Catalog and Schedule Information
International Teaching Externship
Intl Teaching Externship
No designations (for now)
International Teaching Externship (ITE) is a post-student teaching intercultural experience in which CSB/SJU teacher candidates work with international teaching professionals as volunteer teacher aides, teaching assistants, team-teachers, and/or research assistants in globally diverse K-12 classrooms. The four to six week externship begins soon after the successful completion of student teaching. Since this is not a student teaching experience, externship students experience a more natural, relaxed educational environment while engaging in a new culture and educational system.
Fueled by increasing immigration, American public school enrollment continues to rise and is expected to peak at a record level of 50 million in 2014 (Institute of Education, 2008). In 2004, 43 per cent of public school students were identified as part of a racial or ethnic minority group, an increase of 22 per cent since 1972. During this same time period, the percentage of public school students identified as white and of European descent dropped from 78 to 57 per cent. Yet while our classrooms are increasingly more diverse, approximately 80 per cent of United States public school teachers are middle-class Euro-American white females from rural areas, small towns, or suburbs who grew up and were educated in predominately white neighborhoods and schools ( Ference and Bell, 2004). A significant percentage of American teachers do not see themselves as prepared for a multicultural classroom, thus not feeling confident in their teaching students from diverse backgrounds. This low level of cultural confidence is reflective of inadequate cultural competence.
In response to this challenge, educational programs embrace numerous multicultural educational programs including courses in diversity. The College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University (CSB/SJU) Education majors and minors take diversity focused courses plus experience a week-long immersion practicum in urban schools. This continues to be a highly successful experience for our pre-service teachers, but does not immerse them in international cultures that experiences such as Education Abroad provides. Unfortunately, many Education majors and minors are unable to participate in Education Abroad due to heavy course loads and practicum requirements.
While making Education Abroad more accessible is an attractive option and one the Education Department supports, evidence supports a more beneficial means for developing and enhancing teacher cultural competence. Masel Walters, Garii, and Walters, (2009) argue that greater cultural confidence and competence occurs when new teachers engage in teaching abroad experiences that increase their abilities in interacting with and teaching learners from diverse backgrounds. Teaching abroad offers new teachers first-hand experiences of being the uncomfortable other, immigrant, or foreigner. Teaching abroad means teachers not only teach, but live in diverse and unfamiliar environments, thus increasing the likelihood that these teachers may become "cultural brokers, serving as a resource for colleagues, and cultural mediators, guiding activities and experiences of the school community to create culturally sensitive [and responsive] classrooms and curricula" (2009:S154).
The primary rationale for this initiative hinges on enhancing and broadening the international experiences of future educators to better meet needs of K-12 learners from increasingly diverse backgrounds. In order for teachers to better address this shifting teaching environment, they need more opportunities to teach and live abroad, to immerse themselves in new challenging, exciting, and to actively engage with rewarding international experiences. Such experiences help foster teachers who are culturally confident, culturally competent, and sensitive to their students. Living and working internationally can also aid new teachers in thinking globally, fostering fresh ideas, and demonstrating more open mindedness within their schools and outside communities.
Ference, R. A. and S. Bell. 2004. "A cross-cultural immersion in the US: Changing pre-service teachers attitudes toward Latino ESOL students." Equity and Excellence in Education 37: 343-50.
Institute of Education. 2008. "The Condition of Education 2006 (updated)." Washington, DC: United States Department of Education. http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/ (Accessed October 20, 2010).
Masel Walters, Lynne, Barbara Garii, and Timothy Walters. 2009. "Learning globally, teaching locally: Incorporating international exchange and intercultural learning into pre-service teacher training." Intercultural Education 20:S1-2: 151-58.
Discussion, performance, experiential
Will be covered with overload or inload for faculty/staff who direct an externship site
Means of Evaluation:
Externship students are required to complete the following: