EXPLORING GLOBAL IDENTITIES AT THE CENTRAL IDAHO SCHOOL: A CRITICAL ETHNOGRAPHY
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This critical ethnographic study explores how students understand their sense of being in the world in a non-traditional, place-based, expeditionary learning school environment, the Central Idaho School (the CIS). Much of the literature on globalization in education and expeditionary learning indicates that when learning occurs in connection to place through experiential opportunities students gain a greater sense of who they are – or who they will be - in the world (Davies, Evans, & Reid, 2005; Dewey, 1916, 1938; Esteva & Prakash, 1998; Greuenwald, 2008; McKenzie & Bieler, 2016; Spring, 2015). This critical ethnography spanned ten months of embedded participant research at the Central Idaho School (the CIS), documenting the development of three students and the ways in which they began to form their sense of being in the world throughout their semester experience. Key findings from this study indicates that students are able to explore their sense of being in the world when given the autonomy to discover who they are in relation to the social, narrative, and cultural dimensions of the world around them (McKenzie and Bieler, 2016). Most importantly, the combination of pedagogical approach through Understanding by Design (Wiggins and McTighe, 2005), place-based exploration (Greuenwald, 2008), and outdoor experiences all provide pivotal moments, or “rhizomatic ruptures,” that impact student growth. This project contributes to the literature on critical situated and experiential education by sharing experiences through one semester-long program at the CIS.