Learning to Teach in the Field: Five Professors Tell How Running an Overseas Study Tour Improved Their Classroom Teaching


  • Katherine Ellinghaus La Trobe University
  • Jennifer Spinks University of Melbourne
  • Glenn Moore Japan Broadcasting Corporation
  • Paul Hetherington University of Canberra
  • Cassandra Atherton Deakin University




Study abroad, Study tours, Classroom strategies, Teaching philosophy, Australia


This article examines the positive impact of overseas study tours on the teaching philosophies and classroom strategies used by the professors running the tours. While education scholars have identified long term benefits of overseas study tours for students, less attention has been paid to flow on benefits for teachers. This article aims to address this gap in the literature by having five Australian professors describe how their international study tour experiences changed and improved their teaching in the classroom. The article shows that in the process of developing a successful overseas study tour, professors can learn lessons about teaching that they can use productively in the classroom.


Download data is not yet available.


Atherton, C., & Le Rossignol, K. (2016). Unsettling creativity: Intercultural spaces, study abroad and internationalization beyond the curriculum. In J. Freitas De Luna (Ed.), Internationalization of the curriculum: Education, interculturality and global citizenship. Brazil: Brazilica Publishing House.

Atherton, C. (2013). All the world’s a stage: The production of an overseas intensive. In G. Moore (Ed.), Searching for the American dream: How a sense of place shapes the study of history. Newcastle upon Tyne, England: Cambridge Scholar’s Publishing.

Atherton, C,. & Moore, G. (2016, December). Student perspectives on the value of experiential learning in history. Australasian Journal of American Studies, 35(2).

Bader, M. (2013). Place-based education at the tenement museum. In G. Moore (Ed.), Searching for the American dream: How a sense of place shapes the study of history. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Beattie, M. (2000). Narratives of professional learning: Becoming a teacher and learning to teach. Journal of Educational Enquiry, 1(2).

Boucher, L., & Arrow, M. (2016). ‘Studying modern history gives me the chance to say what I think’: Learning and teaching history in the age of student-centred learning. History Australia, 13(4).

Burnham, R., & Kai-Kee, E. (2005). The art of teaching in the museum. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 39(1).

Carlson, P., & Fleisher, M. (2002). Shifting realities in higher education: Today’s business model threatens our academic excellence. International Journal of Public Administration, 25(9-10).

Cartney, P., & Rouse, A. (2006). The emotional impact of learning in small groups: Highlighting the impact on student progression and retention. Teaching in Higher Education, 11(1).

Coker, J., & Porter, D. (2015, January/February). Maximizing experiential learning for student success. Change.

Corley, C. (2013). From mentoring to collaborating: Fostering undergraduate research in history. The History Teacher, 46(3).

Cruickshank, D. (1985, March/April). Applying research on teacher clarity. The Journal of Teacher Education.

Cullen, J. (2003). The American dream: A short history of the idea that shaped a nation. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. New York, NY: The Free Press.

Ellinghaus, K. (2013). Getting there. In G. Moore (Ed.), Searching for the American dream: How a sense of place shapes the study of history. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Eyler, J. (2009, Fall). The power of experiential education. Liberal Education. 95(4).

Fischer, K. (2010, February 7). More colleges coach professors to lead study-abroad trips. Chronicle of Higher Education.

Gair, N. (1997). Outdoor education: Theory and practice. London, UK: Cassell.

Grasha, A. (1994). A matter of style: The teacher as expert, formal authority, personal model, facilitator, and

delegator. College Teaching, 42(4).

Greenway, R. (2007). Dynamic debriefing. In M. Silberman (Ed.), The handbook of experiential learning. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

Gribble, C., & Tran, L. (2016). International trends in learning abroad. Melbourne, Australia: Universities Australia/International Education Association of Australia.

Harvey, K. (2009). History and material culture: A student’s guide to approaching alternative sources. London, UK: Routledge.

Hativa, N., Barak, R., & Simhi, E. (2001, November/December). Exemplary university teachers. The Journal of Higher Education, 72(6).

Hochschild, J. (1995). Facing up to the American dream: Race, class, and the soul of the nation. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Imoru, N. (2000). Performance and pedagogy: The signifying monkey and the educative I/eye. In A. Donnell & P.

Polkey (Eds.), Representing Lives: Women and Auto/biography. London, UK: Macmillan Press.

Kiely, E. (2005, Fall). A transformative learning model for service-learning: A longitudinal case study. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning.

Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall.

Kutchel, D. (2015, September 6). Uni intensives: The zoom, zoom, zoom of study. The Age.

Macdonald, S. (2009). Reassembling Nuremberg, reassembling heritage. Journal of Cultural Economy, 2.

MacNeil, L., Driscoll, A., & Hunt, A. N. (2015, August). What’s in a name: Exposing gender bias in student ratings of teaching. Innovative Higher Education, 40(4).

McPherson, J. (2000). Gettysburg. In W. Leuchtenburg (Ed.), American places: Encounters with history. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Mokhtari, T. (1988). The Bloomsbury introduction to creative writing. London: Bloomsbury.

Morley, D. The Cambridge introduction to creative writing. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Neale, D. (2006). Using memory, remembering lives. In L. Anderson (Ed.), Creative writing: A workbook with readings. Milton Park, UK: Routledge.

Parini, J. (2005). Art of teaching. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Passarelli, A., & Kolb, D. (2012). Using experiential learning theory to promote student learning and development in programs of education abroad. In M. V. Berg, R. M. Paige, & K. H. Lou (Eds.), Student learning abroad: What our students are learning, what they’re not, and what we can do about it. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Pritchard, S. (2015, June 23). Should female faculty get bonus points to correct for gender bias in student evaluations. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/should-female-faculty-get-bonus-points-to-correct-for-gender-bias-in-student-evaluations-43166

Reda, M. (2009). Between speaking and silence. New York, NY: State University of New York Press.

Ryenaud, D., & Northcote, M. (2011). Have passport, will learn: History study tours and student learning and development. Research and Development in Higher Education: Higher Education on the Edge, 34.

Salisbury, M. H., Umbach, P. D., Paulsen, M. B., & Pascarella, E. T. (2009). Going global: Understanding the choice process of the intent to study abroad. Research in Higher Education, 50(2).

Sarason, S. (1999). Teaching as performance art. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Scarfe, A. (Ed.). (2009). The Adventure of education: Process philosophers on learning, teaching and research. New York, NY: Brill Rodophi..

Seelye, H. (Ed.). (1996). Experiential activities for intercultural learning. Boston, MA: Intercultural Press.

Silberman, M. (2010). Unforgettable experiential activities: An active training resource. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

Stimming, M. (2010, March 7). Staff members should be included in study-abroad programs. Chronicle of Higher Education.

Strange, S., & Hetherington, P. (2014). Making the city otherwise: Ways of teaching the writing of poetry. In G.

Pittaway, A. Lodge, & L. Smithies (Eds.), The Minding the gap: Writing across thresholds and fault lines papers: The refereed proceedings of the 19th conference of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs. Retrieved from http://www.aawp.dreamhosters.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Strange__Hetherington_MakingCityOtherwise.pdf

The Real Undergraduate Handbook. (2006). Farrago, V.

Travers, S. (2013). Getting the most out of studying abroad: Ways to maximize learning in short-terms study trips. In R. Tiessen & R. Huish (Eds.), Globetrotting or global citizenship?: Perils and potential of international learning. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press.

Wurdinger, S., & Allison, P. (2017). Faculty perceptions and uses of experiential education in higher education. Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society, 13(1).

Zika, C. (2011). Teaching and learning history ‘on the spot’ in Europe: A reflection. In S. Broomhall, T. Pitman, & J. McEwen (Eds.), A classroom like no other: Learning and teaching in Australian educational tourism. Perth, Australia: Australian Teaching and Learning Council.




How to Cite

Ellinghaus, K., Spinks, J., Moore, G., Hetherington, P., & Atherton, C. (2019). Learning to Teach in the Field: Five Professors Tell How Running an Overseas Study Tour Improved Their Classroom Teaching. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 31(1), 169–189. https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v31i1.448