The influence of public pedagogy on adult and higher education learners' perceptions of and motivations to study abroad at a Hispanic serving institution




Nguyen, Shelbee Rhea

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This study utilized qualitative single-case study design to provide rich description and offer new understandings within a socio-cultural theoretical frame about how adult and higher education learners perceive and are motivated to participate in study abroad programs. Three faculty-led study abroad courses at a Hispanic serving institution in the Southwest were used as embedded cases within the larger case to assess influences on study abroad participation. Specifically, this research focuses on influences from social networks and popular culture, as sources of public pedagogy, and the role these influences play in both perception formation and ultimate motivation to participate in study abroad programs.

Data collection for the dissertation study occurred in the fall 2011 semester with N=15. A total of three focus groups and ten follow-up interviews were conducted. Transcriptions from these interviews as well as chalk-talk data collected within the focus group served as the primary data sources.

Conclusions from this research suggest that social networks and popular culture do play a role in perception formation and motives to participate in study abroad programs at a Hispanic Serving Institution. Further, findings from this research are situated at the crux of what is known and unknown about study abroad participation lending an integration of previous notions and new understandings. Ultimately, family, friends, social networks within the institution, specific television programming and popular culture in general serve as important mediators to perception formation and motivation to participate in study abroad programs.


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Popular Culture, Public Pedagogy, Social Network, Sociocultural, Study Abroad Participation



Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching