Study Abroad for Preservice Teachers
A Critical Literature Review with Considerations for Research and Practice
Keywords:Study abroad, Preservice teachers, Global competency, Teacher education, Postcolonialism
This article applies a postcolonial analytical framework to critically review empirical literature on study abroad for preservice teachers (PSTs). Our systematic search of scholarly databases identified 47 empirical studies of study abroad programs for PSTs in the 2000-2019 time period. Our analysis of these 47 studies is driven by the objectives to (a) understand geographic patterns in study abroad of PSTs, (b) examine the topics, conceptual frames, and implementation of study abroad of PSTs, (c) explore how study abroad for PSTs is currently being conceptualized and studied, and (d) critically analyze how these geographic patterns and study abroad programmatic and research trends are situated within broader North-South relations (Major & Santoro, 2016). Using geovisualizations we illustrate patterns in the countries of origin of PSTs and the countries in which they study abroad. We find that the majority of PSTs are from the United States and are traveling to countries in the North. When examining the content and programming of study abroad, we find many programs focus on cultivating professional skills for PSTs such as language fluency for foreign language teachers and intercultural competence. After establishing these patterns, we pay particular attention to the 23 studies in our sample that examine PSTs traveling to regions in the Global South. We conclude by offering considerations for future research and highlighting practices for program design that encourage PSTs to reflect upon global power differentials and complexities.
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