Bridging Local and Global Experiences: A Faculty-Led Study Abroad Program for Teachers

Bridging Local and Global Experiences: A Faculty-Led Study Abroad Program for Teachers

Ye He (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA) and Kristine Lundgren (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1057-4.ch023
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To internationalize the K-12 curriculum and instructional practices, there is an increasing need to provide study-abroad opportunities for practicing teachers. In this chapter, the authors describe the design of a recent Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad (GPA) program that offer practicing teachers from different grade levels and content areas the opportunity to bridge their local and global experiences. The intentional design of program activities at the pre-departure, in-country, and re-entry phases is detailed based on research regarding teachers' communities of practice, teacher change, and the cultural transition framework. In addition to program activities, the challenges faculty directors and participants experienced and the strategies employed to leverage these challenges into learning opportunities are discussed. Recommendations for similar study-abroad programs involving practicing teachers are also provided.
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Theoretical Background And Project Design

Research regarding teachers’ communities of practice (CoPs), teacher change, and the cultural transition framework guided the design of this program. In this section, we briefly introduce the theoretical background and describe the specific program activities designed based on the theoretical framework.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cultural Competence: A set of disposition, knowledge and skills that guide one’s interactions in intercultural settings.

Cultural Transition: The process of transition from one culture to another.

Personal Practical Theory (PPT): Teachers’ individualized theories of teaching and learning that guide their instructional design and delivery.

Speech-Language Pathology (SLP): SLPs assesses and treats individuals in the areas of speech, language, and cognition across the life span from infancy through geriatrics.

Communities of Practice (CoP): Groups of people sharing similar interests and passion and regularly exchange ideas and learn from one another.

English as a Second Language (ESL): An instructional service for students whose first language is not English studying in English-speaking countries.

eLinguaFolio: An electronic portfolio assessment tool designed to support language learners’ goal setting and language proficiency monitoring.

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