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Teaching abroad during initial teacher education: the effects as perceived by recently qualified teachers on their preparedness for teaching

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Opportunities for pre-service teachers to participate during their initial teacher education (ITE) in teaching-abroad experiences, where they spend time teaching in a foreign country, have become increasingly popular. However, studies to date have collected data during or soon after the participant’s return. Little is known about how recently qualified teachers (RQTs) who participated in such experiences during the ITE perceive their benefits. By collecting and analysing reflective writings of ten RQTs in Hong Kong, who participated in a teaching-abroad experience in China, this small-scale study sought to explore its impact on their perceived preparedness for their current roles in their home context. The findings suggest that the teachers feel that the experience added to their preparedness, in areas such as lesson preparation and planning, teaching confidence and flexibility and professional collaborations. The RQTs attributed these benefits to the unfamiliar teaching context and the additional teaching practice that the experience provided, as well as the opportunity to work closely with peers, course tutors and teachers in China. The study adds to the growing teaching-abroad literature by including the perspectives of RQTs, providing further justification for including such experiences in ITE programme curriculums.

Keywords: Teaching-abroad; initial teacher education; international professional experience; pre-service teachers; recently qualified teachers

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Publication date: October 2, 2022

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