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Kari Knutson Miller, Ph.D. California State University, Fullerton.

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Presentation on theme: "Kari Knutson Miller, Ph.D. California State University, Fullerton."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kari Knutson Miller, Ph.D. California State University, Fullerton

2 CAS International Intern

3 Active Learning, Meaningful Engagement Outcomes Based Retention, graduation Academic, professional, personal development Potential for Transformational Learning Life pathways, ways of thinking and knowing

4 International internship experiences offer unique opportunities for enhancing academic, personal, and professional development outcomes. From Summer 2005-Summer 2014, 176 undergraduate students participated in international internship experiences aligned with a 3-unit upper-division child and adolescent development (developmental psychology) course at a state university in California.

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6 Knutson Miller, K., & Gonzalez, A. M. (2009). Pre-service teacher outcomes associated with service learning in domestic and international settings. College Student Journal, 43, Knutson Miller, K., & Gonzalez, A. M. (2010). Domestic and international service-learning experiences: A comparative study of pre-service teacher outcomes. Issues in Educational Research, 20, Knutson Miller, K., & Gonzalez, A. M. (2011). Challenges and rewards associated with service- learning in international contexts: Pre-service teacher outcomes. Journal of Research in Service- Learning and Teacher Education, 1, Knutson Miller, K., & Gonzalez, A.M. (under review). Short-term international internship experiences for future teachers and other child development professionals. Knutson Miller, K., & Gonzalez, A. M. (2012, April). Initial and longitudinal outcomes associated with international internships. Symposium presented at the annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association (APA Division 52 International Psychology), San Francisco, CA. Guzman, J. M., Cadiz, G. L., & Knutson Miller, K. (2014, April). Longitudinal study of international internship experiences in diverse contexts. Poster presented at the annual conference of the Western Psychological Association, Portland, OR. Hardenburg, S. M., Skinner, D. M., Vota, C. S., Zwick, A. M., Hom, M. A., Contreras, B., & Knutson Miller, K. (2014, April). Outcomes associated with international learning and service experiences in Thailand. Poster presented at the annual conference of the Western Psychological Association, Portland, OR. Segura, A., Cervantes, J., & Knutson Miller, K. (2014, April). Learning and service in China: International internship outcomes. Poster presented at the annual conference of the Western Psychological Association, Portland, OR.

7 Seminar/Internship Context Campus-based seminar in June International internship experience (China) in late June/July Internship activities negotiated between site-based and campus-based personnel Interns interacted with Chinese children, coordinated songs, games, and other enrichment activities designed to promote conversational English environment summer camp experience

8 Examined the value-added nature of internships in domestic and international settings Participants across internship contexts reported their experiences enhanced academic achievement, provided opportunities for career goal clarification, and contributed to their understandings of challenges and resources within their respective placement sites/communities The international internship context facilitated enhanced outcomes in development of professional skills and strategies and in personal development International participants reported higher skill development gains and greater relevancy of the experience to their professional goals, higher gains in awareness of global needs, and greater enjoyment in working with linguistically, culturally, and ethnically diverse individuals than domestic participants

9 Examined international internship outcomes Participants anticipated and reported that the international internship experience would contribute/contributed to Understandings of and abilities to apply course material Development of professional skills and strategies Participants expected to and enjoyed opportunities to work with English language learners in Chinese classrooms Participants reported the international internship experience had a greater than anticipated impact on Career choice, awareness of career –related responsibilities, career preparation Understanding of challenges and resources in the placement community, benefit of service to the placement school/community Enjoyment in working with diverse individuals Identification of personal strengths and weaknesses Concern about global issues

10 Participants reported initial site-based experiences were challenging Participants discussed the significance of supervisor feedback, constructive criticism, and support throughout the international experience Participants noted significant professional and personal development outcomes Understandings of and abilities to apply course content, development of professional skills and strategies, development of cultural competencies Enhanced confidence and stress and coping skills, personal flexibility, and self-esteem/confidence

11 Two studies; study one-multiple data sources, study two-revised reflection prompts Repeated references Initially positive and challenging internship experiences Need for lesson modification based on child characteristics (age, individual differences) Proactive lesson modification decisions Commitment to lesson modification based on age, individual differences, and cultural context Professional skill development Enhanced confidence, stress and coping skills Multicultural competencies Dispositions essential to working effectively with diverse children Use of multimodal strategies for communication and assessment of student understanding Commitment to lesson modification based on age, individual differences, and cultural context Modified reflection prompts (interest in documented impact on academic outcomes) Increased detail of lesson modifications Accurate application of theory to practice Accurate application of problem-focused coping strategies

12 Participants (N = 39, 57% of initial group at time of study) 37 Female, 2 Male 17 White, 10 Asian American, 7 Latina, 5 Other 34 Alumni, 5 Undergraduate Completed Internship 2 in in in in year unknown

13 Internship Challenges Language differences and communication Flexibility, adaptability in adjusting to the environment Lesson plan modification Not knowing what to expect, experiences different than expectations Being understanding of Chinese cultural context and norms Classroom management, student engagement

14 Program Outcomes Development of cultural competencies Strategies for interaction with culturally and linguistically diverse individuals Enhanced awareness and understanding of culture, language, and English language learners Professional skills and strategies Career goal clarification/professional affirmation Personal growth and development Flexibility, adaptability and patience Confidence Social relationships

15 Things consistent over time… Participants reported internship challenges Need for lesson plan modification Participants reported positive internship outcomes Professional skills and strategies Development of cultural competencies Personal and professional development Flexibility, adaptability and patience Confidence, professional affirmation Awareness of strengths and weaknesses

16 Things emphasized earlier but not later… Challenges such as temperature, weather Things better understood with time… Awareness and understanding of culture, language, and English language learners Things that cannot be denied… Social relations Personal development outcomes

17 Other things that seem to or may matter… Self selection and temperament Appropriateness of intern responsibilities Length of pre-departure seminar Emphasis on strategic activity preparation in pre-departure seminar Emphasis on academic learning goals in pre-departure seminar Full informed consent re. practicum challenges Clarification of supervisor roles Variation in teaching and roommate partners Wording of reflection prompts Preferred contact address Invitation to participate in follow up activities Invitation to ongoing relationship with department

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19 Seminar/Internship Context Modified schedules and locations Campus-based seminar in fall (Thailand) or Spring (China); Alternate Spring Break (New Zealand) data to be analyzed International internship experience in late December/January (Thailand) or late June/July (China) Modified internship program Facilitation of English Workshop activities in classrooms Diverse community-based experiences Educational tour components

20 Reported post-experience internship outcomes included: Leadership and teamwork skills (m = 1.08, sd =.29)) Interest in participating in future international activities (m= 1.08, sd =.29) Analyze situations and issues from different perspective s (m = 1.17, sd =.39) Understand differences in communication styles and relate effectively with people from diverse backgrounds (m = 1.17, sd =.39) Enhanced effectiveness interacting in diverse cultural contexts (m = 1.17, sd =.39) Understanding of English language learners (m = 1.25, sd =.45) Work effectively with children from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds (m = 1.25, sd =.45) Comfort engaging in culturally diverse contexts in my home community (m = 1.33, sd =.49) Quantitative analysis of pre/post internship surveys indicated statistically significant differences. Participants reported the international internship experience had a greater than anticipated impact on: Leadership and teamwork skills (m pre = 1.41, m post = 1.08; t = 2.35, p <.05). Ability to analyze situations and issues from different perspectives (m pre =1.58, m post =1.16; t = 2.16, p <.05).

21 Learning about Chinese culture, history, education, government, and social context: Chinese social and cultural context (83%), history (75%), government and government policy (67%), and educational context (58%) English workshops in school settings: Positive lesson outcomes (100%) and need for lesson modification (100%) Need for modifications based on child characteristics (83%) Strategies used to facilitate communication and understanding: Non-verbal, physical cues including hand gestures, facial expression, and/or physical demonstration (83%) Verbal strategies including attention characteristics of speech (e.g., sentence structure, pace, volume, repetition) (58%) Impact on development: Both personal (67%) and professional (83%) development outcomes Most significant outcomes attitudinal or dispositional in nature (92%) Need for increased knowledge and understanding relevant to the cultural context ( 83%) and communication skills (50%) to enhance abilities to interact with diverse children and families in future professional settings

22 Reported post-experience internship outcomes included (in order of strength): Awareness of global issues /needs (M = 1.17, SD =.48) Understand differences in communication styles and relate effectively with people from diverse backgrounds (M = 1.25, SD =.53) Understand English Language Learners (M = 1.25, SD =.44) Analyze situations and issues from different perspectives (M = 1.29, SD =.55) Identify personal strengths and weaknesses (M = 1.33, SD =.48) Work effectively with children from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds (M = 1.33, SD =.48) Effectiveness interacting in diverse cultural contexts (M = 1.35, SD =.49) Quantitative analysis of pre/post internship surveys indicated statistically significant differences. Participants reported the international internship experience had a greater than anticipated impact on: Understanding and application of concepts and material presented in my CAS courses (M pre = 1.70, M post = 1.43, t = 2.79, p <.05) Awareness of global issues /needs(M pre = 1.65, M post = 1.17, t = 2.91, p <.01) Analyze situations and issues from different perspectives (M pre = 1.74, M post = 1.30, t = 2.65, p <.05) My own cultural identity (M pre = 2.30, M post = 1.61, t = 3.27, p <.01) Comfort engaging in culturally diverse context in home community (M pre = 1.91, M post = 1.43, t = 2.71, p <.05)

23 Learning about Thai culture, history, education, government, and social context: Hill Tribe traditions and customs (83%), made references to understanding of Buddhism and Buddhist beliefs and practices (e.g., karma, nirvana, rules, monks) (79%), reported awareness of diverse religious and spiritual beliefs in Thailand (33%), discussed significance of and respect for the Royal Family (71%) and the King of Thailand (58%), noted diverse educational practices and the high value of education in Thailand (63%), and referenced governmental, legal, and social issues (e.g., government protests, laws, documentation issues, drug trafficking) (58%) English workshops in school settings: Detailed descriptions of aspect(s) of lesson(s) that went well (96%) Need for modifications (e.g., align to student levels, substitute based on prior knowledge, adjust based on timing and number of students) (92%) Strategies used to facilitate communication and understanding: Verbal strategies including attention characteristics of speech (e.g., sentence structure, word choice, pace, repetition, rephrasing) (87%) Non-verbal, physical cues including hand gestures, facial expression, and/or physical demonstration (83%) and use of visual aids (66%) Impact on development: Personal growth (100%), professional growth (79%), and development as a student (42%) Importance of cultural context in child development (79%) Impact on attitudes and dispositions (e.g., increased patience, flexibility, open-mindedness, understanding, tolerance, and risk-taking) (63%)

24 Participants, Data Sources, and Analysis 13 undergraduate-level students (2 males, 11 females; 5 Caucasian, 4 Latina/o, 4 Asian American) Completed at least two internships between 2005 and 2013; most in consecutive years or terms Survey distributed via and Facebook messaging 7 participants (1 male, 6 females; 3 Caucasian, 3 Latina/o, 1 Asian) also participated in follow-up interviews Comparative content analysis used to identify primary themes Analysis included examination of data by two coders, identification of codes to describe primary themes, application of codes, and consideration of coder agreement in code application

25 Program Outcomes Professional Skills and Strategies Development of professional skills and strategies (62%) Professional networking (46%) Collaboration skills (31%) Multicultural Competencies Development of cultural understanding (69%) Awareness of culture, language, and English language learners (54%) Strategies for interaction with culturally linguistically diverse individuals (38%) Career Goal Clarification Professional affirmation (38%) Career goal confirmation (23%) Interpersonal Skills Social relationships, friendship (77%) Independence, confidence (46%) Flexibility, adaptability, and patience (38%)

26 (Rowan-Keyon & Niehaus, 2011)

27 Noted Post-Internship Activities Interact with former international internship participants (92%) Connect with former international internship participants via social networking sites (92%) Participate in other international experiences ( 92%) Participate in independent study focused on international internships (69%) Participate in promotion of international internships (69%)

28 Interviews: Significant Program Features/Variations Across Contexts Pre-departure course format (semester vs. summer, number of sessions) Site characteristics and locations (schools, community-based settings, community-based experiences) Primary intern responsibilities (breadth, depth) Supervisor roles (more, less direct support, type of support) Length of time interacting with children, at practicum site (days, hours) Characteristics of children (age, individual, cultural differences) Group and instructional team sizes Interpersonal group dynamics Housing location, costs, and opportunity to explore and learn in local communities

29 Outcome Variation Associated with Diverse Experiences Interviews with Longitudinal Study 2 Participants Synthesis of Reports Referenced Academic outcomes Self-report noted across contexts Performance verification strengthened by modification of reflection prompts Personal development outcomes Noted across contexts Flexibility, stress and coping skills emphasized See the elephant Professional development outcomes Noted across contexts Professional skills and strategies noted to greater degree in higher “teaching” service contexts (Model 1)

30 Outcome Variation Associated with Diverse Experiences Interviews with Longitudinal Study 2 Participants Synthesis of Reports Referenced Understanding of cultural context Noted across contexts Noted to a greater degree in Longitudinal Study (1) than in initial outcomes in higher “teaching” service contexts (Model 1) Noted to a greater degree when “teaching” service was combined with community-based and educational tour components (Model 2) Development of leadership and teamwork skills Noted across contexts Impacted by depth and breadth of collaboration/teamwork “need”

31 CAS International Intern

32 Patara Elephant Sanctuary Chiang Mai, Thailand Model 2 Component

33 Emphases Health-care and breeding management Conservation Elephant owner for a day Education, care, training program Approach, body language, mood, temperament Health, feeding, skin care Communication, bonding, building trust “Little did I know that I would soon be able to identify if an elephant is healthy, use commands to get it to lie down, and learn three different ways to climb onto its bare back. We got to know them, and they got to know us. We fed them and we gained their trust” “As I walked up to my elephant, Doo Doo, my heart was thumping out of my chest. Unwillingly, I fell in love with the giant mammal the instant I started to feed him. Once I somehow got up on top of Doo Doo’s head, to my surprise, I felt incredibly safe.”

34 Learning about Asian elephants Intelligent animals with great memories Observant of their surroundings, aware Use their feet to listen, hear rumblings made by other elephants through vibrations in the ground Elephant walk Each step taken with thought and care Before taking step, use trunk to test the path ahead and carefully position feet If the path does not appear safe or able to support then find another way Only raise one foot at a time, place it on the ground then take the next step “I was stunned by how intelligent the elephants were. They listened to the trainers intently and tended to their young calves. With their large bodies, they were able to navigate the jungle so nimbly and precisely. Elephants detect the safety of a path by taking just one step at a time. They would test their terrain to make sure it is safe before preceding with their other three legs.”

35 “To walk like an elephant to me means always taking the time to research things before diving straight into them.” “We should always do our research on new things in order to be well informed. I plan to be a Child Life Specialist. It is important that I provide them (parents and children) with accurate information.” “I will try to take it one step at a time. I will try not to rush into things and to take a moment to think. If there are some minor bumps, I can always find another way.” “ ​ It reminds me to be cautious with the steps I take. This metaphor reminded me to take steps one at a time. I may encounter situations that make me question my decisions but there are always other options available. It is important that I keep a positive attitude and continue forward.” “It is important to make deliberate and careful choices as one walks through life. Professionally, I will remember to ‘walk like an elephant’ as I plan my career goals. I will consider all of my options, and I will confidently choose the next step toward reaching my destination.”

36 “Learning how elephants walk was a great lesson to apply to my own life. When life gives you an unknown path, the elephants taught me that it is okay to test the new road, just take careful steps. Walking with elephants taught me that even if you are unsure of a new path before you, do not shy away from it. Test it out, take one step at a time, and explore your surroundings. If the path may seem unsafe, it is okay to take a step in a different direction. ​ As I am coming closer to the end of my undergraduate career, I am realizing that I have many paths that I can take; all leading different directions. Right now I may not know exactly what I may choose to do, but I know that I should not limit myself to only one option, but ‘test the ground’ for paths I may not have expected to go on. I try to remember to walk like an elephant and to take one step at a time to keep myself from leaping into something I am not sure of yet. I never thought that I would be a research assistant and be passing all my classes with A's. This semester I remembered that I needed to walk like an elephant to achieve my goals. I carefully took paths that were new to me and faced my issues with problem solving techniques. At times, this semester seemed like it was impossible and all the work load stressed me out. I reminded myself that it is possible and all I had to do was take one step at a time to accomplish my goals. With the advice I gained from Patara I am now doing the best I ever have in school.”

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40 Surprise context for disciplinary learning Application of research to practice High impact experience Powerful context for personal and professional development for participating interns Powerful context for personal and professional development for participating instructors Pedagogical approach and methods Value of program assessment in consideration, implementation, and support of international internships We, too, may walk like the elephants do…


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