Facts and Feelings: Effects of an International Student Teaching Experience on Student Teachers' Attitudes and Perceptions

By Jo Ann Higginbotham and Patricia McClung.

Published by The International Journal of Diversity in Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: January 2, 2015 $US5.00

This study was designed to determine differences in pre- and post-attitudes and perceptions of 40 Lee University pre-service teachers who participated in overseas student teaching placements at a school in Bangkok, Thailand and a school in Winneba, Ghana. The study also viewed the challenges created by social dynamics and unique academic aspects of overseas teaching and other demanding situations encountered by the student teachers. The researchers administered a pre-survey to student teachers before they departed for the overseas experience and a post-survey once they returned to campus. Based on the Lee University Teacher Education model of Lifelong Learner, Effective Educator, and Ethical Practitioner, the surveys contained subjective reflection questions as well as objective questions. The subjects consisted of those pre-service student teachers who elected to do one of their student teaching placements in Thailand or Ghana. It was the underlying premise of this study that through a lived experience there would be a change in factual knowledge and perceived attitudes of the student teachers who took part in this three year research project. The results support other studies that suggest the benefits of student teaching abroad (Cohen and Paige,et. al, 2003; Cushner, 2009; Karaman and Tochon, 2007; Lewin, 2009; Mahon and Espinetti, 2007; Mahon and Cushner, 2007; Phillion, Malewski, Sharma, and Yuxiang, 2012; Roberts, 2007; Stachowski, Richardson, 2003; Talburt, 2009; and Wells, 2008).

Keywords: Student Teaching, Teaching Abroad, Overseas Teaching

The International Journal of Diversity in Education, Volume 15, Issue 1, March 2015, pp.11-23. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: January 2, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 235.771KB)).

Dr. Jo Ann Higginbotham

Professor, College of Education, Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, and Special Education, Lee University, Cleveland, Tennessee, USA

Dr. Patricia McClung

Associate Professor, Early Childhood, Elementary, and Special Education, Lee University, Cleveland, TN, USA