This project attempted to reveal the critical components of providing pre-placement experience, identify the cross-cultural challenges that international pre-service teachers encounter at different Australian education sites, and the way by which preparation to enable international pre-service teachers succeed in their professional experiences may be improved.
Our findings from the OLT Project revealed that appropriate scaffolded support for international pre-service teachers is critical to contributing to positive student readiness to teach in Australian education sites and schools. In addition, the program has also underscored the crucial role played by staff, both the university and at education sites/schools, and student themselves, in relation to celebrating and connecting their individual lifeworld experiences with teaching in the Australian education system.
Early Childhood Site Directors and School Principals
6 Principal and Early Learning Centre Directors volunteered to be interviewed for the OLT Project. Ms Sheryle Yorston, Principal and Managing Director of St Peter Early Learning Centre, and Mr Ray Soekov, Deputy Principal of Endeavour College, speak of their strategies and rationale for equipping and enabling the international pre-service teachers to navigate through challenging, and sometimes, unfamiliar experiences of learning and teaching at the local sites/schools.
International Pre-Service Teachers in CCD Program
- In 2016, 59 CCD participants consented to be involved in the program and be interviewed in focus groups. Some have provided their Digital Narratives and journal entries. Teaching in an Australian education site, in particular, was identified by international pre-service teachers as being more challenging to being just an international student studying for an academic degree in Australian university, largely in terms of the differences between how they have been educated back in home country and how Australian schooling and early childhood education culture differ.
- Our findings revealed that some form of guided initial induction or exposure to the Australian education sites would better prepare them for their teaching practicum. Overall, although international pre-service teachers identified gaps in the preparation and delivery of the CCD Program, they were overwhelmingly positive about their CCD experiences.
- 6 former CCD participants from the 2016 CCD Program provided their personal description of what aspects of CCD Program they found to be most useful as they unpacked their individual learning experiences at the allocated site:
- For Staff, the work of preparing pre-service teachers for teaching practicum especially in Australian education culture is pertinent to their process of intercultural adjustment and becoming Australian qualified educators.
- Staff cited some key principles they believed are important during the CCD experience in order to promote greater positive sense of ownership over what they are learning from site visits.
- In the videos below, the CCD team staff members described the importance of connecting with their international pre-service teachers with others so that they are able to build relationships they have established at the sites. In so doing, the CCD Program how they also assisted other aspects of their sense of belonging to the host society and teaching profession.