International Student Teaching: A Multi-case Study about the Intercultural Competence of Pre-service Teachers

Liebtag, Emily, Curriculum and Instruction - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Mintz, Susan, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

Research has shown that teachers are a significant factor in regards to student achievement in schools, and the most effective teachers of diverse learners practice culturally responsive teaching (Hanley & Noblit, 2009). Since this has proven to be important, teacher education programs are seeking how to train teachers to be culturally responsive. This is especially important as students in schools are becoming more and more diverse but still being taught by predominately White teachers. Many of these teachers have had very different cultural experiences than their students, causing a cultural gap in understanding between teacher and student (Gay, 2000). One of the main elements of being culturally responsive is intercultural competence, or the awareness of cultural differences.

Developing intercultural competence skills often occurs when one is placed in a setting where one experiences cultural difference (Bennett, 1998). Teachers need the opportunity to understand their own cultural identities, learn about culture and the way it impacts teaching and learning, examine their own beliefs, and use all of this newly gathered information to better understand their future students. While students in Schools of Education have varying cultural histories, backgrounds, and experiences, many teach within their own state and are White (Zeichner, 2003). As a result, many programs look for ways to provide opportunities for students to experience cultural differences. One way that has shown to be effective and help in the development of intercultural competence is international teaching experiences (Stachowski, 2011).

The purpose of this multi-case study was to describe the intercultural competence of three pre-service teachers that completed an international student teaching experience. Data collected included blog posts, interviews, and the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). Findings from this study show signs of intercultural attitudes, awareness, skills, and knowledge across each of the cases.

EDD (Doctor of Education)
intercultural competence, pre-service teacher, teacher education, culturally responsive, student teaching
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Issued Date: