International Service Learning and Critical Global Citizenship: A Cross-case Study of a Canadian Teacher Education Alternative Practicum

April, 2017

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education 63 (2017) 196-205
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

The purpose of this study was to examine how an international experience within a teacher education program impacted on the development of student teachers as classroom teachers.

The sample consisted of two groups of students teachers. They participated in an international service learning (ISL) practicum demonstrates the nuanced ways that international placements influence the development of critical global citizens and the impact on their teaching. The students in the first group participated in an ISL practicum in Laredo, Texas facilitated by the non-governmental organization (NGO). The students in the second group participated in a similar program, but for an NGO in Lima, Peru.
The authors gathered data using survey and interview responses, collected 3-12 months post-practicum.

The findings show that the student teachers felt that through the ISL practicum they developed a clearer sense of self, a deeper understanding of and appreciation for different perspectives, linguistic and cultural diversity.
They developed a better understanding of the particular struggles that marginalized students face, and an ethic of care and compassion for those students.
Moreover, many of student teachers in this study developed a sense of responsibility toward the Other, especially English Language Learners (ELL) and other minority students, as well as students from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

The authors also found that this experience broadened the students' attitudes and beliefs about global issues related to the environment, poverty, militarism and social injustice.
The authors argue that these findings demonstrate how the ISL practicum enhanced self, difference, and global awareness, which would have positive effects on their teaching, especially with respect to meeting the needs of students from marginalized backgrounds.

The authors conclude that these results provide evidence about how transformations that occur through international practicum placements are sustained over time and have the potential to inform teaching practice in positive and progressive ways.

Updated: Oct. 17, 2018