COLAB is a cross-cultural unit developed from a shared aim to offer new and innovative ways to increase preservice teachers' levels of intercultural understandings and sensitivity.

"I learned that not all of my original thoughts about these places were accurate and many of the cultural assumptions that are placed on these locations are inaccurate in real life. I recognized the importance for us to see our differences but to also notice the similarities we all have in our schools and educational settings across the world."

-COLAB Student

  Why should you learn with us?

COLAB is a teaching unit that aims to enhance intercultural learning through online preservice teacher education. COLAB is aimed specifically at strengthening preservice teachers' intercultural experiences, awareness and understandings. Offering COLAB within teacher education programs creates a starting point to engage students in diverse cultural encounters and experiences through the continually enhanced design of collaborative online assignments and interactions.

The objectives for COLAB is to help students to:

  • Develop intercultural insights
  • Reflect on their own intercultural understandings and development
  • Foster awareness of personal and cultural assumptions about teaching young children, and
  • Understand the process for moving beyond cultural assumptions to reflect more openly on cross-cultural situations.

"During this ... experience, I feel that I was able to self-reflect in ways that I have not before. The main thing that stood out to me was my ability to determine the 'why' behind my behaviors and ask others questions in a respectful way regarding theirs. I feel that I was able to understand the components of intercultural competence through interacting with others from Wyoming and New Zealand, as we all have a common goal to teach young children and do so in similar/different ways."

-COLAB Student

Funded by the UTK Center for Global Engagement.