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Appears in:
Pages: 7551-7558
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.0359

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

WHAT MAKES A MOBILITY CHAMPION? QUALITATIVE INSIGHTS ON TEACHERS’ MOBILITY EXPERIENCES

The goal of internationalization has been widely adopted by Higher Education Institutions (HEI) across the globe. Erasmus is the most successful mobility program ever launched by the European Commission, aiming to contribute to the advancement of knowledge, the proliferation of academic best practices, and, most especially, to the promotion of overall mobility, cooperation and integration of European citizens. Teachers’ mobility is one of the facets of HEI internationalization, and despite its importance in implementing one of the main purposes of the program it is still disregarded by researchers, with most mobility studies focusing on students.

Extant literature emphasizes that while most teachers do not seem willing to join mobility programs, others are champions of participation with repeated experiences in teaching assignments. This research focuses on the most active mobility teachers and aims to delve into their experiences, namely by identifying facilitators and motives for this repeated internationalization and by analyzing the outcomes of these initiatives in their personal lives, professional activity, home and host students, and for their HEI as a whole.

This study adopts a qualitative exploratory approach. Having as sample universe the teachers of one Portuguese University (N = 107) that in a 7-year period (2009-2016) engaged in mobility experiences under the Erasmus program, 8 were identified as having the highest number of initiatives (2 with 5, 2 with 4, and 4 with 3 mobility experiences) and invited to participate in this study. From these mobility champions, 5 accepted, resulting in 5 phenomenological interviews. Data was collected in January 2017.

Although the experiences were markedly related to lecturing, the participants shared an integrated view of the Erasmus mobility, being essential for their success the additional opportunities of joint research and the strengthening of international relationships and networks. Prior relations with teachers from the host University and ongoing research projects stood out among the facilitators. The opportunity to observe and get to know other cultural settings was also mentioned as one determinant stimulus. Still, the outcomes in terms of teaching methodologies and best practices as well an effective impact in home students seemed residual. Moreover, the ability to encourage other teachers to join the program was very limited, often confined to close colleagues and research partners.

Despite its exploratory nature, this study demonstrates the relevance of further research on mobility champions to assess the success and possible pitfalls of repeated mobility experiences in terms of extended institutional outcomes and as well as individual gratification of the teachers involved. Based on the results, we suggest the consideration of a wider set of outcomes in the appraisal of mobility initiatives, as well as the widespread of champions’ insights on the topic in order to motivate inexperienced teachers to embrace internationalization. Hopefully this paper will be able to inspire not only research but also teaching mobility initiatives.
@InProceedings{BARBOSA2017WHA,
author = {Barbosa, B. and Santos, C. and Filipe, S. and Pinheiro, M. and Sim{\~{o}}es, D. and Dias, G.},
title = {WHAT MAKES A MOBILITY CHAMPION? QUALITATIVE INSIGHTS ON TEACHERS’ MOBILITY EXPERIENCES},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.0359},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.0359},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {7551-7558}}
TY - CONF
AU - B. Barbosa AU - C. Santos AU - S. Filipe AU - M. Pinheiro AU - D. Simões AU - G. Dias
TI - WHAT MAKES A MOBILITY CHAMPION? QUALITATIVE INSIGHTS ON TEACHERS’ MOBILITY EXPERIENCES
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.0359
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 7551
EP - 7558
ER -
B. Barbosa, C. Santos, S. Filipe, M. Pinheiro, D. Simões, G. Dias (2017) WHAT MAKES A MOBILITY CHAMPION? QUALITATIVE INSIGHTS ON TEACHERS’ MOBILITY EXPERIENCES, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 7551-7558.
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