Developing a Faculty-Led Study Abroad Program for Education Majors in a Non-English Speaking Country

Developing a Faculty-Led Study Abroad Program for Education Majors in a Non-English Speaking Country

Barbara A. Bradley (University of Kansas, USA), Jamie Colwell (Old Dominion University, USA) and Mindy Spearman (Clemson University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9672-3.ch001
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Abstract

This chapter describes how faculty can plan, develop, prepare, and lead a study abroad program in a non-English speaking country for students majoring in education. It presents an overview and timeline for directing a program, discusses how to plan and develop a program, tells how to recruit and prepare participants, and describes how to support participants while living and teaching abroad. It also presents issues that faculty should consider during each phase of a study abroad, and it provides suggestions for addressing these concerns.
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It is strange what walking far from home will do to a person, strange and beautiful. The more you see, the less you will realize that you know. Still, a journey such as this is quite literally a “choose your own adventure” in that you get out exactly what you decide to put in. I think more people should know what it is to completely relinquish control by stepping outside the so-called comfort zone. In doing so you might find that the other side is not so frightening or unfamiliar and that, after it all, you are a better person because of it. (Italy Study Abroad Participant, 2011)

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Introduction

While the number of American college students studying abroad is increasing, the number of students majoring in education who study abroad has decreased to only 2.1 percent of this population in recent years (Institute of International Education, 2014). Increasing the number of education majors studying abroad is important because such programs help preservice teachers to reflect on language, culture, and teaching (Pence & Macgillivray, 2008; Phillion, Malewski, Sharm, & Wang, 2009), in ways that support culturally responsive teaching practices (Phillion & Malewski, 2011). Faculty-led programs are particularly important because teacher educators can create experiences that develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions future teachers need. However, developing and leading a study abroad may seem like a daunting task for faculty. Consequently, this chapter describes a study abroad program that has been taking education majors to Italy since 2000. In 2009, it was recognized by the Institute of International Education and received the Andrew Heiskill Award for Innovation in International Education in Study Abroad (Institute of International Education, 2015). To help faculty who are interested in developing a study abroad for education majors, this chapter presents a brief overview and timeline for directing a program; it discusses issues that need to be considered when planning and developing a program; it tells how to recruit and prepare participants; and it describes how to support participants while living and teaching in a non-English speaking country.

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