Date of Award


Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Rebecca H. Stephenson

Second Advisor

Edmundo Edward F. Litton

Third Advisor

Rebecca Hong


Several paradigms have been developed to define what constitutes deeper learning, how to foster it, and what desired outcomes or competencies can result from it. Much of the literature, however, has been based on studies in economically developed Western countries. There has been little, if any, that is based on developing country settings where culture and context can account for differences in the manner of promoting deeper learning. This qualitative case study explored the experiences of learners in the Mudita Mission School (MMS; pseudonym), a K-12 school in a rural part of northern Cambodia, and investigated how deeper learning was enacted, valued, and fostered there. It also examined challenges and opportunities for promoting deeper learning faced by the school. This study sought to contribute to the global movements for deeper learning by highlighting voices from marginalized communities, thus expanding the conceptual frameworks which have been exclusive of experiences of students and educators in impoverished country contexts. This study also sought to contribute to the literature that informs Cambodian educational reform. Study findings suggest that fostering eco-humanistic value-systems and respect for Khmer culture scaffold arcs of deeper learning in the MMS, and that several innovative pedagogical practices uncommon to many rural schools in Cambodia were transforming the educational experiences of students there. Based on the findings, the author proposes a theory of Epistemologies of Deeper Learning to complement frameworks in the literature.

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