MA IDS Thesis Projects


The Hatchet and the Seed: Breaking Down and Building Up International Education Programs to Foster Glocal Citizenship

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis


College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences


International Development and Service

Degree Name

International Development and Service, MA


This study works to both deconstruct and then reconstruct the role of education in a globalized society using political ecology as the lens and analytical model of investigation. Through a critical review of how and why the role of education came to be used as a tool of socialization to incite nationalism and later as a form of colonization, this study suggests that the current system of compulsory education is perpetuating a dominant, hegemonic perspective that is based on Eurocentric imaginaries of superior/inferior binary dualisms. The thesis furthermore argues that the state-run education system’s failure to transfer the necessary competencies to students for the development of global – or rather glocal – citizenship, along with the era of international development that swept the Western nations, has inspired the development of biased international education. This study presents educational epistemologies, pedagogies and methodologies that redefine education and its responsibility to the global community and emphasize the importance of fostering intercultural relationship and equitable partnerships. Finally, this study advances a proposal for a two-way, direct international exchange program with a language, homestay and service-learning component, designed for youth ages 14-19. The program is a product of the thorough investigation and deconstruction of Western education system as presented in Part I: The Hatchet and embodies the ideologies, best practices and methodologies highlighted in Part II: The Seed in an effort to reimagine and reconstruct a model for global education.

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