international educational experience: reflections on the person in the process

Por: Brenda Clayton, Jozsef Bognar e Virginia Hicks.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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This paper is devoted to the concepts that effective teachers know themselves and that international experiences in physical education have the potential to contribute significantly to that personal knowledge. Each of the participants in this study was involved in the supervision of a student teacher in an international placement. As a part of those experiences both the teachers and the students wrote about the effect of the experiences on their lives. This paper will present the reflections of both the student teachers and the teacher educators, with examples of how their lives were changed through the experiences.


At the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Whitewater, WI, USA, student teachers are given the opportunity to do four to six weeks of their student teaching in one of four international sites, Australia, Hungary, Jamaica, or Sweden. A primary goal of this experience is for students to have a cultural experience that will broaden their perspective of the meaning of physical education and serve to clarify their personal and professional values. Data was collected from students at the end of the student teaching experience.


In the book, The Courage to Teach, Parker Palmer states that in the field of education we focus on the "what", "how", and "why" of teaching before we focus on the "who" that teaches. He indicates that the imperative in education is to answer the question, "who is the self that teaches?" This presentation will focus on the development and understanding of the "self that teaches" as a result of an international teaching experience. Reflections of student teachers and teacher educators who participated in an international teaching situation indicated that the experience "changed their lives". The nature of this change, what influenced this change and how it has impacted their thoughts and actions will be discussed. The topic will move from professional international collaboration to personal meanings related to "who is the self that teaches".





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