Teachers with the capacity to teach students of diverse racial, ethnic, social class, and language backgrounds is a pressing issues for teacher professional development today. This study investigated how school teachers who had attended a short-term teaching abroad trip perceived the concept of cultural competence and their self-efficacy on mastering tasks for culturally responsive teaching. 28 school teachers in Taiwan participated a 7-day overseas teaching activities in a secondary school in Malaysia. Data was collected through Cultural Diversity Awareness (CDA), Multicultural Personality (MP), and Culturally Responsive Teaching Self-Efficacy (CRTSE) questionnaires. The results showed that after having the teaching experience in foreign country, the teachers’ attitude toward cultural diversity were significantly higher than before they went teaching overseas, although the sensitive attitude about cultural diversity were not strong. There is no difference between science teachers and social science teachers’ perceptions on cultural diversity awareness. It was also found that these Taiwanese teachers who can speak more than 3 languages showed more positive attitude toward cultural diversity and had better sense of possessing multicultural personality. The findings suggested that how to transform intercultural experience into culturally relevant teaching and learning is a challenging task of professional development for teachers’ readiness on intercultural competence.
Keywords: cultural competence, culturally relevant pedagogy, short-term teaching abroad
Themes: Multicultural Issues in Education