Overseas Student Teachers’ Reflections on American National Identity: A Longitudinal Study


  • Frans H Doppen Ohio University
  • Bahman Shahri Ohio University


National Identity, Social Studies, Global Studies, Education


This study draws on narratives submitted between summer 2008 – summer 2018 by 78 student teachers across all grade bands [K-12] and content areas [Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Mathematics] who completed three months of student teaching in an overseas country through the Consortium for Overseas Student Teaching (COST) during their final undergraduate senior year. All student teachers were in their early 20s. Upon completing their student teaching each student submitted a written reflection in response to the following prompt: Now that you have finished your student teaching abroad experience, what did you learn about yourself as an American? What did you learn about others’ perspectives of what it is that makes someone American? In other words, how do you answer Crevecoeur’s question, “What is an American?” Our findings include 12 major themes categorized into three major categories, i.e. socialization, hegemony and individuation.

Author Biographies

Frans H Doppen, Ohio University

Department Chair; Professor of Middle Childhood Education, Social Studies Education

Bahman Shahri, Ohio University

Doctoral Student, Curriculum and Instruction