Study abroad as a means of unpacking pedagogical complexity in context

Stephanie C Sanders-Smith, Tanya E Cordoba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While teacher education programs are increasingly creating short-term study abroad programs to support developing teacher interculturality, programs often focus on schools typical of the host country. Few programs target a specific philosophical approach and its enactment in classrooms. This case study focuses on a two-week trip to the city of Reggio Emilia and other cities in northern Italy. The program was intended to support students in deeper understandings of the Reggio Emilia approach as well as the ways in which the approach is culturally embedded within northern Italy with the goal of students recognizing more profoundly how the approach adapts to international contexts (e.g., the United States). Students studied the Reggio Emilia approach (an approach previously encountered in university courses) and its practical application in the municipal infant/toddler centers and preschools in the city. Students demonstrated understandings of the approach and the enactment of the Reggio Emilia approach in the local context. This led to deep reflections of themselves as teachers and learners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1059-1069
Number of pages11
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Cultural context
  • Reggio Emilia
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher preparation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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