Opening Eyes by Opening Classroom Doors:
Multicultural Musings of Study Abroad in Italy
This narrative inquiry examines multicultural site-based experiences of five pre-service teachers (early childhood and special education) during a four-week university sponsored study abroad program. Experiential learning (Kolb, 1984) opportunities were created for observations and teaching mini-lessons in Italian classrooms and immersion into Italian culture. The researcher’s study emanates from the pre-service teachers’ daily journal entries, informal conversations, and personal observations of reflections of their developing multicultural understandings, scaffolding upon their rural American backgrounds. To facilitate processing their lived experiences, it was necessary to work from an operational definition of culture (Nieto & Bode, 2012), collecting and interpreting data, and making their unique stories personally meaningful (Connelly and Clandinin, 2006). Conclusions indicate program goals of opening eyes through opening classroom doors were met, stimulating a wider global lens and a more critical, deeper understanding of others, moving beyond generalizations and stereotypes.
Keywords: Pre-service teachers, study abroad, multiculturalism, narrative inquiry
Marciano, Deb L. Ph. D.
"Opening Eyes by Opening Classroom Doors: Multicultural Musings of Study Abroad in Italy,"
Journal of Multicultural Affairs: Vol. 1
, Article 3.
Available at: http://scholarworks.sfasu.edu/jma/vol1/iss2/3