Faculty Conversation

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NAFSA's first event in a new series of Faculty Conversations was attended by more than 160 educators from across the United States and Canada. U.S. and U.K. faculty members discussed several models of international internships within teacher education. The goal was to explore ways that international experiences contribute to the development of globally competent teachers.

The discussion leaders and participants noted the importance of four critical components for a deep learning experience abroad: guided cross-cultural learning; connecting experiences abroad to the curriculum; developing partnerships; and, managing administrative and operational issues. The discussion also covered a range of international experiences for teacher candidates: short-term study tours and courses; study abroad exchange programs; short-term teaching practica; and student teaching internships.

Jonathan Parker, associate professor at Keele University in the United Kingdom, emphasized an integrated curriculum, one which takes into consideration where students are developmentally. Students have to be given opportunities to reflect on what they are doing, to ensure the maximum understanding and benefit from their experience abroad.

Another crucial ingredient in the study abroad experience, according to Grant Holley, the executive director for the International and Distance Education Alliance in the College of Education at North Carolina State University, is to focus on predeparture and reentry programs, preparing students for the study abroad experience and finding ways to leverage the international experience upon return. The success and sustainability on the study abroad experience depends on offering both.

The commitment to providing global experiences for teacher candidates also involves attending to what teachers do when they come back. Margo Glew, coordinator of global initiatives and director of the Global Educators Cohort Program in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University, addressed the importance of supporting teacher candidates in translating their global experiences into pedagogical practice. Her program focuses on building capacity in practicing teachers and creating an environment with collaborating teachers that supports and mentors global teaching. The numerous questions from the audience suggest just how many dedicated faculty and directors of international programs are increasing global opportunities for teacher candidates and taking care to design programs that achieve the deep learning that helps build global competence.


Margo Glew
Michigan State University
Dr. Margo Glew is Coordinator of Global Initiatives and Director of the Global Educators Cohort Program in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University where she coordinates efforts to enhance the teacher preparation program with global perspectives so that more teachers are prepared to educate students for success in a global society. Her academic work has focused on second language acquisition and instruction and internationalizing teacher education. Currently, her work focuses on the development of best practices in internationalizing teacher preparation and assessment of global competence of teacher candidates.

Grant L. Holley
North Carolina State University
Dr. Grant Holley is the Executive Director for the International and Distance Education Alliance in the College of Education at North Carolina State University. Originally from Charleston, West Virginia Dr. Holley finished his undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Marshall University in 1995/1996 respectively. After teaching science for a few years in Olin, North Carolina Dr. Holley began his career at NC State University as a clinical instructor in the Department of Math, Science, and Technology Education. After finishing his PhD in 2002 he was hired as a full faculty member specializing in Alternative Licensure and Distance Education. Currently Dr. Holley serves as the Executive Director for the International and Distance Education Alliance (I+DEA) and works to bring educators around the world together for the goal of magnifying the effects of education on all of the world’s children. He has developed/led over 40 trips abroad for both students and adults.

Helen Marx
Southern Connecticut State University
Dr. Helen Marx is an assistant professor in the School of Education at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, CT. Her current research interests are in the areas of global education, study abroad program design, and internationalizing teacher education. Her most recent publication, Please mind the culture gap: Intercultural development during a teacher education study abroad program, explores the use of study abroad cross-cultural field experiences within teacher education programs. Marx is co-developer of My Cultural Awareness Profile (NAFSA, 2011). She earned her MA from New York University, MEd from Teachers College, Columbia University, and PhD from Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut in 2008.

Jonathan Parker
Keele University
Dr Jonathan Parker is a senior lecturer (associate professor) at Keele University in England, where his teaching and research interests focus upon comparative education. As an associate dean, he co-authored a new degree structure adopted by Keele University in 2008, creating electives throughout the degree and requiring all students to complete a substantial research project. He received the Keele University Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching in 2005 and was made a National Teaching Fellow of the British Higher Education Academy in 2009. He led the development of short exchanges at Keele, such as a volunteering in Hong Kong and Thailand, and a field course on sports in the American culture. He supervises the training of all outgoing study-abroad students as well as the induction of all incoming American students. His current work involves developing and comparing models of study abroad in the U.K. for teacher education students.