Enhancing Intercultural Understanding for Pre-service Teachers Through Developing and Sustaining Education Abroad Experiences
Keywords:intercultural competence, study abroad, education abroad, teacher education
AbstractThis article discusses two education abroad programs that afford pre-service teachers with purposeful opportunities to enhance their intercultural competence through immersion in teaching internships in British schools. The programs, in London and Nottingham, provide pre-service teachers with direct experiences that engage them with diverse instructional perspectives and challenge their ideas underpinning U.S. norms for teaching and learning. The Nottingham program focuses on the discipline of history and about how the past is taught, while the London program has an urban education focus that serves participants across a variety of disciplines. Both programs are a 15 week semester abroad for teaching interns following their domestic student teaching semester. Focused on teacher leadership and intercultural learning, this value-added semester builds upon four prior semesters of school placements, requires a master-level research project, and directly engages interns in school-based activities. This paper highlights the two programs with specific attention paid to purposefully facilitating intercultural learning. Implications for both initiating and sustaining international experiences for pre-service teacher education are addressed.