Cross-cultural teaching and foreign teacher identity in Singapore

Sun Yee Yip, Eisuke Saito, Zane M. Diamond

Abstract


The international movement of teachers is a global phenomenon that has seen an increasing number of teachers moving from one country to another. Although developed countries in the West are traditionally seen as attractive migration destinations for teachers, countries in Asia, such as Singapore, are also proving to be a draw for many foreign teachers. Despite studies of the experiences of foreign teachers, there are few studies investigating the influence of cross-cultural teaching on the development of the professional identity of foreign teachers. Using a narrative inquiry approach, this study examines how the cross-cultural teaching experience of a Chinese beginning teacher in Singapore influenced the development of his professional teacher identity. The story of the participant tells of why the participant became a teacher and how the change of teaching context from China to Singapore influenced his professional identity as a teacher. The study surfaced the large cultural difference between the two countries.


Keywords


cross-cultural teaching; teacher identity

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