Jun 1, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

As higher education becomes increasingly international in scope, it sets forth new challenges for teachers. After all, teaching in an international setting is accompanied by new demands. A new book, Teacher Professional Learning in International Education: Practice and Perspectives from Vocational Education and Training Sector by Ly Tran and Truc Le, highlights how the problem is playing out, along with one sector in Australia where an internationalized teaching approach is viewed as especially useful.

New Dynamics, New Demands

International students have different learning needs than domestic students. As a result, teachers are tasked not only with teaching, but with addressing these diverse needs. Only in doing so do they position themselves to help promote internationalization through effective teaching to international students while simultaneously positioning themselves for professional success.

According to Tran and Le, while integrating internationalization into teacher training is important at all levels, it’s particularly vital in the vocational education and training (VET) sector.  

“Teacher professional learning is essential to enabling VET teachers to respond effectively to the changing demands related to their professional practices, the development of the industry and new technologies and the new trends in the broader socio-cultural and political context. Teachers’ continuing professional development is integration for enhancing student learning experience and outcomes,” they propose.

A Call for Change

While the focus of Tran and Le’s book may be on Australia, the issue of the internationalization of teachers education transcends borders.

Consider the American Association of College for Teacher Education’s (AACTE) topical action group on the internationalization of teacher education. The group’s purpose? To support “the integration of international, intercultural, and global experiences and perspectives into the curriculum of teacher education (including the clinical component) to ensure that all teachers are properly trained to prepare their students to thrive in a globally connected, diverse world.”

Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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