Skip to Content

Dr. Coryell Leads Comparative Course

Dr. Joellen Coryell leads comparative course in Italy

by Emma Carberry
Outreach Coordinator, College of Education

July 9, 2018

To Dr. Joellen Coryell, associate professor in the Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education and School Psychology department, giving her graduate students the opportunity to experience what adult education looks like outside of the United States is vital. “Our world is becoming so influenced by different cultures, languages and economies,” she says. She adds that, with adult education encompassing so many disciplines, students need to start expanding their scope more globally.

Dr. Coryell and her graduate students representing Texas State in Venice, Italy
Dr. Coryell and her graduate students representing Texas State in Venice, Italy

This May, Coryell taught the second-ever iteration of her International Comparative Adult, Community, Professional, and Higher Education Research and Study course, which includes a nine-day international component in Italy. While in Italy, her eight students were given multiple opportunities to explore and reflect upon the field of adult education. One such opportunity was an inaugural international graduate student research forum in adult education, where Texas State students presented their research alongside other doctoral and masters students from the University of Padova. Coryell stresses the importance of experiences like these, which allow students to see the epistemological and methodological differences between the two countries.

In that spirit, students are required to write five blog posts across a 3-month period before and after the international field experience, as well as engage in conversations focused around an inquiry framework, which encourages them to ask questions of themselves and then of others. While these conversations took place at every stop on the trip, perhaps one of the most meaningful discussions took place when students traveled by train to the University of Florence, where they participated in a world café workshop with adult education doctoral students. At this workshop, the two groups of students engaged in comparative conversations about connecting adult education programs with employability.

Other stops on the experience included a tour of the Palazzo Bo, the original seat of the University of Padova, along with the university’s botanical gardens. Because Coryell’s course emphasizes the importance of connecting cultural learning with academic activities, students were also able to visit Michelangelo’s David, the Basilica di San Marco, and the Capella degli Scrovegni, a church which contains masterpiece frescos by the renowned artist Giotto.

Coryell’s love for Italy began when she was an undergraduate student and studied abroad at the Centro Linguistico Italiano Dante Alighieri. This May, following the international course experience, she stayed in Italy for a week, where she revisited the school to take classes fully in Italian for four hours a day to boost her language skills. This refresher course will prove quite useful when Coryell begins her Fulbright appointment at the Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta in Rome this October, where she will continue her research on adult higher education in internationally diverse populations.

To read more about Coryell’s Fulbright appointment click here.

the group at the university of Florence
The group at the University of Florence
Poster Presentation at International Graduate Student Forum
Poster Presentation at International Graduate Student Forum
World Cafe
World Café at the University of Florence