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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


The Meaning of International Experiences for the Professional Development of Educators.

Dr Diane Casale-Giannola.

Each year universities and numerous professional associations offer increased opportunities for international study and travel. Study abroad programs are argued to be beneficial for second language development, cultural understanding, better interpersonal skills and heightened interest and knowledge of world events and their meaning for individuals. For educators specifically, a greater global awareness, often attributed to educators' international experience, has led to better global education for students. In this workshop, the presenter will present an overview of a research project which included 12 American educators who participated in short and long-term cross-cultural experiences. Teaching levels varied from Pre-K to Higher Ed. Teacher disciplines included Performing Arts, Literature, Technology, Social Studies, ESL etc. Countries of participation also varied and included Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, India and the West Indies.

The purpose of the study was twofold: identification of the effects of cross-cultural experiences on the professional development of educators and the impact of such experiences on the global education of students in the classroom upon return. The outcomes, both positive and negative, will be shared, and recommendations for planning and implementing international experiences for global learning will be discussed. The presenter will compare and contrast research and literature pertaining to related topics and issues with the outcomes of this study. The audience will have the opportunity to question, discuss, and share information related to effective cross-cultural experiences for the positive professional development of educators and the promotion of global education.


Dr Diane Casale-Giannola  (United States)
Assistant Professor
Rider University

Diane Casale- Giannola is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at RIder University. She has a Doctorate Degree in Education Administration, Masters Degree in Special Education, and Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature. She has 15 years experience in the public school system as a teacher and administrator. She has taught in the United States and Singapore. She recently began her career in Higher Education. Her research interests include Global Education, Inclusion, Teacher Education, Professional Development and Special Education.

  • Cross-cultural Experiences
  • International Experiences
  • Professional Development
  • Global Education

(30 min Conference Paper, English)