Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

School Name

Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education



Major Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Dinkins

Second Advisor

Dr. Grant Smith

Third Advisor

Dr. Nelson Lopez


The current era of globalization and unprecedented global migration is creating the need for schools to educate students for global competence (GC). Multiple researchers (Boix Mansilla & Jackson, 2011; Hunter, 2004; Hunter et al., 2006; Morales & Ogden, 2013) suggest that self-awareness is the core dimension of GC, but about which very little is known. This paper considers the demonstrations of self-awareness in the development of GC. Using Kim's (2008) Intercultural Personhood Theory and the specific components of personal and social communication processes, self-awareness was investigated in East African immigrants. Findings suggest that the construct of self-awareness dimensionalizes differently for those from East African cultures, reflecting the collectivist culture of East Africa, than it does for Western cultures, which are more individualistic in nature (Barrett, 2011). Additionally, findings showed a two-phase process occurs between the initial point of cultural exploration and the development of GC. Various processes occur within each phase that participants used to move toward a GC identity. The paper concludes with a discussion of key implications and areas of significance.