The Longer-Term Influences of International Professional Experience on Teachers’ Professional Practice and Growth

  •  Angela Fitzgerald    
  •  Rebecca Cooper    


The intention of this paper is to examine the longer-term impacts of international professional experience (IPE). Participants in the study were all early-career teachers who had participated in IPE as part of their education degree and were invited to participate through the alumni office of an education faculty from one university. Thirty participants took part in this research study by completing an online questionnaire with two continuing on to a focus group discussion. The two data sets – from the online questionnaire and interview transcripts – were scrutinized individually using a deductive approach, informed by the five categories from the integrated works of Willard-Holt (2001) and Pence and Macgillivray (2008) as a framing lens. The impact of IPE on the identity formation, practices and career-based decision making of the focus group participants reiterated what emerged from the literature and questionnaire data. This research highlights the impact that IPE has on future teachers’ sense of self and practice as a teacher, their approach to learning, teaching and education more broadly, and on the decisions, they make about their career options and pathways. This study has implications for the ways in which future teachers are prepared for culturally diverse classrooms.

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