Moscovici: International Field Study Leads to Globally Aware Students

By Purnell T. Cropper | February 23, 2010

Dr. Dan A. Moscovici, Adjunct Professor of International Studies, served on the panel “International Learning Opportunities for the Globally Aware Student,” presenting a paper on “The International Field Study—A Pedagogical Bridge from Theory to Policy Integrating Research into Undergraduate Study Abroad and the International Affairs Curriculum.”

“The Boyer Model of scholarship attempts to overlap the four functions of scholarship: discovery, integration, application, and teaching,” Moscovici says. “Often times, in a traditional course semester, this cannot be achieved.” His paper suggests that the short-term study abroad or field-study can successfully implement this cohesion for the professor and the students.

“There is an opportunity for firsthand investigation in the field (discovery). Individuals obtain interdisciplinary perspectives and draw complex connections (integration). Groups regularly act as consultants, perform community service, or repatriate their skills when they return to campus (application),” says Moscovici. “Furthermore, class time prior to departure, and during the actual visit, transfers knowledge (teaching). Finally, these courses move beyond the model if the course runs multiple years; it develops partnerships, synergy, and ideally the successes originally sought (continuity).

“Two field study cases studies, Costa Rica and Dominica, include a qualitative understanding of the pedagogical bridge and a comparison based on student survey,” adds Moscovici. “Costa Rica focuses on student solutions to the local environmental and indigenous impacts from a proposed hydrological project of regional significance. Dominica has the class developing a proposal for an energy independent nation while identifying the alternative of a proposed Venezuela-backed oil refinery.”