Systems Thinking for Studying International Professional Program Participants' Thoughts

Karaman A. C.

SYSTEMIC PRACTICE AND ACTION RESEARCH, vol.23, no.3, pp.203-220, 2010 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11213-009-9156-6
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.203-220
  • Keywords: International professional programs, Intercultural education, Systems thinking
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Studying the experiences of participants in international professional programs requires conceptual frameworks that take into account the complex systemic nature of the intercultural journeys. This article explores the thoughts of a prospective teacher related to a field experience abroad. The purpose is to understand the narratives of experience and demonstrate how systems thinking facilitated a deep study of this case. The focal case is that of a prospective teacher from the US who participates in a professional program in Ecuador for 2 months. Systems mapping, critical and soft systems criteria, and correspondence analysis help explore the contexts of the international professional program and the thoughts of the participant. Results show that the participant developed an awareness of cultural systems which is also reflected in her culturally sensitive practices after her completion of the program. Both worldviews and social interactions abroad had a significant place in the participant's narratives of experience.