ERIC Identifier: ED384601
Publication Date: 1995-07-00
Author: Merryfield, Merry
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on
Teaching and Teacher Education Washington DC.
Teacher Education in Global and International Education. ERIC
Over the last two decades there has been increasing concern that American
schools are not preparing young people to participate effectively in a world
characterized by human diversity, cross-cultural interaction, dynamic change,
and global interdependence. In the 1980s the National Governors' Association
(1989) pointed to inadequate teacher preparation in global education and
international studies as a major obstacle in the ability of the United States to
meet the economic, political and social challenges of today's world. Today
teacher education in global and international education is mandated by the
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (see 1995 NCATE
Standards ) and addressed through many activities of professional
organizations such as the American Association of Colleges for Teacher
Education, the Association of Teacher Educators, and the National Council for
the Social Studies.
WHAT IS GLOBAL AND INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION?
education develops the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are the basis for
decision making and participation in a world characterized by cultural
pluralism, interconnectedness, and international economic competition. Growing
out of such fields as international relations and area/international studies,
world history, earth science, and cultural/ethnic studies, the field of global
education recognizes that students must understand the complexity of
globalization and develop skills in cross-cultural interaction if they are to
become effective citizens in a pluralistic and interdependent world.
International education provides knowledge, skills, and experiences that come
from in-depth study, work, and collaboration in education in other countries and
with international students and scholars in American institutions.
Teaching with a global perspective differs in some ways from traditional
approaches to studying ourselves, other peoples, and the planet:
* In teaching about cultures, global educators focus as much on cultural
universals, those things all humans have in common, as they do on cultural
differences. Cross-cultural understanding, open-mindedness, anticipation of
complexity, resistance to stereotyping or derision of cultural difference, and
perspectives consciousness--recognition, knowledge, and appreciation of other
peoples' points of view--are essential in the development of a global
perspective (Case, 1993; Hanvey, 1975; Kniep, 1986).
* The world is seen as a system in which technological, ecological, economic,
social, and political issues can no longer be effectively understood or
addressed by individual nations because the issues literally spill over borders
and regions. The organization of curricula does not separate world cultures or
regions but brings them together through study of contact, borrowing and
diffusion of ideas, antecedents to current events, and comparative themes and
concepts. Persistent global issues such as land use, peace and security, and
self-determination are examined across time and place (Anderson, 1990; Kniep,
* Study of local-global connections leads to recognition that each of us
makes choices that affect other people around the world, and others make choices
that affect us. Because of this interconnectedness, global education includes
knowledge and skills in decision making, participation, and long-term
involvement in the local community and in the larger world beyond our borders.
Students learn to find and process information from multiple perspectives (Alger
& Harf, 1986).
WHAT ARE CONSIDERATIONS IN EDUCATING TEACHERS IN GLOBAL AND
Global knowledge. Teachers need "global"
knowledge about the world in general as well as content specific to the subjects
they teach. For example, a language arts teacher not only studies literature
from diverse cultures in different world regions but also learns about the
historical contexts and cultural/political perspectives from which the authors
wrote. Teacher educators work with colleagues in other disciplines to identify
academic coursework in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences so that
preservice teachers have adequate foundational knowledge and inservice teachers
have access to new, emerging knowledge in their fields (Merryfield & Remy,
Cross-cultural experiences. Simulated as well as personal cross-cultural
experiences at home and abroad are a significant part of global and
international education. Study tours, student and faculty exchanges, semesters
abroad, work with international students in American universities and schools,
and student teaching in other countries or within different cultures in the
United States are some of the ways teacher educators build cross-cultural
knowledge, develop skills in cross-cultural communication, and motivate teachers
to teach from a global perspective (Gilliom, 1993; Wilson, 1982). Simulations
such as BaFa BaFa or RaFa RaFa (experiences at the secondary and elementary
levels in understanding and communicating in another culture) and Baranga (an
experience in how subtle differences in culture can lead to confusion and
conflict) contribute to cross-cultural understanding by helping teachers develop
insights into the process of understanding cultural perceptions and the
relationship between instructional methods and learning outcomes in global
Infused throughout teacher education. Content and experiences in global and
international education need to be infused throughout teacher education
programs. Field experiences, internships, and sites for school/university
collaboration are structured so that preservice teachers work with talented
global educators. Courses in foundations, technology, and methods help teachers
examine conceptualizations, cases, instructional strategies, curriculum
development, interdisciplinary approaches, and assessments in global education.
Research courses include relevant studies, literature, and opportunities for
action research. Preservice and inservice programs set aside time for teachers
and teacher educators to reflect, experiment, and share ideas and experiences
with colleagues (Merryfield, 1995; Tye & Tye, 1992).
Deal with controversy. Teacher educators prepare teachers to deal with the
controversial nature of global and international education. Through readings,
role-plays, and collaboration with resource people in the community, teachers
reflect upon the reasons for controversies over global education and approaches
to resolving such conflicts (Schukar, 1993; Lamy, 1990).
Make curricular connections. Teachers learn to make curricular connections
between global education and multicultural education. Global and multicultural
education overlap in their goals to develop multiple perspectives and multiple
loyalties, strengthen cultural consciousness and intercultural competence,
respect human dignity and human rights, and combat prejudice and discrimination
(Bennett, 1994). Global and peace education also share common concerns over
issues such as human rights, self-determination, international conflict
management, and conflict resolution. Teacher educators help teachers plan
instruction that integrates global and multicultural and peace education.
All of these approaches to teacher education in global and international
education are supported by the faculty's shared vision of global and
international education, on-going faculty development, long-term collaboration
with internationally minded colleagues on campus, in the schools and overseas,
administrative leadership, and institutional commitment.
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Merryfield, M. M. (1992, Winter). Preparing social studies teachers for the
twenty-first century: Perspectives on program effectiveness from a study of six
exemplary teacher education programs on global education. Theory and Research in
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Merryfield, M. M., & Harris, J. (1992, Spring). Getting started in global
education: Essential literature, essential linkages for teacher educators.
School of Education Review 4, 56-66. EJ 449 411
Theory Into Practice. (1993, Winter). Issue entitled Teacher Education in
Global Perspectives. 32(1). Includes nine articles. EJ 463 368-76
References identified with an EJ or ED number have been abstracted and are in
the ERIC database. Documents (ED) are available in ERIC microfiche collections
at more than 900 locations. Documents can also be ordered through the ERIC
Document Reproduction Service: (800) 443-ERIC. Journal articles (EJ) should be
available at most research libraries.
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