Each college of education has its own leadership style, way of doing business, and community of learners within their faculty. Because of these hallmark personalities, legal and accreditation complexities, and historically ingrained approaches, cross-institution collaboration can be especially challenging. As with any project, formal partnerships of this kind require well-defined roles, respect for deadlines, agreement on a common approach for tackling the work, and even formal agreements such as memoranda of understanding.
University of Akron
Faculty are key in any change initiative in any discipline, and internationalization of teacher preparation is no exception. Faculty juggle numerous commitments and demands on their time. In order to be encouraged pursue globally focused activities, they need to be incentivized so their efforts pay off and contribute to their long term professional goals. Different options can offer opportunities for staff to pursue these efforts.
College-Based International Centers
Some institutions and institutional collaborations are creating certificate programs that focus on building global knowledge, skills, and dispositions of future teachers. These programs also act as laboratories for materials and course development that benefit all teacher candidates.
Courses that focus on specific content areas provide the most direct avenue for helping future teachers learn how to integrate knowledge of the world into their teaching. All subjects, not just social studies and languages, can be taught with the world in mind. Learning to do this well, to go beyond “food, flags, and festivals,” takes time, reflection, and guidance. It requires support for teacher candidates to deepen their knowledge of global issues, world regions, and cultures, and to learn new pedagogical practices they may not have experienced as students.