Preparing North American Preservice Teachers for Global Perspectives: An International Teaching Practicum Experience in Africa

  • Bosire Monari Mwebi St. Francis Xavier University
  • Susan M. Brigham Mount Saint Vincent University

Abstract

Given the economic, political, and social conditions in the world today and the increased diversity in Canadian classrooms, schools require teachers who have a strong sense of self-awareness and understanding of global issues. This article is based on empirical research involving preservice teachers from an Atlantic Canadian university. The preservice teachers did six weeks of teaching practicum in Africa. We draw on the theories of Africentricity and transformative learning to inform our analysis. Our findings suggest that preservice teachers who did their practicum in Africa increased their self-awareness, and enhanced their personal efficacy and understanding of cross-cultural, diversity, and globalization issues, which has informed their subsequent teaching practice in public school systems. We conclude with recommendations for teacher education programs.

Author Biographies

Bosire Monari Mwebi, St. Francis Xavier University
Bosire Monari Mwebi is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education. He started his teaching career in Kenya, where for five years he taught economics and history in public schools. He also served for 10 years as an education administrator in the Ministry of Education in Kenya. His research interests include health promotion in schools, peer education, youth and HIV/AIDS, gender and school leadership, global education, and narrative inquiry. He is also co-author with Angelik Lazaridou of “An International Perspective on Under-representation of Female Leaders in Kenya’s Primary Schools” (Canadian and International Education Journal, 37, 1-22, 2008).
Susan M. Brigham, Mount Saint Vincent University
Susan Brigham is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education. Her research interests include Africentricity, transformative learning theory and teacher eduction, diversity issues in lifelong learning, international/intercultural education, and critical feminist pedagogy. She is cohort advisor for the Master of Education degree program focusing on Africentric Leadership in Lifelong Learning, a program at MSVU in partnership with the Council on African Canadian Education (CACE).