In early 2016, about 60 first year international students undertaking Teacher Education, have been immersed in real world intercultural experiences and learning while participating in the ‘Celebrating Cultural Diversity (CDD) Practicum Preparatory Program’. Through this Workshop, we will share ideas with course coordinators, placement officers and academics who have international students enrolled in their courses.
International pre-service teachers (PSTs) encounter challenges in making the transition to the field. These challenges are more evident during PSTs’ practicum and include experiences of prejudicial attitudes as a result of being labelled as ‘international students’. The issues of language and cultural gaps and the lack of familiarity with workplace culture are thoroughly documented in the international student education literature. So, this project has sought to address the concerns and build on the experience developed in our current project, funded from an Office of Learning and Teaching Extension Grant entitled “Celebrating Cultural Diversity (CCD) Practicum Preparatory Program: Enhancing Better Learning Outcomes for International Pre-Service Teachers Undertaking Practicum in Western Contexts”. Through the funding, we have engaged multiple relationships with various educational sites (11 early Childhood education sites; 2 Primary Schools; and one High School) and develop a strong university-industry partnership.
As you navigate the website, you will gain an insight to practical, innovative and alternative models of supporting international students transitioning to Australian work-place culture. You will also hear ideas from a panel of education site partners, current and past international pre-service teachers who have participated in the CCD program and academics who worked in the program (see “CCD Workshop”). We trust that as you hear the stories, reflections and current examples from our international pre-service teachers, ex-CCD participants, and our education partners, you will all increase your confidence and understanding for engaging with international students as we continue to develop our individual and collective intercultural competence.