Challenging Bias and Building World-mindedness in Teacher Education

Deans, faculty members, school superintendents and principals, and other international educators met at the NAFSA 2011 Colloquium on Internationalizing Teacher Education to explore ways to transform education of future teachers, who will in turn contribute to the education of tomorrow's global citizens.

The event provided discussion of key issues, opportunities, and strategies in the internationalization of teacher education programs and helped connect faculty and administrators from colleges and departments of education with the wider international education community.

In particular, the colloquium explored U.S. and personal biases and stereotypes regarding other countries and cultures, and offered ways to challenge biases and stereotypes in teacher-preparation programs. Examples of authentic cross-cultural lesson plans and assessment were shared.

NAFSA thanks the Longview Foundation and IELTS for their support
Longview Foundation

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) served as NAFSA's partner in developing the colloquium and inviting participation.

A number of PowerPoint presentations, posters, and handouts from the colloquium are
shared below.

Presenter Biographies

Presentation Materials

All links are to PDFs Icon PDF 16

Colloquium Program (1mb)
The program was held in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Eighty participants from teacher education programs and related organizations heard presentations, examined materials, and participated in discussions and networking opportunities.

The program provides the schedule of events, session titles and descriptions, and the presenters' names and institutions.

British Columbia Panel
Perspectives from the Canadian experience were shared by a Vancouver-area school superintendent, principal, and former University of British Columbia faculty member.

  • Mike McKay, superintendent of schools/ceo, School District No. 36, Surrey
  • Raj P. Puri, principal, North Surrey Secondary School
  • Dr. Yvonne Brown, York University (Review Dr. Brown's teacher education course syllabus posted in Teacher Education Course Syllabi and Curriculum Plans).

Oh Say Can You See?
Barbara Kappler Mikk of the University of Minnesota challenged assumptions about the world and cultures other than one's own and led participants through activities that revealed personal perspectives and cultural experience. Kappler Mikk also provided a handout to the participants on resources regarding bias and stereotyping and cross-cultural growth.

Intercultural Competence and Cultural Consultants
Professor Merry Merryfield of The Ohio State University presented concepts from Milton Bennett's Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity in exploring the development of intercultural competence among teachers. She brought in international students from the Vancouver area to engage with participants as "cultural consultants," demonstrating an activity that can bring teachers in preparation in touch with people from other societies.

Professor Merryfield also provided a handout with resources and ideas on helping teachers develop intercultural sensitivity and competence.

Case Study: Building Internationalization in Teacher Education?
Kay Lallier Grant of Northeastern State University, Oklahoma, reviewed how her college of education has infused international perspectives and education into its curriculum and cocurricular activities. Starting with the spontaneous initiatives of its faculty, the college has moved to broader and deeper approaches to build the international and global competence of its faculty and students.

Engaging in Self Reflection: My Cultural Awareness Profile (MyCAP)
Professor David M. Moss of the University of Connecticut discussed the role of self-reflection in teacher education and the challenges of helping new teachers develop cross-cultural knowledge and skill. He introduced the new self-assessment tool, MyCAP, developed by Professor Helen A. Marx, with survey items from four dimensions: exploring the global world (global perspective); learning about different cultures (cultural understanding); knowing ourselves as cultural (perspective consciousness); and communicating across cultural difference (intercultural competence). A handout that showcases MyCAP was distributed. (The tool will be available online later this summer.)

Bibliography of Related Resources
A compilation of resources to assist teacher educators in internationalizing their curriculums and teaching and building intercultural competence was provided to all participants.

Roundtable Discussion Questions
A key component of the colloquium was a series of roundtable discussions designed to allow participants from a variety of institutions and organizations to exchange information and build a common understanding of the concepts, strategies, and challenges in helping to develop world-minded teachers. Each table had a moderator from among the participants to move discussions along.

2011 Presenters

Renee Cambiano

Renée Cambiano, EdD

Renée Cambiano is associate professor of education at Northeastern State University, Tahlequah Oklahoma. She holds a doctorate in adult and vocational education from the University of Arkansas, an MS in instruction and curriculum leadership from the University of Memphis, and a BS in biology with a fisheries emphasis from Northeastern State University. She currently serves as department chair of educational foundations and leadership, and as program chair of the master of education in teaching at Northeastern State University, where she has taught since 2000. She has published and presented at regional, national, and international conferences.

Her interests in cultivating global-minded teachers began in 1999 when she spent time in Taiwan visiting schools. This trip validated the need to ensure that our future teachers in the United States form a global perspective. She has spent time in many countries studying and feels that one must immerse oneself completely in another culture to understand and teach future generations.

Kay Grant

Kay Lallier Grant, EdD

Kay Lallier Grant earned her bachelor's degree with a double major in psychology and human development and family life at the University of Kansas; her master's degree is in special education from the University of Tulsa, and her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Oklahoma State University in 1990. She has been the dean for the College of Education at Northeastern State University (NSU) in Tahlequah since 2003.

Grant is published and has successfully written many grant proposals for external funding. She is past president of the Oklahoma Association for Colleges of Teacher Education and past president of the Oklahoma Association for Childhood Education International. She has presented at numerous regional, state, and local conferences on comparisons between teacher education in China and Oklahoma and other topics.

Merry Merryfield

Merry Merryfield, EdD

Merry Merryfield is professor of social studies and global education at The Ohio State University. She began her career as a teacher of geography and Latin in Atlanta in the 1970s and went on to teach English and geography in Segbwema, Sierra Leone, as a Peace Corps volunteer. She researched the role of social studies in national development in Nigeria, Kenya, and Malawi in the 1980s and worked in curriculum development in Botswana before coming to OSU. Her research focuses on how K-12 teachers teach about the world, connections between global and multicultural education, and the processes of experiential cross-cultural learning face-to-face and online. She has created several online courses to bring together teachers from different countries to discuss and learn about global issues, educational equity, and world cultures.

Her most recent publications include Social Studies and the World, "Worldmindedness: Taking Off the Blinders," Globalization, and Decolonizing Social Studies and Global Education. She also directs world727, a listserv for educators interested in global education.

Barbara Kappler Mikk

Barbara Kappler Mikk, PhD

Barbara Kappler Mikk is the assistant director in international student & scholar services at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and directs intercultural training and programs. She specializes in facilitating team and large group discussions and in designing interactive intercultural learning opportunities. Mikk teaches, trains, and oversees the development of short-term programs, which involves designing and implementing intercultural experiences for incoming international students and mid-career professionals. Short-term program participants have come from more than 50 different countries and now number in the thousands. She has worked at ISSS since 1994.

Mikk is also a member of the graduate faculty with the College of Education and Human Services. She holds a BA in economics and communication from the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, and a master's degree and PhD in speech communication from the University of Minnesota. Her education includes study, travel, and research in England, Malaysia, and Estonia. She has been involved in SIETAR-USA as a conference co-chair for the Minneapolis conference in 2001 and has served in leadership roles at NAFSA for the past four years.

David Moss

David M. Moss, PhD

David M. Moss is an associate professor specializing in environmental education, teacher education, international and cross-cultural learning, and curriculum studies. He has published numerous articles and books promoting educational reform. He was named a teaching fellow at the university, the highest honor awarded for instructional excellence and leadership. Moss directs the Neag School of Education London Study Abroad program and pursues a reform-minded research agenda throughout Connecticut as well as in London, England.

Inge Steglitz

Inge Steglitz, PhD

Inge Steglitz is an assistant director in the Office of Study Abroad and is responsible for the coordination of the Freshman Seminars Abroad program, leadership for academic outreach initiatives and the management of a portfolio of programs in Europe. She also teaches both on- and off-campus courses, designed to help students comprehend the significance of their study abroad experience for both personal and professional growth.

As cofacilitator of an innovative faculty learning community on teaching and learning abroad, Steglitz works with a group of academic colleagues to develop predeparture, on-site, and reentry infrastructure and materials in support of students’ international and intercultural learning.

Steglitz has contributed scholarly articles to several books on topics ranging from orientation programming and culture learning/teaching to assessing intercultural competencies. She has been a member and regular conference contributor to NAFSA since the mid-1980s. Steglitz has held various national leadership positions in the organization.