Lauren Roetzer



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Lauren Roetzer, EDU 580: IPDS Italy
Faculty Mentor: Professor Kerry Renzoni, Music Education

This research centers on the question, “How does education compare across different schools and different countries”? I conducted part of this study while participating in the IPDS Italy program in January 2020 as well as the 2018 IPDS Zambia program. Through these two IPDS trips and my own experiences back home in the United States, I was able to compare the different schools that I taught in to find answers. As part of each IPDS program, I observed and taught in elementary, middle, and high schools in Torremaggiore, Italy and Lusaka, Zambia. My observations included different subjects such as ELA, math and music. I took extensive field notes on the classroom environment, resource allocation, student engagement, teaching methods, and classroom activities. My data sources included field notes and blogs of participating teacher candidates. I used qualitative data analysis techniques to review our notes and blogs about what we saw to identify how educational practices differ over schools in the three countries. Findings include how Zambia and Italy are very similar in terms of foreign language education and length of school days, whereas the US and Italy are very similar in terms of resource allocation and classroom management. In regard to differences, all three countries fluctuate greatly between how they treat “special” subjects such as art or music. Additionally, all three have very different practices concerning higher education for students continuing to high school or college.

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Does All Education Look the Same? Comparing Schools in Italy, Zambia and The United States
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