Simpson College allows education majors to student teach abroad

Simpson education majors can now gain international teaching experience.
Simpson education majors can now gain international teaching experience. | Contributed photo

The Global Gateway for Teachers is a program designed to give education majors an opportunity to explore other cultures during their student teaching. 

In the past, the rigorous program that required placements, practicums, and student teaching didn’t open a door for studying abroad, but Simpson College is striving to change that. The new program allows students to apply for placement in one of 18 countries and spend half of their student teaching time abroad. 

Senior Katie Sturtz, who is spending the second half of her elementary education student teaching hours in Auckland, New Zealand, said she is expecting a very different method of teaching upon arrival, as teachers there are more like facilitators. Children are encouraged to explore what they want to learn with hands-on opportunities rather than traditional lectures and reading.

Jay Wilkinson, director of international education at Simpson, said that there are about 15 colleges and universities participating in the Global Gateway program, and feedback is good. Wilkinson said the program gives Simpson education majors a chance to set themselves apart, with vast experience across multiple cultures, learning multiple methods of teaching. 

The program encourages future educators to adapt classroom learning experiences to incorporate what is learned from abroad.

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