Date of Award

Spring 2019


© 2019 Shannon M. Wasilewski

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Brianna Parsons

Second Advisor

Mary Colleen Patterson

Third Advisor

Alison Mello


As technology has improved communication and access to information around the world, it has become necessary for the purpose and goals of the American educational system to evolve. A focus on developing global citizens who can demonstrate 21st century skills will help educators who want to prepare their students to enter the world. This transcendental phenomenological study examined the lived experiences of current secondary educators who make global connections in their classrooms so that it can provide practical support to educators looking to begin making or improve existing global connections in the classroom.

This study was guided by two research questions: (1) In a public school district committed to global citizenship, how do secondary educators perceive global citizenship education? and (2) How do public secondary school educators understand how their perception of global citizenship influences the way they include global education in their classrooms? Data were collected through one-on-one interviews with nine self-identified globally aware secondary educators, which were transcribed and analyzed. Four themes emerged from the data: (1) recognition of self as global citizen, (2) global citizenship in the classroom, (3) the participants’ vision for students as global citizens, and (4) the challenges and opportunities of GCE pedagogy. The researcher’s interpretation of the themes resulted in a collective description of the experiences of globally aware secondary educators. The study provides recommendations for practitioners, including developing a clear definition and implementation plan for global citizenship education. Additional recommendations are made for those who prepare educators for the classroom, including expanding teacher certification requirements and preparation programs to include global citizenship education. The researcher also makes suggestions for further study of global citizenship education in practice, including studies that examine the experiences of students exposed to a global curriculum.


Ed.D. Dissertation