Date of Award

December 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Leadership


Jeffrey Mangram


"American exceptionalism", "global education", "global history", post-colonial education, "social studies education", "social studies teaching"

Subject Categories



Although global history has been a part of the discipline of social studies in New York State for a number of years, the inclusion of global education and skills has been less prevalent in the discipline. This lack of global perspectives in education has proven to be detrimental to the global awareness of American students. (Roper for National Geographic Foundation, 2006; Harvard University, 2004; Holm and Farber, 2002; Clarke, 2004). Global history teachers play a key role in the dissemination of global content that may contribute to increasing global awareness of students. Yet teachers, themselves, may have limited global awareness and intercultural experiences that impact the ways in which they teach global history. Therefore, this dissertation examined how global history teachers in upstate New York construct their global awareness and the content they teach, and how their understandings of global education impact their teaching.

Eight global history teachers in five school districts took part in this study. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and observations, and was informed by theoretical work around colonialism and post-colonialism/post-nationalism. Results of this study revealed that these teachers saw their worldviews as evolving constructs, shaped by upbringing, cross-cultural interactions, travel experiences, media influences, and professional responsibilities. Certain global education elements infused their teaching, such as local/global connections, perspectives consciousness, and cultural sensitivity, but the inclusion of such elements was uneven. Furthermore, their language in many cases revealed an incomplete understanding of global education and cultural awareness. Elements of colonialism, essentialism, and American exceptionalism were both challenged and reinforced in the ways in which these teachers spoke about their global understandings, and the history content and students they taught.


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