Transformative Learning in International Short-Term Teach Abroad Programs
Keywords:Teach abroad program, teacher candidates, vulnerability, transformative learning, culturally responsive teaching
The task of preparing future teachers for diversified classrooms is imperative. We aimed to deepen our understanding of the capacity of international teach abroad programs (TAPs) to prepare Canadian teacher candidates to be more culturally responsive in their classrooms. Data were collected using pre- and post-questionnaires, focus groups, and anecdotal notes during a short-term (two weeks) TAP in the Dominican Republic with Canadian teacher candidates. The findings revealed that participation alone is not enough to develop culturally responsive teachers. Candidates must be challenged, supported, and guided on how to positively develop cultural competence in situations where they feel vulnerable, including purposeful mechanisms to intentionally interrupt and challenge participants’ positionality. Otherwise, at best, the candidates achieve superficial levels of learning that potentially reinforce biases and privilege.Abstract in Spanish
La tarea de preparar a los futuros docentes para las aulas diversificadas es imperativa. Nosotros apuntamos a profundizar nuestra comprensión de la capacidad de los programas internacionales de enseñanza en el extranjero con el objetivo de preparar a los profesores candidatos canadienses para que sean más receptivos culturalmente en sus aulas. Los datos se recopilaron mediante cuestionarios de pre-prueba y post-prueba, grupos focales y notas anecdóticas durante un corto plazo de dos semanas en la República Dominicana con candidatos a docentes canadienses. Los hallazgos revelaron que la participación por sí sola no es suficiente para desarrollar maestros culturalmente receptivos. Los candidatos deben ser desafiados, apoyados y guiados sobre cómo desarrollar positivamente la competencia cultural en situaciones en las que se sienten vulnerables, incluidos mecanismos con propósito para interrumpir y desafiar intencionalmente la posición de los participantes. De lo contrario, en el mejor de los casos, los candidatos alcanzan niveles superficiales de aprendizaje que potencialmente refuerzan los sesgos y los privilegios.
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