Publication Date

Winter 12-12-2016

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Sora Friedman

Abstract

Teach abroad programs have gained popularity across the world, as they are often an attractive option for people to live internationally while earning money. Many programs’ practices contribute to local teachers’ loss of employment, perpetuating stereotypes or ethnocentric views, or invite tourists into classrooms to “teach” English to communities they have no substantial interest in. As the industry grows, it is important to develop programs that promote responsible practices to encourage favorable impacts on the communities as well as visiting teachers. This proposed curriculum has been designed to enhance the experience for participants of the SENA Volunteacher Program for the growing Colombian nonprofit organization, Volunteers Colombia, which invites over 150 international English teachers to co-teach in government funded vocational schools across the country every year. It aims to provide opportunities to “volunteachers” and Colombian SENA center teachers to enhance intercultural consciousness and maturity, with focus on building cognitive, intrapersonal and interpersonal skills. Main elements of the curriculum will include critical reflection, dialogue and collaborative cultural interaction.

The objective of this curriculum is to encourage interdependent relationships between the two groups, as well as to promote cultural awareness and critical thinking skills. Theories and methods which mix meaningful learning with intercultural development will be incorporated as the groundwork for this curriculum to support learning before, during and after participation in the Volunteacher Program. Application of theories will be available through group dialogue, reflective journal writing, thought provoking virtual resources and the creation of a collaborative project of choice shared between Volunteachers and SENA teachers. These elements will ultimately further support the organization's mission of offering a transformational experience for under resourced communities through encouraging meaningful relationships between co-teachers who are the agents of growth in the classrooms.

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Education | Educational Methods

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