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Teacher education students often lack the cultural education and international exposure they need to effectively teach when they graduate and have classrooms of their own. Cultural awareness and adaptability to diversity are very important skills for teachers to have. However, research shows that prospective teachers do not have and do not receive the international education that is necessary for them to teach effectively. Study abroad is an excellent way for prospective teachers to gain international experience and knowledge for their profession as educators. "Gaining the knowledge, skills, and attitudes through an international experience is no longer just the interest of individual students. It has now become a priority of the collective" (Lewin, 2009). Study abroad can have significant impact on prospective educators as well as global citizens. As the United States becomes more diverse, it is important that educators are able to relate and identify with their diverse students. Unfortunately, teacher education students do not have ample opportunity to study abroad. Teacher education students that do study abroad, however, benefit tremendously in that they are impacted both personally and professionally. Although many teacher education students do not get the chance to study abroad, it is an extremely effective means to gain cultural awareness and thus become better educators to their diverse students.
Patricia M. Hart
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium poster
Powers, Emily F., "Research exercise: Study Abroad for Prospective Teachers" (2012). Stander Symposium Posters. 134.