Internationalization of Teacher-Training

Teacher training needs to respond to the challenges of globalization and the development of cultural literacy and intercultural competence as an objective for education in general.
Providing international experience in teacher training contributes to this objective and supports the teacher students to develop cultural awareness, teaching methods and skills to transfer and implement the global perspective in their future classrooms.

Globalization shrinks the world and brings a wider range of cultures into closer contact than ever before. Inevitably, economic, social and cultural boundaries are shifting. As a result, cultural diversity and intercultural contact have become facts of modern life.

 

Global challenges in our societies reflect manifold in schools:

  • Globalization: integration of economies and societies through flows of information, technologies, people, goods etc.;
  • Migration, mobility, European refugee „crisis” ;
  • Cultural and social diversity in classrooms;
  • Inclusive education (UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities 2006).


This leads to challenges for teachers:

  • Prepare students for living in a more and more globalized world;
  • Determined by (social) media and modern communication technologies;
  • Consider an international/global perspective in teaching and education;
  • Consider cultural literacy as a competence students need to develop.

 

UNESCO-World-Report-CoverThe UNESCO World Report Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue points out how crucial it is to acquire a cultural literacy to understand cultures in their creative diversity:

“This is a new kind of literacy, on a par with the importance of reading and writing skills or numeracy: cultural literacy has become the lifeline for today’s world, a fundamental resource for harnessing the multiple venues education can take (from family and tradition to the media, both old and new, and to informal groups and activities) and an indispensible tool for transcending the ‘clash of ignorances.’ It can be seen as part of a broad toolkit of worldviews, attitudes and competences that young people acquire for their lifelong journey” (UNESCO, 2009, p. 118).

 

The US P21Partnership for 21st Century Learning refers to the global experience of students and educators in their P21’s Global Education framework:

P21PartnershipGlobal experiences for Students and Educators

  • Provide global experiences by teachers, administrators, and students, including:
  • Inbound teacher exchange,
  • Outbound educational travel and exchange for teachers and students,
  • Virtual classroom-to-classroom exchange, and
  • Global academic competitions


Develop the attitudes, skills, and knowledge to understand and participate in a globally connected world.

This includes the capacity to:

  • Explore their own cultures, make comparisons with other cultures and investigate global issues and challenges.
  • Improve their critical thinking, problem solving, perspective-taking, and research skills.
  • develop awareness of cultural diversity and global issues.”