Sharing Practice in an International Context – a Critique of the Beneﬁts of International Exchanges for Trainee Teachers
Keywords:teacher education, professional development, international exchange, intercultural competence
This reﬂective article is based on the experiences of two years of teacher training students from the University of Northampton and the Pedagogical University of Weingarten. This article looks more closely at the beneﬁts that international exchange experiences have afforded the trainee teachers involved and how challenges to the process have been addressed. This reﬂection reveals the value of international exchanges in challenging perceptions and assumptions and how the thinking of the trainee teachers changed following the exchange. This study employs a qualitative approach drawing upon the reﬂections and experiences of the participants through written and spoken data. The ﬁndings reveal trainee teachers developed skills speciﬁc to teaching and in particular teaching languages, and they also demonstrated an increased awareness of non teaching speciﬁc skills such as problem solving and intercultural sensitivity. The reﬂections offer insight into how trainee teachers, use, interpret and subsequently act upon the experiences offered in an international exchange.
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