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Erik Jon Byker

This paper investigates and reports on the study abroad experiences of 22 teacher candidates from the Southeast region of the USA (n=22). The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigates and reports on the study abroad experiences of 22 teacher candidates from the Southeast region of the USA (n=22). The purpose of this paper is to examine the teacher candidates’ development of social and emotional learning through their international teaching experiences.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is framed by Critical Cosmopolitan Theory, which is a theoretical lens for a critical understanding of the development of global competencies for critical consciousness. The paper uses a case study research design (Yin, 2008), which included data collected via artifact analysis, participant interviews and participant observation through field notes.

Findings

The study found how the study abroad and international teaching experiences were instrumental in aiding in the teacher candidates’ social and emotional learning. This included the adoption of culturally responsive teaching practices, development of reading the world and enactment of taking action to rewrite the world.

Research limitations/implications

One of the limitations is the relatively small sample size. This is due, in part, to the high cost associated with study abroad. The high cost of study abroad can be a barrier for students to access the cross-cultural experiences afforded by study abroad. The hefty price tag of study abroad often limits the number of teacher candidates at public institutions who can go on study abroad (Malewski and Phillion, 2009). A future research agenda is needed about ways to help off-set the costs in order to make study abroad more affordable and equitable.

Practical implications

The practical implications of this paper are that it provides an instructive lens for how to integrate social and emotional learning within a study abroad experience. At the same time, the paper connects socio-emotional learning (SEL) with the development of global competencies and global citizenship.

Social implications

The social implications relate to the practical implications in that the paper illustrates how SEL is connected to the development of global citizenship development. The study weds the critical cosmopolitan framework with SEL to show how learners develop empathy through reading and rewriting the world.

Originality/value

The case study presented in this paper highlights the possibilities of study abroad in tandem with international teaching experiences to help prepare teachers with SEL features like fostering empathy, developing culturally responsive practices, and becoming critically conscious and cosmopolitan. The study fills a gap in the literature regarding the development of SEL among elementary education teacher candidates through study abroad and international teaching experiences.

Details

Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2397-7604

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