Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Mapping a new field: Cross-border professional development for teachers
by Johnson, Janelle M., Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2011, 311; 3479441
Abstract (Summary)

Many of the international, supranational, national, and grassroots development organizations working in the field of education channel their efforts into capacitybuilding for teachers. My research examines the nexus of such international development by US-based organizations with national schooling systems by naming and theorizing this process as a new field called cross-border teacher education. "Cross-border" is the term employed by UNESCO (2005) and OECD (2007) to describe international cooperative projects in higher education, synonymous with "transnational," "borderless," and "offshore" education (Knight, 2007). I use a critical lens to compare two distinct models of cross-border teacher education: a small locally based non-profit development organization in Guatemala that has worked with one school for several years, and a US government-funded program whose participants are trained in bilingual teaching methods and critical thinking at US colleges and universities, then return to their home communities throughout Mexico and Guatemala. These are programs for inservice teachers and are henceforth referred to as cross-border professional development or CBPD. The research questions for this study are: What institutions shape cross-border professional development in these cases? How are language policies enacted through CBPD? How do teachers make meaning of their CBPD experiences when they return to their classrooms and communities? And finally, What do these case studies tell us about crossborder professional development as a process? These questions generate understandings of national education systems, US-based international development, and cross-border education. Utilizing ethnographic approaches to educational policy that locate regional, class, and ethnic asymmetries (McCarty, 2011; Tollefson, 2002), data was gathered according to the distinct organizational structures of the two agencies. For the larger organization data collection was initiated with electronic open-ended questionnaires and supplemented by semistructured interviews, classroom observations, and program documents. Data on the smaller organization was collected through participant observation in professional development workshops and classrooms, semi-structured interviews, and textual analysis of teacher reflections, organizational emails and documents. The research focuses on the voices of teachers as the target of cross-border professional development efforts, but also maps out the dialogic perspectives of education officials and the organizationsā€˜ administrators to illuminate tensions within the process as well as highlights some surprising roles for teachers as agents of change.

Keywords: cross-border professional development, transnational teacher education, capacity building, Indigenous education, bilingual intercultural education, decolonization

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wyman, Leisy, Ruiz, Richard
Commitee: Gonzalez, Norma, Luykx, Aurolyn, Nicholas, Sheilah
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Language, Reading & Culture
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 73/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics, Teacher education, Latin American Studies
Keywords: Bilingual intercultural education, Capacity-building, Cross-border education, Decolonization, Indigenous education, Professional development
Publication Number: 3479441
ISBN: 978-1-124-97773-7
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