Date of Award

Spring 3-21-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy

Department

Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Advisor

Martin Finkelstein, PhD

Committee Member

Joseph Stetar, PhD

Committee Member

Ming Fai Pang, PhD

Keywords

Internationalization, teacher education, teacher education faculty, international curriculum, higher education, New York, Hong Kong

Abstract

With the increasing integration of the world economy, nations are under growing pressure to compete internationally, resulting in a need to re-shape national education systems to train a multi-cultural workforce capable of competing globally. Consequently, the imperative to internationalize must focus on the preparation of teachers. This research study examined the internationalization of teacher education faculty through case studies of two universities: one in New York and one in Hong Kong. The main purpose is twofold: (1) to compare the extent to which, and the ways in which teacher education faculty in the two settings have internationalized the content of their courses and the pattern of their professional networks; and (2) to identify, based upon a theoretical framework developed by Blackburn and Lawrence (1995), the predictors of the extent and patterns of faculty internationalization. Internationalization has been conceived as study abroad, faculty joint or collaborative research across national borders, international internships, faculty and student exchanges and curricular development (Knight, 2004).

The study was shaped by two research questions: (1) How do teacher education faculties at the two case sites differ in terms of the extent and patterns of the internationalization as reflected in the content of their courses and the composition of their professional networks? and (2) What factors combine to explain both the extent and pattern of internationalization of course content and professional networks? To address these research questions, quantitative data was gathered through a survey of teacher education faculty at each of the two sites: Hong Kong and New York. The outcome variable of interest included three dimensions of internationalization: integration of international content, integration of international student networking opportunities, and faculty research and professional networks abroad. Three sets of predictor variables were examined: demographics (nationality at birth and throughout schooling/profession), career characteristics (international mobility), and self-knowledge (perception of international research and engagement). To facilitate analysis, indexes of each of the three dimensions of internationalization were constructed based on survey items. Basic descriptive statistics, including measures of central tendency, of both the outcome and independent variables were generated to answer the first research question. Logistic regression analysis was used to test a predictive model of the determinants of each dimension of the outcome variable.

The results of this study showed that the faculty of Hong Kong University as compared to that of Queens College perceive themselves as being more internationally savvy, as they have more experience and engagement in the research, professional presentations, collaborations, and publishing in international settings. However, although HKU teacher education faculty are internationalized in their professional networks, they are no more likely than QC teacher education faculty to internationalize the content of their teacher education programs. Based on these results, we draw implications and recommend directions for future research.

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