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Jessica Gisclair presents paper on curriculum development of study abroad courses

The chair of the Communications Department presented a paper on using design thinking as a curriculum strategy to build study abroad courses that are well-thought-out and flexible to build students’ global confidences and encourage creative thinking. 

Jessica Gisclair, associate professor and department chair in the School of Communications, presented an academic paper at the Popular Culture/American Culture Association in the South (PCAS/ACAS) Conference on Oct. 5 in New Orleans.

PCAS/ACAS represent scholars from a variety of disciplines who share a common interest in the serious study of culture in its popular aspects that reflect the values, convictions and the patterns of thought and feeling generally dispersed through, and approved by, a significant portion of the culture in which they occur.

“This academic paper on study abroad curriculum development is a continuation of my professional development and scholarship on teaching and learning in global education,” Gisclair said. “I’ve been working with Elon and international colleagues to explore ways educators and administrators should engage students with their host communities. The paper combines the anthropological spaces of non-place by Marc Augé with the powerful mindsets of design thinking to build curriculum models that disrupt the familiar narrative of study abroad and to address some cultural gaps of global education.”

​Conference attendees learned how to think outside of traditional curriculum development to integrate human centeredness, mindful purpose, empathy, showing-not-telling, and action orientation into study abroad courses. 

Gisclair said the presentation gave her an opportunity to share what she learned from her study with CIEE’s International Faculty Development Seminar in 2017 and a workshop she and colleagues presented at NAFSA: Association of International Educators in May with other study abroad faculty members to enhance their global education courses and teaching modules.

“The paper's purpose was to show others how to build educational design thinking mindsets into study abroad curriculum to disrupt the exoticism and commodification of local communities abroad,” she said. 

Elon University is a CIEE Academic Consortium member institution who strongly encourages global engagement for students and faculty members. 

Tommy Kopetskie,
10/9/2018 12:10 PM