cultural selves and others. These findings help inform and guide educators seeking to engage issues related to cross-cultural awareness, and offers new directions for future research.