Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Concord Institute of Global Education : 2015 Summer Camp

About My Project

My Interdisciplinary capstone project is to construct the fundamental structure of a global educational company, Concord Institute of Global Education.  This company is focused on providing cultural education, language studies and environmental experiences for students from Asia.  My work has progressed in initiating the company, and I have reached several completion milestones: establishing the company’s mission and educational statement, deciding targeted customers and locating the company’s intention to contemporize with customers’ focus of educational achievement, and setting up main services for drawing customers as well as maintaining effectiveness for business profits.  Among the services and programs of the company, I investigated and constructed a Summer Camp Program for Korean children age eight to fifteen years old. 

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The Concord Institute of Global Education states its mission as providing globally minded educational services to families, schools, corporations and non-government organizations.  Since our world has become easier for people to travel, through the development of technology and transportation, modern educational trends also have changed globally.  The importance of English has been added and stressed for a few decades in non-English speaking countries, including South Korea.  Students’ learning movement has changed physically and methodically.  Even children in elementary school travel abroad by themselves to experience foreign language training and to learn subjects that their schools in South Korea offer limitedly.  My company understands and follows the recent societal trends and needs of each individual and provides them adequate education and new experiences. Consequently, the children will become culturally competent and intellectually broadened.  This is the company’s purpose to adhere and to support them to grow as leaders of their generation.
Because my previous teaching experience and connections with parents and educators are from South Korea, I intend to construct the business contents and follow directions to focus on their educational needs.  My exploration of the South Korean school system and their education flaws enabled me to set the period of service and activities that might draw potential customers away from competitors. 
My capstone project intimately arrays with my major; Early Childhood Administration integrates business acumen and educational insights.  As I believe a quality education program for young children requires a well-educated administrator who utilizes business skills and who has a deep understanding of early childhood pedagogy, my knowledge and learning experience from my major fulfilled to organize this project and led to further progress.  Establishing a company which serves children and families with high quality education requires the employer to be confident in both areas; education and business management to lead it successfully.  As the business’s administrator and teacher, I should be able to draw upon multiple skills from both domains.  
About My Major

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Early Childhood Administration, my interdisciplinary major, is the cognitively processed studies of both insights from early childhood education and business management that are integrated and their perspectives are conveyed to understand the complexity of managing the educational program.   It draws upon pedagogical knowledge, age appropriate approaches, teaching methods, and technical utilization of teaching materials in education.  The Business Management field contributes principles of marketing, organizing the program, and any financial related objects.  These two insights enabled me to identify what needs to be highlighted, and further supported me to competently work both as a teacher and an administrator. 

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Taking a bigger perspective on the project, I was able to logically measure the programmatic aspects within the educational and business senses.  Then the interwoven knowledge and perspective from each discipline compelled into my project.  For example, my educational insights enabled me to build effectively designed curricula for multiple age groups, to confirm educational beliefs and teaching methods for the students, and to approach students with a culturally responsive aptitude.   Looking at my project through a business lens led me to examine marketing strengths and weaknesses, to construct an order of operations of the business model, and to increase attraction by more customers.  Finally these two disciplines were integrated further to develop cultural understanding between South Korea and the United States, for me to build up my project in detail and from multiple perspectives.

The project conducted outcomes through utilizing the Instrumental Interdisciplinary concepts, the Perspective Taking theory and Qualitative method.  Establishing a multicultural educational program targeted for students who are learning English as a Second Language and experiencing western culture demands vast knowledge and understanding from several disciplines in order to extend the best ideas.  The Instrumental Interdisciplinary perspective helped me to collect information from relevant disciplines that amplified the knowledge and incorporated it in creating formative outcomes to solve the problem.   Creating common ground through examining different disciplines and seeking usable sources from each epistemology enhanced the way I gained comprehensive understanding for building the foundation for the project. 
Along with the Instrumental Interdisciplinary method, I applied the Perspective Taking Theory which led me to effectively interrogate disciplines.  It enabled me to utilize different views of understanding from each perspective: education, TESOL, cultural studies, and business.  For example, when I created the curriculum for our summer-camp program, I considered if the activities were developmentally appropriate for elementary school children by viewing the problem in studies of education.   I examined if the American field trip choices were interesting enough for children who come from South Korea.  I compared and contrasted the generalized educational environments and curriculum of South Korea with that of, USA and I tried to find innovative cultural activities for the students.  This process was based on a cultural studies perspective.  For managing the business perspective, I measured if the activities, services and fieldtrips were profit efficient, and if they were cost effective based on the amount of expenses.  I gained knowledge and an enriched understanding of the disciplines being interwoven into a multiple-perspective, and it generated negotiable outcomes applicable to interdisciplinary theory.
Lastly, the Qualitative Method was added for gathering information through interviewing and observation under the study of cultural anthropology, cultural studies and TESOL.  The Outcomes of my project were influenced from an interview with Aaron Hughes, ESOL coordinator at New Hampshire Technical Institute and Adjunct professor in Southern New Hampshire University.  His awareness of trends in modern education and globalized education systems is deeply reflected in my project.  Strategies in teaching and reinforcing children with cultural acknowledgement also added to enrich the culturally responsive program.  Constructing my project not only from academic resources but including a professional interview with professional perspectives, ideas, and knowledge helped to form an important portion of the methods that I used.
Disciplines that are integrated for the project
The project required me to integrate the intellectual knowledge from several disciplines: TESOL, Education, Business, and Cultural Studies.  Each discipline contributed specific knowledge and principles in creating the educational program.  These different dimensions effectively completed my multifaceted project.
  1. TESOL education guided me to utilize adequate strategies and gave me specialized methods to practice with linguistically diverse children.  Concord Institute of Global Education offers English studies and language expansion activities for the children from South Korea.  Teaching English is based on the Direct Method incorporating “naturalistic” mindset by “Simulating the natural way in which children learns first language” (Brown 21).   According to Brown, “Second language learning should be more like first language learning--lots of interaction, spontaneous use of the language, no translation between first and second languages and little or no analysis of grammatical rules” (Brown 21).  Studies in TESOL contributed to building strategies in appropriate language teaching for international students, based upon individuals’ language interest and ability, and different language structures in English. 
  2. Examining cultural studies empowered me to understand differences in educational values and perspectives between Asians and Americans.  Hazel and Alana separate individuals into independent self and interdependent self in their book, Clash (Markus 18).  An experiment that was given to early elementary school students by psychologists Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper, to solve as many word-unscrambling puzzles as possible, but under different conditions.  The result showed that Asian children performed the best when their mom chose their topic than personal choice or researchers’ pick (Markus 6).  It indicated that their parents know what their children’s interests are and what areas their child is more competent in than others (Markus 7).  Asian children are described as having a more interdependent self than European-American students because their problem solving is closely affected from the relationship between their mothers and them.  In Asian culture, parents’ decisions on their children’s education are more powerful than child’s choice, and this research reminds that how building my business strategies that satisfy the parents are essential.  In understanding cultural differences, I should be able to read Korean parents’ tendencies on education and their educational values and desires.  This understanding enhanced the design of my curriculum for South Korean students who may have been brought up with different educational philosophies and methods.  Cultural Studies examined the characteristics of new environments as well as comparisons of home cultures and life styles, which enable students to empower language requisition smoothly. 
  3. The epistemology in education provided me the educational belief that my company will build upon and highlight the areas in the curriculum and activities, as well as field trip options that are appropriate for students.   Multiple Intelligence theory is widely recognized in educational practice and having various activity options has become integral of our curriculum.  As I discovered,
    “It is of the utmost importance that we recognize and nurture all of the varied human intelligence, and all of the combinations of intelligences.  We are all so different largely because we all have different combinations of intelligence.  If we recognize this, I think we will have at least a better chance of dealing appropriately with the many problems that we face in the world” (Gardner 1993 ). 
    The perspective of this theory is deeply reflected in my company’s vision; therefore, Concord Institute of Global education offers sports, music, arts, nature studies, and science for students to explore to seek their interests and to develop their abilities in young ages.  We encourage students to utilize their eight intelligences: linguistic, logical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalist by preparing activities available for them to choose as electives, further respecting their choices and interests.  Establishing discipline in education allows CIGE to find age appropriate curriculum and, in general, to direct the students to be competent with others.  It enriches the company by providing learning concepts and theory that are appropriate for students’ age and their interest. 
  4. Finally, discipline in business became the most noticeable portion of my project.  I have gained business knowledge, specifically ability to examine on business principles throughout my research.  The result is, I was able to expand various outcomes, such as creating web pages, planning the marketing strategies, and initiating an operational model.  Articulating my company’s marketing principles enabled me to acknowledge my customers’ demographics, behaviors, psychographics and expectations, as well as to examine competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.  It unfolded any context that might interfere with the growth of my business including the economy, technology shifts, and trends on education, political processes and climate changes.  Seeking collaborators who possibly attribute their strengths and powers to the success of my business model was carefully considered from the 5C’s model in marketing principles (Stever).  
    Economics/Business relates with the whole process of establishing my company and maintaining success of the business.  Economic conditions of surroundings in my company intimately correlate with the company’s opportunities and processes.  It includes individuals’ economic variables including their income, finance, and economic ideology, as well as international economic relations which are impacted by exchange rates and economic policies and relationships between the United States and South Korea (Repko, Szostak, & Buchberger, 2014)
Analysis of disciplinary insights
Conflicts between my disciplinary studies are explicit.  From the perspective of an educator’s view on creating curriculum and approaching with teaching strategy, I practiced deep patience and understanding on different levels of competency with the characteristics children add to the group.  Educators should be flexible and consider creating curricula depending on children’s ability.  Gardner stresses, each child has different interests and abilities, and as teachers, it is important to notice what children are interested and further to be developed for their success (Armstrong 17).  Educational interest can be expanded widely, some children’s strengths may not be on a language base, and they may struggle with intensive language exposure that the educational businesses pursue.  However, from a business administrator’s perspective, constructing a business model is intimately connected to solid profits which determine its sustainability.  Leading a successful business requires acknowledging what the customers expect, and understanding the social trends regarding similar models.  Here I notice a huge gap.  My customers, who are Korean parents, are competitive on their children’s educational success, and they are ambitious when they send their elementary child abroad by him/herself.  The goal for their child is a high level of language achievement in a short period.  They prefer their child to experience an intensive program.  For this reason, many competitors advertise an intensive curriculum, structured with busy schedules, to satisfy Korean parents who are used to competition.  My company also reads customers’ demand; however, CIGE tries to narrow the gap by practicing genuine education.

In my project, the disciplines of business and education are conflicted in cultural context.  Resulting success of the educational business model, I needed to interrogate each perspective and to seek common ground to establish which point would be negotiable enough to pursue educational belief and to complete business goals at the same time.  Also, as I realized that my business should be aware of what my customers expect from their children’s learning processes and the results from the company’s services, I needed to scrutinize the most effective way to approach their language learning as well as affluent cultural experience.  This way of thinking motivated me to research cultural studies including characteristics of Asian and American parents, with regard to their differences and similarities on educational perspective.  According to Hewlett, “Here in the United States, Asians make up only 5 percent of the population but fill three to nine times that number of undergraduate seats at the nation’s top universities” (Markus Introduction x).  While competition for high academic scores and competency in English and math is demanded by the majority of Korean parents and students, American parents support what their children are competent in and respect their choices.  This is part of the reason more American students are allowed to play sports, to join volunteering activities such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and to have part time jobs when they are in high school.  Acknowledging the differences between the two countries’ culture and that impact on children’s education was helpful to establish the company which customers are from different nation but practicing education philosophy in the United States. 
Throughout the whole semester I developed and refined my project, I truly thought about my major, Early Childhood Administration and my final project.  I realized this educational business model may be based more on a multidisciplinary than interdisciplinary approach.  Because I underestimated the disciplines correlation and the integration between business management and education, I thought there were not any conflicts existing or interacting between them in my study.   However, as I articulated my project, I found there is an explicit relation between the two studies.  My business will only be successful when I balance educational knowledge and business sense, and utilize negotiated policies to maximize the profit and to satisfy parents by selecting the best teaching approaches at the same time.  Thus I finally gained how to integrate the two disciplines by realizing the relation and confliction in my project, and I further investigated cultural studies and intercultural communication to address my personal biases. 
My understanding has been enlarged by taking an interdisciplinary approach.  My complex project intersects several disciplines: business, education, TESOL, and culture studies.  The epistemology of IS helped me conduct generated outcomes that reflected all these disciplines’ perspectives.  The project conveyed the structuring elements of creating a culturally responsive curriculum, selecting appropriate field trips, developing the website of a business, organizing marketing strategies, and completing an operating business processes; my knowledge has grew broadly from these related disciplines.  Accumulating information in various contexts encouraged me to interrogate different perspectives and opinions from each discipline, and to seek negotiated stage by finding common ground which I could apply for building my project.  I have realized that one discipline could not lead me to build a successful model to satisfy all the details that I developed.   The synthesis and synergy interwoven by multiple requirements and elements from each discipline and their relationship are essential to my new ideas and my global vision.

Works Cited

Armstrong, T. (2009). Multiple Intelligences in the classroom. ASCD.

Bamford, C. E. (2011). Entrepreneurship, A Small Business Approach. Mc Graw Hill.

Brown, D. H. (2001). Teaching by Principles. Longman.

Campbell. (2011). How to Develop a Professional Portfolio. Pearson.

Gordon, R. M. (2007). Thinking Organized. Thinking Organized Press.

Guide to Summer Programs. (2014/2015). Wintergreen Orchard House.

Hughes Aaron R., Interview, Multi-Cultural Education

Jacobs, H. H. (2010). Curriculum 21. ASCD.

Markus, H. R. (2013). Clash. Plume.

Repko, A. F., Szostak, R., & Buchberger, M. P. (2014). Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies. SAGE.

Soto, R. A. (2012). Bilingual is Better. Bilingual Readers.

Stever, Roy, Class lecture, Marketing Strategies

Stinnett, B. (2005). Think Like Your Customer. The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Widdowson, H. (1996). Linguistics. Oxford University Press.



  1. Your integration section really made me think, and I believe your program will be very successful because of the multiple perspectives that you bring together as you design curriculum and experiences to help your students succeed. The paper really shows the thoughtful nature of your research-- you are very methodical and thorough, but at the core I always feel your genuine desire to contribute to the public good. This is a wonderful interdisciplinary project because of the connective thinking it entails, but also for the practical way you are working to make a difference for people in our community. I wish you such good luck as you work to get this going, and I can't wait to hear updates!

  2. Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful! I've been looking for books of this nature for a way too long. I'm just glad that I found yours. Looking forward for your next post. Thanks :)

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