Between the familiar and strange: Understanding good teaching in transnational education settings
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Little has been written about how or whether pre-service teachers construct understandings of good teaching during an international field placement; thus, a need arises to examine these contexts as sites to question, “How do we know what we know?” (Britzman, 2003, p. 58). Based on a qualitative study of six pre-service teachers participating in an international field placement within transnational education school settings – meaning the academic program and provider, as opposed to the student body, have moved from a home country [i.e., Canada] to a host country [in Asia] (Knight, 2016) – this article identified that comparative settings problematized understandings of good teaching. Central to these findings is situating understanding between what is familiar and that which interrupts understanding (what is strange), and dialogue as the medium by which understanding is made public. To move beyond a theory-into-practice paradigm in initial teacher education, results highlight a need to foster comparative experiences to engender change and challenge status quo narratives of what it means to teach and learn in teacher education.