First Advisor

Teresa Bulman

Date of Publication

Winter 3-4-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Environmental Sciences and Resources


Environmental Sciences and Resources




Place (Philosophy) -- Study and teaching -- Case studies, Geography -- Study and teaching -- Case studies, Teachers -- In-service training -- Oregon -- Case studies, Teachers -- Training of -- Oregon -- Case studies, Cultural competence -- Study and teaching -- Case studies, International education -- Oregon -- Case studies



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 203 pages)


This research explores the multifaceted benefits that accrue from learning within an international, experiential context. It uses a qualitative, case study approach employing pre and post surveys, in-situ observations, and semi-structured photo-elicitation interviews to analyze the Center for Geography Education in Oregon’s (C-GEO) 2013 Overseas Teacher Institute--a professional development program that took 11 teachers to Russia, Mongolia, and China for a total of 17 days (plus two additional travel days) to learn about the cultural and physical geography of each place. The focus of the research is two-fold and examines processes involved in gaining, synthesizing and applying 1) a sense of place (the emotional ties between people and place), and 2) geo-literacy. The results of this study provide evidence that intensive professional development programs can increase teachers personal and professional knowledge, change their instructional practices, and may lead to improved student learning outcomes.


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