Mapping a New Field: Cross-border Professional Development for Teachers
AuthorJohnson, Janelle Marie
Language, Reading & Culture
bilingual intercultural education
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractMany of the international, supranational, national, and grassroots development organizations working in the field of education channel their efforts into capacity-building for teachers. My research examines the nexus of such international development by US-based organizations with national schooling systems by naming and theorizing this process as a new field called cross-border teacher education. "Cross-border" is the term employed by UNESCO (2005) and OECD (2007) to describe international cooperative projects in higher education, synonymous with "transnational," "borderless," and "offshore" education (Knight, 2007). I use a critical lens to compare two distinct models of cross-border teacher education: a small locally based non-profit development organization in Guatemala that has worked with one school for several years, and a US government-funded program whose participants are trained in bilingual teaching methods and critical thinking at US colleges and universities, then return to their home communities throughout Mexico and Guatemala. These are programs for inservice teachers and are henceforth referred to as cross-border professional development or CBPD. The research questions for this study are: What institutions shape cross-border professional development in these cases? How are language policies enacted through CBPD? How do teachers make meaning of their CBPD experiences when they return to their classrooms and communities? And finally, What do these case studies tell us about cross-border professional development as a process? These questions generate understandings of national education systems, US-based international development, and cross-border education. Utilizing ethnographic approaches to educational policy that locate regional, class, and ethnic asymmetries (McCarty, 2011; Tollefson, 2002), data was gathered according to the distinct organizational structures of the two agencies. For the larger organization data collection was initiated with electronic open-ended questionnaires and supplemented by semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, and program documents. Data on the smaller organization was collected through participant observation in professional development workshops and classrooms, semi-structured interviews, and textual analysis of teacher reflections, organizational emails and documents. The research focuses on the voices of teachers as the target of cross-border professional development efforts, but also maps out the dialogic perspectives of education officials and the organizations‘ administrators to illuminate tensions within the process as well as highlights some surprising roles for teachers as agents of change.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture