20 SES 06 B, Intercultural Learning, Identity and Citizenship
The study we propose to present in its essence embodies the heart of this year’s theme, ‘creativity and innovation in educational research’ through the novel research question we have investigated over the past two years. Studying a sample of 3,000 university students in the Erasmus Mobility Programme, we have explored how program participants develop conceptions of citizenship identity—local, regional, national, European, and global—through engaging in international education within Europe.
It is by now well documented that during university study, students experience significant intellectual and personal development (Pascarella and Terenzini, 2005). For those who also engage in international education during this period, even more significant developmental outcomes have been reported (Deardorf, 2006; Hammer, Bennett et al., 2003; Teichler, 1996). In the literature detailing these various benefits, however, much less has so far documented ways that students develop their sense of personal and professional identity during study abroad (Dolby, 2004; Knight, 2012; Osler, 1998). While the literature on national identity (Nussbaum, 1996; Anderson, 1983), European citizenship (Bellamy, 2000; Carter, 2001; Eder and Giesen, 2001; Habermas 1993) and global citizenship (Brodin, 2010; Davies, 2006; Schattle, 2008; Tarrant, 2010) is expansive, much less remains known about how students who may be expected to feel a certain way about their identity because of having a study abroad experience in fact feel about it when they are asked.
Despite a substantial body of research on many of the outcomes of the Erasmus Program since it began in 1987 (Berghoff et al, 2012 ongoing; Bracht et al., 2006; Maiworm & Teichler, 1997; Teichler, 2004), one of its central rationales has never been empirically investigated: Do students develop a sense of European citizenship through engaging in Erasmus experience? Few studies have so far been able to demonstrate empirically whether this happens (Council of Ministers, 1987; Green paper, 2009; Sigalas, 2009; 2010) but as researchers Michelle Everson and Ulrich Preuss argued over nearly two decades ago, it is the responsibility of those researching the EU project to “seek honestly to identify” varying conceptions of citizenship if it is to accurately assess how they impact the development of allegiance to Union citizenship (1995, 48).
To date, policy rhetoric about the program’s value for developing in participants a stronger attachment to Europe remains illusory at best and empirically empty at worst. Our study investigated what link, if any, there as between inter-European study abroad experience and attachment to Europe—a critical policy goal for the close to 2 million students who have now been in the program.
The presentation will detail results of a two year study of 3,000 university students from 34 European countries at 14 universities and Hochschulen throughout Germany. The study was supported by Fulbright and DAAD grants and carried out at the Comparative Education Centre, Humboldt Universitaet, Berlin. Theoretical support for the 34 item survey comes from scholarship on national identity by Duchesne and Frognier (2008), on studies of European identity by Bruter (2005) and Frevert (2008), and on global citizenship identity by Dower (2002) and Schattle (2009).
Bracht, O., Engel, C., Janson, K., Over, A. Schomburg, H. and Teichler, U. (2006). The Professional Value of ERASMUS Mobility. Kassel: INCHER Bruter, M. (2005). Chapter 5: Who Feels European? Measurement of European Identity and Differences Across Individuals. In Michael Bruter (Ed.), Citizens of Europe? The Emergence of a Mass European Identity. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Pp. 101-122. Berghoff, S., Bischof, L., Brandenburg, U., Hachmeister, C., and Leichsenrihg, H. (2012, ongoing study). Effects of ERASMUS Mobility. Berlin: Centrum fuer Hochschulentwicklung. Dolby, N. (2004). Encountering an American self: Study abroad and national identity. Comparative Education Review, 48(2), 150-173. Duchesne, S. and Frognier, A. (2008). National and European Identifications: A Dual Relationship. Comparative Education Politics, 6, 143-168. Everson, M. C., and Preuss, U.K. (1995). Concepts, Foundations and Limits of European Citizenship. Zentrum fuer Europaeische Rechtspolitik Diskussionspapier 2/95. Bremen: Universitaet Bremen. Frevert, U. (2008), How to Become a Good European Citizen: Present Challenges and Past Experiences. In Viola B. Georgi (Ed.) The Making of Citizens in Europe; New Perspectives on Citizenship Education. Bonn: Bundeszentrale fuer Politische Bildung. Pp. 37-51. Knight, J. (2012). Student Mobility and Internationalization: Trends and Tribulations. Research in Comparative and International Education, Research in Comparative and International Education, 7(1), 20-33. Maiworm, F. and Teichler, T. (2002). The students’ experience. In U. Teichler (Ed.), Erasmus Schattle, H. (2009). Global Citizenship in Theory and Practice. In The Handbook of Practice and Research in Study Abroad: Higher Education and the Quest for Global Citizenship. New York: Routledge. Pp. 3-19. Sigalas, E. (2010). Cross-border mobility and European Identity: The effectiveness of intergroup contact during the ERASMUS year abroad. European Union Politics 11(2), 241-265. Teichler, U. (2004). Temporary Study Abroad: The life of Erasmus Students. European Journal of Education, 39(4), 395-408. in the Socrates Programme. Bonn: Lemmens. Pp. 83-116.
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