Dr. Marcea Ingersoll, who teaches in STU’s School of Education, is conducting research to help better prepare students in Canadian teacher education programs for work at international schools.

Ingersoll, along with Dr. Mark Hirschkorn, Dr. Alan Sears, and Dr. Jeff Landine of the University of New Brunswick, earned a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant of $72,504 for their project titled “Canadian Teacher Preparation for International Contexts: Competencies and Catalysts.”

“In the past twenty years, the number of international teaching opportunities around the globe has grown at a tremendous rate. That phenomenon is expected to keep growing,” Ingersoll said.

“We saw an opportunity to investigate how teacher education programs can function as catalysts of support for the competencies teachers identify as important for their vocational transition.”

Receiving SSHRC funding will allow the group to conduct multi-site visits and hire students to assist in the research. The research training component is something Ingersoll calls a “pay-it-forward” opportunity.

“Now our team can provide financial support, mentorship, and research training for students who one day may join the academy as well. It’s a tremendous opportunity.”

The initial research is expected to take two years, but the group hopes to extend the project beyond Canada and begin work internationally in the future.

The team’s ultimate goal is to provide a framework that will allow teacher candidates in education programs to be successful teaching internationally and support new Canadians in local school districts.

“We know Canadian administrators at schools abroad are looking for well-prepared teachers to come and stay, and we know local administrators are looking for great teachers who can support new Canadians here at home,” Ingersoll said.

“Our initial work already suggests some Canadian teacher education programs are finding innovative ways to build international capacity for their graduates, so connecting those catalysts with the competencies teachers report being of most benefit can only strengthen teacher education programs.”