Internationalising teacher education in China and Scotland

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

This study is an exploration of the internationalisation of teacher education at two case-study universities, one located in China and the other in Scotland. It explores how different approaches to internationalisation affect student teachers' learning, as well as how teacher educators understand the concept of internationalisation in teacher education. The study, drawing on postcolonial theory, adopts a qualitative approach within a constructivist paradigm. Data collection comprises semi-structured interviews with 34 students and teacher educators across two universities.Findings suggest that all the teacher educators interviewed view internationalisation as a broad concept that includes different approaches. However, they differ in their understandings of the rationale for internationalisation, which fall into three discourses: neocolonialism, neoimperialism and decolonisation. The teacher educators' different understandings are translated into their practices, and ultimately reflected in student teachers' learning experiences.Another key finding is that student teachers, who are encouraged to engage in transformative learning through programmes, modules or other learning activities which have an intercultural, international or global dimension, show more readiness to become globally competent teachers. Further to this, influential factors such as financial issues, language barriers, narrow mind-sets and an overcrowded curriculum, prevent many student teachers from participating in internationalisation initiatives, which, however, can be addressed by ensuring that teacher educators have rich expertise in internationalisation.Recommendations are for more international collaboration and communication between universities from different parts of the world, in order that internationalisation can be promoted as a two-way learning process. Moreover, communication among different stakeholders is also needed in order to ensure the success of internationalisation in teacher education within each institutional context.Additionally, nuanced understandings of student teachers' transformative learning experiences through internationalisation initiatives suggest that, in order to prepare all student teachers to become globally competent teachers, it is essential to incorporate multicultural education, the pedagogy of discomfort and critical pedagogy into teacher education.
Date of Award1 Oct 2017
LanguageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsUniversity of Strathclyde
SupervisorEdward Sosu (Supervisor)

Cite this