Call for Proposals: Special Issue on Intercultural Development in Teacher Education: Sustaining Momentum for Study Abroad and Virtual Exchange Innovation

[Click here to download a PDF of this call]

Guest Editors: 

Adriana L. Medina, PhD, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte 

Allison J. Spenader, PhD, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University (MN)


This proposed special issue will focus on how teacher education programs continue to develop intercultural knowledge, skills, and attitudes in preservice and inservice teachers through virtual exchanges and education abroad. 

International experiences have been used to build intercultural and global competencies that benefit teachers’ instructional practices (Marx & Moss, 2011; Spenader & Medina, 2023). Study abroad has long been a main route for developing interculturality in teachers. Internationalization efforts in higher education have promoted study abroad as a high impact practice for intercultural development (AAC&U, 2008). As teacher educators, our interest in this topic stems from our lived experiences of navigating the disruption to international programs caused by the global pandemic. 

Many institutions continue to rely on education abroad experiences to develop interculturality in future teachers. However, study abroad continues to pose challenges related to equity, mobility, access, and sustainability. COVID-19 impacted education abroad and propelled many institutions toward virtual exchanges (i.e., Globally Networked Learning and Collaborative Online International Learning). Virtual exchanges are increasingly being used to develop intercultural skills as part of teacher education programs. During the pandemic, institutions experimented with innovative solutions and alternatives to education abroad. Many programs and institutions later found both virtual exchanges and student mobility opportunities to be a promising combination. 

Post-pandemic, teacher preparation programs are re-assessing and re-imagining how to embed meaningful intercultural learning into teacher candidate experiences. Future directions for cross-cultural education will certainly involve a mixture of domestic, international, and virtual experiences as part of teacher preparation. Additionally, teacher educators seek to make meaningful international and intercultural experiences accessible, sustainable, and equitable for teacher candidates. The field of teacher education continues to explore the benefits of intercultural and global competence for teachers and their students. 

Therefore, we would like to collect in a special issue the research examining these innovations in intercultural development in teacher education through virtual exchanges and education abroad during this era. 

Key Questions

  • This special issue attempts to address the overarching question:
  • How have teacher education programs developed and supported intercultural competence (i.e., knowledge, skills, and attitudes) through virtual exchanges and education abroad for preservice and inservice teachers?

Some directions for inquiry include: 

  • What’s new in education abroad for teacher education?
  • How have teacher education study abroad programs adapted to meet the needs of teacher preparation programs?
  • How have innovations in study abroad and virtual exchange (i.e., GNL, COIL, etc.) led to more meaningful learning and increased opportunity, access, equity, and mobility for teacher candidates?
  • How have study abroad and virtual exchange programs in teacher education helped realize the goals for intercultural growth and global competence in teachers?
  • What are the lessons learned and the residual effects from pandemic inspired innovations in intercultural and international teacher education?
  • What are the tangible benefits of meaningful international and intercultural experiences on the work of teachers in classrooms at all levels?
  • What is the lived experience of a teacher educator during and after international and intercultural experiences?
  • What successes have institutions and programs had with sustainable practices?
  • What are future directions for intercultural development in teacher education?

The guest editors envision this issue to be an optimistic perspective on the potential for involving all educators in the exchange of ideas on this topic and thus welcome a variety of methodologies and perspectives in the proposed manuscripts. 

The guest editors can provide informal feedback on proposal ideas or concept descriptions prior to the submission date. Authors are invited to send their queries and ideas to the Guest Editors’ attention by emailing with the subject line - “Special Issue on Intercultural Development in Teacher Education.” 

Proposal Submission for This Special Issue:

Interested authors should first submit a 500 - 1000-word proposal clearly identifying a connection with the special issue topic by the call for proposal deadline date of October 1, 2023. Please include an overview of as many of the following as applicable: purpose of the article, stance, theoretical framework, methods, data sources, findings, research conclusions, and practical implications and recommendations for innovative practice.

Accepted proposals will be expected to comply with Frontiers’ submission guidelines.

Full-Length Submission Guidelines (to be prepared upon invitation from the Guest Editors):

5,000 - 10,000 words

APA style

150-word abstract

Anonymized manuscript for blind review

Title page with author(s) name and contact information

75-word brief biographical sketch of each author

Publication Timeline:

Call for proposals deadline: October 1st, 2023

Invitation of full-length articles: October 10th, 2023

Articles due: December 1st, 2023

Peer-review Process: December 2023 - January 2024

Decisions notification: January 26th, 2024

Revisions due: March 26th, 2024

Final decisions: April 15th, 2024

Publication date: Summer 2024

Direct inquiries to


AAC&U (American Association of Colleges & Universities). (2008). VALUE Rubrics- Intercultural Knowledge and Competence. Retrieved from (Accessed June 26, 2023.)

Marx, H., & Moss, D. M. (2011). Please mind the culture gap: Intercultural development during a teacher education study abroad program. Journal of Teacher Education, 62(1), 35-47.

Spenader, A. & Medina, A.L. (In Press, 2023). Study Abroad in Teacher Education: Fostering Intercultural Citizenship. In Kong, K. and Spenader, A. (Eds.) Intercultural Citizenship in Language Education: Teaching and Learning Through Social Action. Multilingual Matters.