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Education Goes International: Partnering Abroad to Build Teacher Education Programs


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During this session, the panelists will offer their unique perspectives on the obstacles and mediation necessary to develop a culturally responsive teacher education program abroad that positively impacts U.S. teacher candidates as well as Italian teachers and their primary students. Using examples from their experience developing a teacher education program with EFL teaching field experience, the panelists will lead participants in discussions focused on addressing the curriculum needs of students and U.S. institutions, the community needs of the host culture, and the strategies necessary to work effectively with the host. Dialogue with participants will be framed around approaches for curriculum alignment and for developing and maintaining mutually beneficial community partnerships.

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Education Goes International: Partnering Abroad to Build Teacher Education Programs

  1. 1. Education Goes International: Partnering Abroad to Build Teacher Education Programs Laura Hauerwas, Joanne Maddux Meaghan Creamer Providence College Fairfield University, Florence Providence College
  2. 2. Outline of Presentation 2 ▪ The International Teacher Education Partnership Fairfield University and Providence College Fairfield in Florence and Florence Primary Schools ▪ Development of the Program over 5+ years Curriculum alignment Mutually beneficial partnerships with host community ▪ Research: Impact of the Program on the Host Community ▪ Strategies to Sustain Partnership Programs
  3. 3. International Teacher Education Partnership Fairfield University and Providence College Fairfield in Florence and Florence Primary Schools
  4. 4. Questions for Audience 4 1. What is your experience with field based partnerships? 2. What is your experience with custom programs aligned with specific curricular needs? 3. What what you like to take away from this session?
  5. 5. Development of the Program over 5+ years Curriculum Alignment Mutually beneficial partnerships with host community
  6. 6. Program Development and Evolution 6 1. Curriculum Alignment with Teacher Education Program a. Practicum Requirements b. Literacy Class c. Cross-Cultural Class d. Intern Assessment 2. Mutually beneficial partnerships with schools a. EFL curriculum b. Scheduling c. Teacher Professional Development
  7. 7. Research What is the impact of the teacher education program on the host community? Abroad students and program staff must act “as committed global citizens to ensure that we are carrying out our work in a way that is responsible to all parties involved” (Stephenson, 2006).
  8. 8. Research 8 Participants ▪ Italian Cooperating Teachers ▪ Italian Primary Students who the American interns taught EFL Analysis Approach ▪ Inductive process to establish codes and findings ▪ Validity of data: memos, member checks, discussions of meaning Data Collection ▪ Cooperating Teacher Interviews ▪ Student Questionnaires ▪ Classroom Observations ▪ Program and Meeting Notes from 2012-2015
  9. 9. Italian Primary Students 9 Data revealed impact in three areas: ▪ Communication skills ▪ Global awareness ▪ Reflective understanding
  10. 10. Italian Primary Students: Finding One 10 Italian Students “In reality I haven’t learned many words from our American teacher, but how to make sentences (which to me is more important).” “She helped me a lot with the pronunciation, since her pronunciation was very American.” “I learned how to make sentences and to pronounce correctly…” Cooperating Teachers Highlighted the importance of hearing and interacting with “mother tongue speakers” to the students’ English language development Enhanced English Communication Skills
  11. 11. Italian Primary Students: Finding Two 11 Italian Students “My American teacher helped me discover the world” “That my lifestyle is different compared to others and that Europe is not the only place in the world” “I’ve learned that many different realities exist and now I know that when I grow up I want to see these different realities” Cooperating Teachers “students have to challenge themselves to speak the language of the American interns in order to create a relationship”. Developed an Awareness of the Global World
  12. 12. Italian Primary Students: Finding Three 12 Italian Students “I learned very well when she taught me interrogative pronouns with a scavenger hunt” “I’ve learned really well her lessons when she used to call us at the blackboard and when she let us explain our work after being divided into groups.” Built Reflective Understanding of Learning
  13. 13. Cooperating Teachers 13 Data revealed impact in three areas: ▪ participation in the classroom ▪ educational practices ▪ global education partnership
  14. 14. Cooperating Teacher: Finding One 14 Participation structures in the classroom changed to support learning Observations while interns were teaching EFL: ▪ CTs translated the interns’ English instructions to Italian for their students ▪ CTs confirmed with the intern their expectations for activities ▪ CTs clarified their understanding of different English words and constructions with interns “At the beginning the mentoring teacher’s task during teaching was to serve as a sort of filter to support and check if the communication was passing… As the experience progressed, this role lessened to the point that I simply walked around the classroom, observed and supported students with problems and disabilities.”
  15. 15. 15 Cooperating Teacher: Finding Two Learned about and responded to cultural variations in educational practices Approaches to EFL Teaching Teacher Evaluation
  16. 16. Cooperating Teacher: Finding Three 16 Strengthened commitment to partnership and global education “a gift to our school” “global collaboration” “we say [to parents] these interns don’t come here to speak in general, but they do a perfect lesson.. happy to see this serious work.” “valuable to us... globalizing curriculum”
  17. 17. Reciprocal Benefits of the Program on the Host Community 17 Tangible Benefits ▪ Provided CTs and students access to an American who could model English and teach them about America Capacity Building ▪ Built both interns’ and CTs’ capacity as teachers, and the students’ capacity as reflective learners Intercultural Understanding ▪ Strengthened commitment to global awareness through relationships built with partners.
  18. 18. Strategies to Sustain Partnership Programs
  19. 19. Strategies to Sustain Partnerships- University to University 19 ▪ Identify key actors to develop and sustain partnership. ▪ Consider forming a committee with diverse representation for program development. ▪ Formalize agreement; establish learning objective and timeline for growth and development.
  20. 20. Strategies to Sustain Partnerships- Study Abroad Program & Local Community 20 ▪ Identify criteria for host institution partnership. ▪ Consider building on pre-existing relationships. ▪ Develop a selection and vetting process for cooperating teachers.
  21. 21. Strategies to Sustain Partnerships- University and Local Community 21 ▪ Select a cultural mediator for communication between host partner and university. ▪ Develop a process for delivering feedback and assessment of pre-service teachers. ▪ Ensure that the cooperating teachers have opportunities for cultural reflection and learning about cultural variations in education practices.
  22. 22. 1) Faculty and Study Abroad Professionals: Key Players 2) Community Partnership: Establishing Common Goals 3) Teacher Interns: Dissonance in Italian Classroom 4) Administration: Sustainability
  23. 23. THANK YOU