Friendships Overcome Ignorance and Misconceptions: Teacher Candidates’ Exposure to a Foreign Culture in an Online Cross-national e-pals Project

Jessica N. Essary, Tunde Szecsi


The cross-national pedagogical e-pal project was implemented between teacher candidates in the United States and the United Arab Emirates with the purpose of expanding teacher candidates’ perspectives on culture.  During the five weeks of the intervention, in teams of three, participants had informal online conversations and discussed schooling scenarios to illuminate and articulate their decision-making.  In this study, the teacher candidates’ views were captured in pre- and post-surveys, in their posts, and in their reflection responses.  All data were analyzed to understand the change in their views on their culture and their partner’s culture as well as any newly developed perspectives on culture.  The findings indicated a shift in their views toward a more in-depth understanding of cultures.  


culturally responsive, intervention, Muslim, perspectives on culture, teacher education

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