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Beyond transformation, aid and gratitude: Developing a mutually beneficial international teaching experience
journal contributionposted on 22.09.2021, 08:56 by Jeanette MajorJeanette Major
International teaching experiences are increasingly being offered as an option in teacher education programs as a way of addressing goals related to internationalization such as developing intercultural competence and preparing teachers for “super-diversity” in education. However, there has also been some concern expressed that international teaching experiences may simply reinforce stereotypes and contribute to deficit thinking about diversity and difference. This article critically evaluates the literature relating to international teaching experiences, using postcolonial theory to interrogate the dominant discourses in this field. In particular, discourses of transformation, aid, and gratitude are prominent in the literature and their problematic nature and impact on developing equitable partnerships with host schools and institutions, and in terms of challenging and changing student teachers' intercultural competence is discussed. Drawing on studies that have taken a more critical approach, practices that can promote equitable partnerships and mutually beneficial experiences for both hosts and visitors are suggested.