The Impact of International Student Teaching Experience on Teacher Identity and Cultural Competency

By Phoebe Constantinou.

Published by The International Journal of Diversity in Education

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: July 24, 2015 $US5.00

This study examined the impact an international teaching experience had on pre-service teachers’ identity and cultural competency. A convenient sample of 17 (N=17) college students was used for this study. Data were gathered through participants’ pre- and post-self-reflective papers and two weekly reflective journals completed while abroad. Using qualitative methods the data analysis revealed four Themes and three Sub-themes: (1) Teacher Identity, (2) Cultural Competencies, with the Sub-themes of Communication Skills, Attitude and Behavior, Student-teacher Relationship, (3) Outside the “Comfort Zone” as the “Other,” and (4) Empowering and Confidence-Boosting. The results indicated that such experiences can have a significant impact on pre-service teachers’ identity and cultural competencies. Experiencing how it feels to be the “Other” and having to teach and live outside their “comfort zone” revealed to be empowering and fostered self-confidence for the pre-service teachers.

Keywords: Teacher Identity, Cultural Competencies, Study Abroad

The International Journal of Diversity in Education, Volume 15, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.17-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: July 24, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 456.467KB)).

Dr. Phoebe Constantinou

Associate Professor, Health Promotion and Physical Education, Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York, USA