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An Investigation into the Intercultural Development of Anglophone Educators Working in International Schools

Savva, Maria; (2015) An Investigation into the Intercultural Development of Anglophone Educators Working in International Schools. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

At a time when societies are becoming increasingly pluralistic, Anglophone educators continue to come from predominantly mono-cultural backgrounds, with often limited cross-cultural experiences. This study examines the potential of the overseas international school in providing new cross-cultural experiences that may improve the intercultural abilities of Anglophone educators. It explores how the overseas experience contributes to changes in world views, as well as how (or if) these changes translate into professional practice. Whilst ample research exists on overseas experiences and culturally responsive pedagogy as separate areas of study, this research looks to make a distinct contribution by bridging these two areas. Thirty Anglophones educators based across three international schools in the Netherlands and China participated in semi-structured interviews which explored the challenges and opportunities of living and working abroad. Findings highlighted significant transformations in educator attitudes towards difference. These attitudinal changes seemed to be less a result of interactions with the other, than a result of interactions as the other. Changes in attitude were often accompanied by two significant shifts in perspective: an increased ability to withhold judgment, along with a marked effort to understand. These shifting perspectives often allowed educators to contextualize their experiences in such a way that their professional practice was visibly enhanced. Evidence of increased intercultural capacities in professional practice was found in three dominant areas of language, communication styles and religious/gender sensitivity. Educators described specific teaching or management methods utilized in the classroom or school setting that they did not utilize prior to their work abroad. Recognising the limitations of the sample, findings nonetheless supported a strong link between the international school experience and improved intercultural abilities.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: An Investigation into the Intercultural Development of Anglophone Educators Working in International Schools
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis. Images identifying individuals have been redacted or partially redacted to protect their identity.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10055747
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