Promoting intercultural competence in a globalized era: Pre-service teachers’ perceptions of practices that promote intercultural competency
Keywords:Intercultural competence, global education, intercultural education, social studies methods, teacher education, instructional practices, and international service learning
The teaching force in the United States of America (U.S.) is still predominantly white and monolingual. Yet, the U.S. population is rapidly becoming culturally and ethnically diverse. As a result, white teachers have expressed doubt in their efficacy in teaching students whose cultures are different than theirs (Helfrich & Bean, 2011). The purpose of this study, therefore, was to explore practices that pre-service teachers find meaningful in promoting intercultural competence. Participating pre-service teachers (n=92) were exposed to instructional practices that explored global and intercultural education content in a variety of ways. Data that were collected through surveys, interviews and reflections showed that the participants found the use of children’s literature with a global focus, international service learning, threaded discussions, and reflections helpful in teaching to intercultural competency.