CULTURAL RESPONSIVENESS OF U.S. IN-SERVICE TEACHERS ON A STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCE
Purpose The purpose of this qualitative dissertation was to explore the experiences of a select group of in-service teachers, who participated in a three-week study abroad program in Chile, and how these experiences might have influenced their cultural responsiveness. The primary research question that served as a guide for this study was as follows: How does participation in a short-term study abroad program influence in-service teachers’ cultural responsiveness? Methods Pre- and post-interviews were conducted with in-service teachers from the United States who participated in a study abroad program in Chile during the summer 2016. Blog entries were also collected from the participants while they were in Chile. Using narrative data from participants’ interviews and blog entries, data were analyzed using a constant comparative approach to identify emergent themes. Each individual participant’s experience was viewed as an individual case study. A cross-case analysis also was done to compare themes that arose across the individual cases and to outline similarities and differences. Findings Several unique themes arose in each participant’s description of his or her experiences in this collective case study. However, there were several common themes that arose across the four individual cases. Those themes were: (a) allowing lax environments/leniency, (b) being the auxiliary support, (c) owning the instruction, (d) discussing worldly issues, (e) recognizing the vision, (f) preparing the instruction, and (g) interacting positively with others. Descriptions of participants’ experiences before and during the study abroad experience revealed presence of markers that signified culturally relevant education. Self-reflections indicated that most of the participants believed that they moved from being moderately culturally responsive educators before their three-week abroad experience to highly culturally responsive educators after their three-week abroad experience.