Reflections on Teaching in Canada and Abroad: International Week

    International students will share their teacher education experiences and reflect on how they plan to transfer their new skills and knowledge from Alberta to their teaching careers in their home countries or in Canada as a part of International Week.

    By Kateryna Barnes on January 31, 2017

    International Week presenters chat with Secondary Education Chair Florence Glanfield.

    International Students in the Department of Secondary Education are hosting a session focusing on the teacher education in Canada and abroad for International Week.

    In this session, the students will share their teacher education experiences and reflect on how they plan to transfer their new skills and knowledge from Alberta to their teaching careers in their home countries or in Canada. The panelists will also share the challenges they have faced and the shifts in their identities in the transition into a graduate program or undergraduate program. We asked them a couple of questions to get a sneak peak of the event.

    When did you first notice the differences between education in Canada versus the international community?

    Marcela Herrera: When I asked my children what was one thing from Canada they would like to take back home to Chile, and they both said ‘School, because we like school here’.

    Xiong Wang: I was already working at a university in teacher education for eight years, so I noticed the structure of education was very different here compared to was totally different. As well, my son is in grade one here in Canada and sometimes I volunteer with his class and the environment is totally different. There’s more of a sense of belonging and community.

    Summayya Mohammed: When I came to Canada, I signed up for Biological Sciences and Chemistry Education. Soon I realized, it wasn’t that I liked those subjects; it’s just that’s all I knew. But when I took different classes like Comparative Literature and it was so interesting and not just memorization. It got me to think critically and I realized I wasn’t as “sciency” as I was lead to believe. Going to school here gave me the chance to explore my interests and it inspired me to switch my major to English as a Second Language Education.

    Why it is important to talk about teacher education during International Week?

    XW: Teacher education focusing on cultivation of new teachers and development of experienced ones is closely related to the interests of teacher educators and teachers themselves.

    MH: As international students, learning about teacher education expands our understanding of the Canadian educational context in which we are immersed.

    What do you hope attendees take home from the event?

    MH: Attendees will be able to reflect on the relevance and some taken for granted aspects of teacher education, as they will have the opportunity of looking at teacher education in Alberta from the perspective of international teachers.

    XW: Attendees experience our learning journey particularly viewpoint changes on teacher education, which could call their own reflections on learning and/or teaching in Canada and abroad.


    For more information about International Week visit globaled.ualberta.ca/iweek.