The transformative effect of study abroad: Australian teaching experience on US pre-service teacher identity formation

Jennifer Collins, Audrey Geste

Abstract


This study describes the transformational effect of a short-term study abroad experience on a group of U.S. pre-service teachers (PST). The PST participated in a cross-cultural exchange which included a six week placement in an Australian school where they assumed many teaching responsibilities. The PST reported experiencing collaboration as a structural feature of their Australian school experience in distinct contrast to their highly compartmentalized organizational structure of mainstream US schooling. This broadened perspective of shared teaching roles impacted students such that they expressed a belief that they too could incorporate this approach to teaching in the US. Not only the exposure to the complexity of teacher roles and responsibilities, but their inclusion as near-peers prompted the PST to experience, for some for the first time the sense of actual identification as teacher.

Keywords


Teacher identity, teacher education, study abroad, pre-service teacher, cross-culture

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