Learning To Be A Culturally Responsive Teacher through International Study Trips: Transformation or Tourism?

Jul. 10, 2012

Source: Teaching Education, Volume 23, Issue 3, 2012, pages 309-322.

This article presents findings from a qualitative study that investigated the experiences of 15 Australian pre-service teachers who attended a short-term study programme in either Korea or India.

Drawing on notions of the ‘comfort zone’ and ‘pedagogies of discomfort’, the authors discuss how the pre-service teachers were challenged to move beyond their comfort zone into new and unfamiliar territory, and into states of dissonance and discomfort.

Three interrelated themes emerged from the interview data:
(1) dissonance resulting from physical discomfort;
(2) dissonance resulting from culturally different communication styles and expectations about appropriate behaviour and interaction and
(3) dissonance resulting from incidents/events that challenged the pre-service teachers’ views of themselves and their own cultures.

The authors suggest that many of the participants experienced levels of discomfort and dissonance that hindered effective learning, and limited the transformative potential of the experience.

Updated: Nov. 25, 2013