Preparing Globally Competent Teachers to Address P-12 Students’ Needs

One University’s Story


  • Sharon Brennan University of Kentucky
  • Ellie Holliday University of Kentucky


Teacher study abroad, Globally competent teaching, International education


In this article, two teacher educators share the evolution of an Overseas Student Teaching (OST) program embedded in the University of Kentucky’s Educator Preparation Program (EPP). The goal of this initiative is to help candidates who participate in this program develop skills associated with global competence so they can better address the needs of P-12 students from a wide range of diverse backgrounds when they enter the profession. We begin with a rationale explaining the importance of global competence for teachers as seen through a policy and theoretical lens. We also identify possible obstacles involved in initiatives such as ours and offer suggestions about how to overcome them. Then, we describe the curriculum OST participants follow including key assignments and tools used to guide and assess their progress.  We conclude with expansion plans designed to help more teacher candidates in our EPP become globally competent teachers whether or not they participate in the overseas initiative.

Author Biographies

Sharon Brennan, University of Kentucky

Sharon Brennan is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and director of clinical practices and school partnerships for the educator preparation program at the University of Kentucky. She is a former director of the Consortium for Overseas Student Teaching (COST). Her academic work focuses on globally competent teaching practice, teacher assessment, mentoring novice teachers, and curriculum development

Ellie Holliday, University of Kentucky

Ellie Holliday joined the University of Kentucky College of Education as a lecturer and coordinator of international partnerships in 2014. She earned her B.A. in international studies and M.A. in diplomacy and international commerce from the University of Kentucky. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. through the Department of Educational Leadership Studies at the University of Kentucky.