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Lessons Missed: Where is the Learning about Teaching in Study Abroad?

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Architechtural Engineering Eduction: Emergent Topics

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1013.1 - 22.1013.21



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Paper Authors


David Jan Cowan Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Dr. Cowan is the Director of and an Associate Professor in the Architectural Technology Program within the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He teaches courses in residential and commercial construction, facilities management, building systems and interior design. His research interests lie in the areas of disaster reconstruction, BIM (Building Information Modeling), visualization, sustainable community and construction practices, international service learning and energy simulation. He is a graduate architect (Calgary, Canada) with degrees in art education, visual arts and sustainable architecture (LEED AP). He is the co-founder of Global Design Students which is an international education collaborative that addresses building design in various locales around the world, most recently in Thailand, Hawaii, Indonesia and New Orleans. Dr. Cowan is also the Director of Service Learning Initiatives in the School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI. He has practiced as an architectural designer in the private sector and has taught in post secondary institutions in several countries. He is the Program Chair of the Architectural Engineering Division of ASEE.

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Craig Greene College of the North Atlantic

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Modibo Boubacar Traore Purdue University, School of Engineering and Technology


Wanda L. Worley Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Dr. Worley is associate chair of the Department of Design and Communication Technology and director of the Technical Communication Program. Her research interests are in the scholarship of teaching and learning and in online teaching and learning.

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Tarawut Boonlua Mahasarakham University

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AbstractLessons Missed: Where is the Learning about Teaching in Study Abroad?Study abroad programs in American education are increasingly gaining popularity (Carlson, Bum, Useem& Yachimowicz, 1991; NAFSA, Association of International Educators). In fact, over the past several yearsenrollment has increased by 45 percent. According to the Association of International Educators, in1999-2000 academic year, for example, 129,770 students from the United States studied abroad.It is not unusual to see architectural programs in this mix as it could be argued that one of thecompelling reasons for study abroad, irrespective of the discipline, is the interest in seeing foreignarchitecture first hand. Study abroad courses in architecture and architectural engineering naturallyfocus on this: viewing architectural highlights of the host country. This does not seem out of place withwhat we are charged to do as architectural educators.Few of these programs, however, focus upon the teaching of architecture in other cultures and spendeven less time assessing how the architectural instructors of the host country teach their students andhow their practices may differ from those in the United States. Furthermore, as Engle and Engle note(2002, p. 25), it is becoming more and more difficult to acquire experiences that are truly different andrich: “While earlier study abroad offered a marked, desired break with the familiar, the pervasive effectsof global economic, social and technological homogenization have made the potentially rich andrewarding encounter with difference less easily acceptable.”This paper explores the lessons learned, and often missed, with respect to witnessing teaching in aforeign country. It examines, describes and assesses the value of experiential education, communityengagement, in-classroom techniques as well unique S.E. Asian teaching practices and celebrations (e.g.,string tying ceremony) that forge initial bonds between students and their educators. The paper casts these teaching lessons in light of the architectural engineering education practiceswithin North America. It examines methods for developing respect for teachers, engaging in thearchitectural creative process and paying respect to Asian culture and spiritual beliefs. It helps to bringto bear the notion that we, as architectural educators, could be attempting to do more in terms ofsetting the stage for our daily interchanges with our students.

Cowan, D. J., & Greene, C., & Traore, M. B., & Worley, W. L., & Boonlua, T. (2011, June), Lessons Missed: Where is the Learning about Teaching in Study Abroad? Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18279

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