Virtual Activities to Promote Multiculturalism and Sustainability of International Partnerships

Virtual Activities to Promote Multiculturalism and Sustainability of International Partnerships

Jiyoon Yoon (The University of Texas at Arlington, USA) and Insoon Han (University of Minnesota – Duluth, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0164-0.ch067
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This chapter is a report on the findings of a study to measure the effects of virtual activities for promoting diversity/multiculturalism and sustaining international partnerships in science teacher education between the America and Korea. Partnership program website and international workshop are the virtual activities in this study to ensure continued collaboration between two countries. Journal and survey with the science teacher candidates, assessment methods the teacher candidates developed for their students, and the number of international partnership programs between two countries are the data resources in this study. Findings indicate that 1) the American and Korean teacher candidates learn diverse knowledge for teaching science after the virtual international activities; 2) they show more consideration on multicultural/diversity aspects as future global science teachers; and 3) these activities continuously improve international relationships between two countries.
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International collaboration becomes more critically required in American education system to improve teacher quality and student performance. In the field of science education, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has reported that the American students are less proficient than those of other OECD countries in science performance; in specific, American science achievement in PISA 2012 is about the average of the OECD member countries, and 29th of 65 countries included (NCES, 2012). In addition, recent research conducted by National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP, 2012) shows that only about one third of eighth graders are at or above the science proficiency level. The Third International Mathematics and Science Study (Martin, Mullis, & Foy, 2008) found that American fourth-graders are achieving low, middle school students not so good in science, and high school students struggle with science. These international test results reveal that the U.S. needs to improve student performance in science.

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