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Appears in:
Pages: 5187-5193
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain

AUSTRALIAN PRESERVICE TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS ABOUT INTERNATIONAL PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE PLACEMENTS

L. Uusimaki, H. Campbell

Charles Sturt University (AUSTRALIA)
The purpose of this research project was to consider how mono-culturalism and White privilege would affect the cultural and global awareness engendered by an international professional experience placement in a small group of Early Childhood pre-service students from a regional inland university. It examined the effectiveness of the international professional experience placement in developing pre-service teachers’ ideas of social justice, themselves as teachers and global citizens. The study examined these pre-service teachers’ journeys through face-to-face pre- and post-interview situations. The data collected and analyzed include pre- and post- enactment interview data. A narrative analysis (Thorne, 2001) was used as a strategy to analyze the pre- and post-enactment interview data. The findings from the study provided valuable insights to some of the challenges and issues faced by these Australian rural pre-service teachers in understanding cross-cultural issues during international placements.

International professional experiences as part of teacher education programs are an evolving form of support in the development of pre-service teachers’ understanding of cross-cultural issues, and hence, the need for comprehensive, in-depth research agenda on the topic of pre-service teachers’ experiences of internationalisation (Quezada & Cordeiro, 2007). Amongst the advantages offered to pre-service teachers who undertake international placements are better understandings of the pluralistic nature of the global society, a reduction in ethnocentrism, increased self-confidence and compassion, new pedagogical ideas and philosophies, and a greater readiness to embrace their role as global citizens and educators (Stachowski and Sparks, 2007; Pence & Macgillivray, 2008). It is further noted that cross-cultural communication is also a key element in creating the concept of ‘universal citizenship’ amongst pre-service teachers (Jongewaard, 2000), and one that can be explored through cultural immersion. Nonetheless, while the benefits of intercultural and experiential learning have ‘far-reaching consequences on the global education of the entire community of learners’ (Willard-Holt, 2001, in Stachowski and Sparks, 2007), a delimiting factor may well be that ‘many teachers have had relatively few, if any significant intercultural experiences and are relatively inexperienced with regard to global affairs’ (Cushner & Mahon, 2002, p. 45). This similarly applies to pre-service teachers, especially those from rural communities who may have never travelled outside their local areas, and based on their White middle class backgrounds, can have uninformed, misconceived notions of cultural identity, and lack confidence in teaching global issues (Clarke & Drudy, 2006). Another concern relates to pre-service teachers’ negative attitudes and beliefs about diversity that may prevent them from embracing learning about new cultures.
What is needed for a meaningful change in pre-service teachers’ level of cultural awareness and education is a favourable predisposition by the pre-service teacher to the willing embrace of and learning about new cultures. A favourable predisposition is identified by Garmon (1996) as being a significant factor in whether or not acceptance of cultural diversity is improved following a multicultural experience such as an international professional experience placement (Garmon, 2004).
@InProceedings{UUSIMAKI2013AUS,
author = {Uusimaki, L. and Campbell, H.},
title = {AUSTRALIAN PRESERVICE TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS ABOUT INTERNATIONAL PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE PLACEMENTS},
series = {6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3847-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {5187-5193}}
TY - CONF
AU - L. Uusimaki AU - H. Campbell
TI - AUSTRALIAN PRESERVICE TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS ABOUT INTERNATIONAL PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE PLACEMENTS
SN - 978-84-616-3847-5/2340-1095
PY - 2013
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2013
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2013 Proceedings
SP - 5187
EP - 5193
ER -
L. Uusimaki, H. Campbell (2013) AUSTRALIAN PRESERVICE TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS ABOUT INTERNATIONAL PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE PLACEMENTS, ICERI2013 Proceedings, pp. 5187-5193.
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