|dc.description.abstract||This is an unprecedented study integrating of Second Life (SL) and the currere approach to develop a virtual curriculum demonstration. The overarching purposes of this study were to understand the perceptions, self-reflection, self-understanding, educational growth of graduate students in education toward teaching and learning in a virtual interdisciplinary curriculum. The three-dimensional virtual world of Second Life is a distance learning platform and multimedia combination of animations, dynamic images, embedded videos, websites, simulative worlds, slide shows and media players. The theoretical framework is based on the currere approach?a curriculum technique used to reconstruct social, intellectual, and physical systems.
Data was collected in two education graduate courses in 2011 at a public university located in central Texas. After participating with SL skill trainings, the participants engaged in two virtual SL exhibitions?war and ecology?which were designed in the framework of the four currere steps?regression, progression, analysis, and synthesis. Data was collected via observations, SL reflective writings, individual currere writings, and voluntary interviews.
The results revealed how SL exhibitions, based on the four-step currere approach, benefit the participants. In the regressive step, the virtual installations stimulated participants' emotions and vivid memories toward the presented topics. In the progressive step, the SL exhibitions awakened participants' awareness to educate the public on the global issues and integrate them into school subjects. In the analytic step, the exhibitions allowed participants to ruminate and re-exam the past, present and future, as well as to reflect on their own consciousness. In the synthetical stage, participants reflected and inflected their own perspectives toward the learning materials. Using the exhibitions' target knowledge, individuals were able to develop a self-understanding, which propelled them toward self-mobilization and educational reconstruction.
Regarding SL curriculum development, the participants indicated SL innovative installation assisted them in extrapolating ideas for subject integration and interdisciplinary curriculum. In terms of technological utilization, SL changed the participants' perception about how integrating virtual technology into a classroom makes teaching and learning accommodating for distant students. In addition, this further motivates students to understand content more concretely and effectively. With regard to autobiographic emotional involvement, SL delivered the powerful images and videos to participants, which allowed them to understand why they possessed certain kinds of emotions toward specific events.||en