22 SES 06 B, Transition of Students and Professional Identities
Internationalization (Knight 2004) is one of the major trends in higher education (Altbach et al. 2009, Sursock et al. 2010, Streitwieser 2014) and (study-related short-term) mobility (SSM) is one of the core elements in European internationalization (EC 2006, Ferencz et al. 2012). For the field of teacher education (TE) a particularly wide gap exists between higher education (HE) discourses and policies advocating a wide diffusion of international dimensions and mobility within HE degree programs, between the explicit demands placed upon TE graduates in view of their role as multipliers in society, and the ground-level practices, as evidenced in particular by low mobility rates in TE degree programs in Europe. This study investigates where this gap is actually produced and how it could be addressed, thereby closing a gap in (higher education mobility/internationalization) research on the obstacles at work in the field of TE.
Future teachers have been identified as a group for whom international experiences are particularly relevant (EC/Sigma Project 1996, Zgaga 2008, EC 2009 Green Paper on Learning Mobility), not least due to (increasingly) multi-cultural societies and teachers’ function as role models and multipliers (Oser 2011, Vranješević 2011, Buchberger et al. 2000); international experiences and competences are increasingly used to define (desirable) characteristics of teachers (Council 2007, 2009 & 2011, HRK 2013). At the same time, TE is criticized as a field with a particularly low institutionalization of international dimensions (Huisman et al. 2006, Finnish Institute of Educational Research 2009) and relatively low and under-proportionate levels of SSM (Netz 2013, Teichler et al. 2011, GHK 2006, Allen et al. 2007).
Ideas and ideals are thus currently not mirrored in practices in TE programs. However, there is a dearth of knowledge on the factors that contribute to low institutionalization of international dimensions in TE programs. Explanations for the gap between ideals and practices often revert to the notion of national framing (Zgaga 2008, Netz 2013, Huisman et al. 2006)—an explanation that appears plausible but lacks potential to derive strategies from it.
When investigating the gap between aims and practices in European TE two dimensions become pertinent: context, i.e. internationalization in European HE in general; and dynamics, i.e. a view towards the co-determination of outcomes by different actors. Context and a multi-level perspective are relevant for different reasons: Rationales for internationalization are manifold and differ according to different actors/sectors (Knight 2004, de Wit 2002). Subject areas vary in their fundamental characteristics, needs or affordances in relation to internationalization (Kerr 1990, de Wit 2002, van der Wende 1999). Current 21st century discourse and program support has been reflected to marginalize fields that operate “on special terms” (Teichler 2007). Teacher education, for its features as often regulated, multi-anchored professional higher education degree programs (Gordon et al. 2009; Eurydice 2013) can be hypothesized to be one of the fields to operate on such special terms; terms that shape specific needs, goals and affordances with respect to internationalization and fostering SSM. It is therefore necessary (1) to ask which (possibly distinct) rationales and elements of internationalization guide TE and how these compare to their larger context of HE internationalization in general; and (2) to regard different motivations and orientations of actors that co-determine internationalization and participation in SSM, most importantly the policy-making sphere, the institutional sphere and academic staff, as well as students. Accordingly, the research question is: Which are the rationales, expected benefits and (major) elements of internationalization (internationalization models) in TE? Which distinct features, drivers or difficulties become visible in a multi-level (policies, institutions, students in TE) and contextualized (in view of 21st century HE policies) comparative perspective?
Buchberger, Friedrich; Campos, B. P.; Kallos, D.; Stephenson, J. (Eds.) (2000): Green paper on teacher education in Europe. High quality teacher education for high quality education and training ed. by. Thematic Network on Teacher Education in Europe. Umeå: TNTEE. Bray, Mark; Murray, Thomas R. (1995): Levels of Comparison in Educational Studies: Different Insights from Different Literatures and the Value of Multilevel Analyses. In Harvard Educational Review 65 (3), pp. 472–490. EC – European Commission (2005): Common European Principles for Teacher Competences and Qualifications. European Commission, Directorate-General for Education and Culture. Available online at http://www.atee1.org/uploads/EUpolicies/common_eur_principles_en.pdf. EC – European Commission (2009): GREEN PAPER Promoting the learning mobility of young people. COM(2009) 329 final. Available online at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2009:0329:FIN:EN:PDF. Huisman, Jeroen; File, Jon (2006): The extent and impact of higher education governance reform across Europe. Final report to the Directorate-General for Education and Culture of the European Commission. Enschede: CHEPS. Wit, Hans de (2002): Internationalization of higher education in the United States of America and Europe. A historical, comparative, and conceptual analysis. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. Kerr, Clark (1990): The Internationalisation of Learning and the Nationalisation of the Purposes of Higher Education: two 'laws of motion' in conflict? In European Journal of Education 25 (1), pp. 5–22. Knight, Jane (2004): Internationalization Remodeled: Definition, Approaches, and Rationales. In Journal of Studies in International Education 8 (1), pp. 5–31. Leask, B. (2013). Internationalisation of the curriculum and staff engagement: an introduction. In H. d. Wit (Ed.), An Introduction to Higher Education Internationalisation (pp. 91–105). Milano: V & P. Netz, Nicolai (2013): What Deters Students from Studying Abroad? Evidence from Four European Countries and Its Implications for Higher Education Policy. In Higher Education Policy. Doi:10.1057/hep.2013.37. Phillips, David; Schweisfurth, Michele (2007): Comparative and international education. An introduction to theory, method and practice. London, New York: Continuum. Rogers, Everett M. (2003): Diffusion of Innovations. 5th edition. New York: Free Press. Teichler, Ulrich (2007): Die Internationalisierung der Hochschulen. Neue Herausforderungen und Strategien. Frankfurt am Main, New York: Campus. Van der Wende, Marijk (1999): An Innovation Perspective on Internationalation of Higher Education Institutionalisation: The Critical Phase. In Journal of Studies in International Education 3 (1), pp. 3–14. Zgaga, Pavel (2008): Mobility and the European Dimension in Teacher Education. In Brian Hudson, Pavel Zgaga, Björn Astrand (Eds.): Teacher Education Policy in Europe: a Voice of Higher Education Institutions. Umea: School of Education, Umea University, pp. 17–42.
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