What Is It All For?

The Intentions and Priorities for Study Abroad in Canadian Teacher Education

  • Marcea Ingersoll St. Thomas University
  • Alan Sears University of New Brunswick
  • Mark Hirschkorn University of New Brunswick
  • Jeff Landine University of New Brunswick
  • Lamia Kawtharani-Chami University of New Brunswick
Keywords: Teacher education, Study abroad, International practicum, Pre-service teachers

Abstract

Within the research literature and in public discourse on higher education, attention has focused on the need for new graduates to develop 21st century skills for success in an increasingly globalized world. Calls for institutions of higher education to support student mobility abound, with intentions that some have categorized as neoliberal and others ascribe to notions of global citizenship. In this paper, we bring together literature from the fields of internationalization, teacher education, and study abroad to provide a conceptual framing and response to an inquiry into the following research question: In what ways does a study abroad experience support the development of preservice teachers? Through a multi-phase, multiple-perspective case study approach, we draw on qualitative interview data to illuminate how faculties of education and their students conceptualize the role of study abroad in the development of preservice teachers. The intentions for these programs cluster under four themes: global citizenship, personal growth, professional development, and employability. The concept of structured encounters with difference emerges out of these themes as a conceptual frame for future study abroad initiatives.

Author Biographies

Marcea Ingersoll, St. Thomas University

Marcea Ingersoll is associate professor and director, School of Education, St. Thomas University. She is a collaborative scholar and works with other researchers as a member of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Narrative (CIRN) and the Research on International Teaching and Teacher Education (RITTE) team. Building on her experiences as an international teacher and teacher-educator, her scholarly work is situated at the crossroads of curriculum, narrative, teacher education, and international schools and their communities.

Alan Sears, University of New Brunswick

Alan Sears is an honorary research professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of New Brunswick.  His research and writing focus on civic education, history education, educational policy, and teacher education.  He is a member of the Research on International Teaching and Teacher Education (RITTE) research team. 

Mark Hirschkorn, University of New Brunswick

Mark Hirschkorn, Faculty of Education, University of New Brunswick, is a science/teacher/international education professor who, as a member of the Research on International Teaching and Teacher Education (RITTE) research team, has been investigating how education programs prepare teachers to teach across cultural boundaries. His research interests include international education program design, and how science educators integrate the philosophies of digital integration and authentic teaching into the ways they teach science.

Jeff Landine, University of New Brunswick

Jeff Landine is an associate professor in the counselling program, Faculty of Education, at the University of New Brunswick. His research interests include career development, vocational identity and employability, in particular with youth, young adults, and vulnerable populations.

Lamia Kawtharani-Chami, University of New Brunswick

Lamia Kawtharani-Chami, Faculty of Education, University of New Brunswick, is a PhD candidate, science education /teacher education, and member of the Research on International Teaching and Teacher Education (RITTE) research team.  Her global academic and career experience from Sierra Leone, to Lebanon, and then France, has shaped who she is as an educator and researcher. Her research interests include international education and studying the authentic practices of science teacher educators in different national and cultural contexts.

Published
2019-10-10