Intercultural Understanding of Teacher Educators




Merz, Sydney Alexia

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Teaching for interculturalism requires teacher educators (TEs) to reflect upon themselves before they can model and facilitate the intercultural growth of their students. Using qualitative inquiry with a mixed method component, this study investigated 10 TEs' understanding of interculturalism, examined the Intercultural Development Inventory's® (IDI) (Hammer, 2011) influence on how they think about and teach for interculturalism, and explored how they incorporate intercultural components in their university classrooms. Participating TEs taught in undergraduate educator preparation programs (EPPs) at a large public research university in the United States (U.S.). Data sources included individual interviews, syllabi, program documents, self-reported scores from a modified intercultural value rubric, researcher notes, and IDI scores. The analysis of data revealed that though broadly defined, interculturalism takes on various meanings, and TEs' understanding of interculturalism is influenced by personal and professional life events and their own students' intercultural development. The addition of International xiii Baccalaureate (IB) certification and a curricular focus on internationalization played a role in how most TEs thought about or taught for interculturalism, whereas the IDI had little to no influence. Additionally, many TEs emphasized the importance of ongoing professional development administered by the institution as an aid in their intercultural development. Finally, the TEs indicated that their primary roles are to cultivate, challenge, and support the intercultural development of their preservice teachers, recognizing the rewards and battles of this approach.



Teacher education, Intercultural development, Intercultural education, Teacher education, Teacher educator, Teacher educator professional development