Continuity and Change in Cultural Models of Teaching: Transnational Chinese Teachers in U.S. Early Childhood Classrooms Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Wu, Pei-Ying
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • There is a long history of research documenting cultural differences in educational aims and teaching practices. Such studies reveal that what educators want for young children and the practices they use to achieve these goals vary in different nations around the world. However, researchers know little about what happens when educators trained in one part of the world begin to teach in a different national, cultural and political context. This study took advantage of the accelerating trend of teacher migration and the growing number of transnational educators in the U.S. force to explore cultural differences experienced by transnational teachers during their initial transitions into the U.S. schools. This study took place in four U.S. public elementary schools in a southeastern state that recently launched dual language Mandarin immersion programs. Study participants were overseas-trained Chinese teachers hired in the U.S. as primary grade teachers (K-3rd grade). The study was designed to elucidate (1) what transnational teachers know and can articulate about their own teaching; (2) how they approach their responsibilities to students of (and in) a different culture; and (3) what changes emerge (at the group and individual level) as transnational teachers are participating in U.S. schools where they contribute their particular foreign language expertise while simultaneously learning new ideas and practices. Contemporary scholarship on cultural models guided this exploratory study. Results of this study provide new insights into dynamics of continuity and change in cultural models and illustrate individual differences in how transnational teachers make sense of and respond to new educational ideas and practices within a different socio-cultural context.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Bolick, Cheryl
  • Rong, Xue Lan
  • New, Rebecca
  • Met, Myriam
  • Vernon-Feagans, Lynne
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2017

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