Sharing Practice in an International Context – a Critique of the Benefits of International Exchanges for Trainee Teachers


  • Emma Whewell University of Northampton, United Kingdom
  • Anna Cox University of Northampton, United Kingdom
  • Kerstin Theinert Pädagogische Hochschule Weingarten, Germany



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.

Author Biographies

Emma Whewell, University of Northampton, United Kingdom

Dr, Senior Lecturer in Physical Education, University of Northampton

Anna Cox, University of Northampton, United Kingdom

Dr, Senior Lecturer in Teachers Continuing Professional Development

Kerstin Theinert, Pädagogische Hochschule Weingarten, Germany

Dr. phil., Universtiy of Education Weingarten, Akademische Oberrätin, Fak.II, Fachbereich Englisch, Pädagogische Hochschule Weingarten


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How to Cite

Whewell, E., Cox, A., & Theinert, K. (2020). Sharing Practice in an International Context – a Critique of the Benefits of International Exchanges for Trainee Teachers. Eastern European Journal of Transnational Relations, 4(1), 33–48.