TEACHER LEADERS IN THE AGE OF GLOBALIZATION: PROMOTING GLOBAL COMPETENCE IN STUDENTS
One goal for educators today is to prepare students to succeed in a globalized world. The connection between teachers’ experiences of student educational programs abroad and teachers’ perceived growth in their instructional abilities to prepare globally competent students served as the focal point of this study. The qualitative method of grounded theory was utilized, and focus groups and interviews were conducted. Teachers who previously led students during educational programs abroad volunteered to participate in this study. Following the creation of transcripts for the focus groups and interviews, the data were analyzed using the constant comparative method (Glasser, 1965), and participants confirmed the categorization of the data. Seven emergent themes were identified and included: (1) perspectives, (2) empathy, (3) global conditions and current events, (4) cultural differences, (5) intercultural communication, (6) classroom environment, and (7) intercultural lessons. From these themes, three assertions were gleaned: (1) Opportunities should be provided for teachers to reflect on their own perspectives and consider the perspectives of others; (2) Both local and global opportunities should be promoted to teachers to experience other cultures; and (3) Professional development sessions for teachers to explore global competency instruction should be offered. The seven themes support the continuation of teachers’ involvement in student study abroad programs, and the three assertions offer recommendations to equip principals with approaches for promoting teacher leadership and improving global competency instruction.