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Kissock ICET 2009 Paper

Kissock ICET 2009 Paper

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Published by: educatorsabroad on Dec 16, 2009
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It is Time to Internationalize Teacher Education
Paper presented at the International Council on Education for Teaching54th World Assembly - December 14-17, 2009Muscat, OmanDr. Craig Kissock Director, EducatorsAbroad Ltd.2021 S Shore Blvd, Montgomery, TX 77356 USAcraig@educatorsabroad.orgPaula RichardsonEducatorsAbroad Ltd. UK Team Director 15 Palmer Close, Redhill, Surrey RH1 4BU, England paula@educatorsabroad.orgSummaryBuilding on an extensive review of literature the case is made that teacher educators mustembrace a global perspective, adopt and achieve global standards, modernize instructional processes, serve our global village, and broaden student perspective to fulfil our profession’sresponsibilities for the future of our global village.Teacher educators must break their ‘virtual wall of silence’ and begin preparing educatorsfor the globally interdependent world in which they will work and their students will live byopening the world to students through international experience and integrating a global perspective throughout the curriculum.1
It is Time to Internationalize Teacher Education
Teacher educators must acknowledge that education is a global profession; recognize theyare preparing teachers for their future, not our past; and think and act globally in designingand implementing pre and in-service professional development programs.As teacher educators we do not act on the need to prepare our graduates for the globallyinterdependent world in which they will work and their students will live. It is time thatwe heed the extensive literature calling on us to internationalize our teacher education programs and bring a global perspective to education decision making in order to prepare globally minded professionals who can effectively teach any child from, or living in, any part of the world.The best approach to achieving this goal is to integrate a global perspective throughout allcomponents of an educator’s professional preparation through cooperative effort by arts,sciences and education faculty. Alternatively – and seemingly more realistically – is to dowhat we can to impact components of the curriculum that we have control over includingexpectations associated with coursework and school based practicum and student teachingrequirements.The conclusions of this paper are based on our twenty year study of and experiencearranging student teaching placements through the EducatorsAbroad Global StudentTeaching program. Since 1989 we, along with professional educators and colleagues in hostcountries, have offered professional support and supervision for over 1900 student teachersfrom 87 colleges and universities in Canada, the UK, and USA through three to eighteenweek individualized student teaching placements in 669 state, private, church and secular host schools in 57 countries (www.educatorsabroad.org).
Education in Globalization
‘Globalisation is a process whereby events, decisions and activities in one part of the worldcome to have significant consequences for individuals and communities in distantlocations....’ (Huckle, 1996). At the core of this definition is recognition of the fact thateducation, in terms of knowledge development and transfer, is at the epicenter of theglobalization process that impacts everyone’s life.An outcome of globalization, the introduction of new technologies, nearly universal accessto knowledge and education, and new groupings of countries (e.g. the European Union) isawareness that the world’s citizens are now members of a global village through which weshare a common belonging that previously was limited in scale and scope (Jarvis 2004;Bajunid 2000).At the same time the very developments which bring people and nations closer together alsomake apparent the tremendous differences which exist in access to basic needs. The UNreport (2000) identifies that, ‘More than a quarter of the 4.5 billion people in developingcountries still do not have some of life’s most basic choices - survival beyond 40, access toknowledge and minimum basic services … and one in every seven children of primaryschool age is out of school…’.With broader access to information and ease of communication, educational processes are becoming more varied requiring new approaches to teaching and learning. Teacher education graduates must be prepared to use these tools and compete with other forms of access to information including on-line and self directed learning options that are gainingrespect and bringing equity and access to educational opportunity.2
Educators can no longer rely on replicating what they remember of their school experiencein designing and implementing instruction. The world – and the world of education – hasand will continue to change. Prospective teachers must be assisted in critically reflecting ontheir memories of what it is like to be in the learning process in order to not merelyreproduce their own experiences but adapt them to meet the needs of the next generation of students (Steiner, 1996).While Brighouse (1996) talks of the urgency of global education for UK teachers andSteiner (1996) advocates strongly for Initial Teacher Education programmes to demonstratea deep commitment to organising and offering courses which allow reflective considerationof the concepts and ideas which underpin global citizenship Tye (1999) in reviewing a studyof global education practices in 52 countries formed a conclusion that remains accuratetoday, ‘In teacher training, global education is in large measure unknown. Global educationdoes not appear in lesson plans in teacher training programs…it does not constitute a priority for professional teacher training...with the exception of intercultural understanding’.
Responsibilities of teacher educators
As teacher educators we continue to ignore global change and decades of professionalliterature that make clear the need to internationalize teacher education such as presented by(Cogan, 1982; Ochoa, 1982; Schneider, 2003). As a result we continue to focus on preparingteachers for schools in communities near our institutions ignoring the reality that we live ina globally interdependent world, are part of the global (not local) professions of teachingand teacher education, and are preparing educators to educate young people who will live past the year 2100.The global reality of teacher education is that our students/prospective teachers come to usfrom the 60 mile/100 kilometer service area of our institutions believing they will live their lives and teach young people as they were taught in the same communities. As professionalsresponsible for the preparation of primary/secondary school teachers who are expected to prepare their students for the 22
century should we recommend individuals with suchlimited life experience for entry into the profession?If the answer is no – or even a qualified yes - then we must act on our responsibility andcause our students to broaden their life experience so they can prepare their students withthe higher order thinking and performance skills they will need for the world in which theywill live. Internationalizing the teacher education curriculum and use of school based placements in other countries/cultures are ways of fulfilling this responsibility.
A global perspective in teacher education
Within the current narrow framework of the standards movement the internationalization of teacher education is essentially non-existent. There is no example of a global perspective being integrated throughout the arts, science, and pedagogical course requirements in anyteacher education program. But this need not be the case if we focus attention on a set of globally defined and accepted standards– such as reflective practice - and understand the processes required to achieve them.All teacher educators would accept as a standard that teachers must be able to reflect on pastexperience and continually integrate new insights in order to increase their effectivenessthroughout their career. But reflection and improvement does not take place in a vacuum. Todevelop this ability, educators must move beyond their comfort zone to see their world from3

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