“The World is So Much Bigger”: Preservice Teachers’ Experiences of Religion in Israel and the Influences on Identity and Teaching

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Opportunities to experience diverse religious traditions while traveling abroad can create invitations to explore the role of religion in identity. This becomes important as teacher educators prepare preservice teachers for classrooms of increasing religious diversity. This study examined the impact of a two-week experience in Israel for three preservice teachers before, immediately after, and one year after the trip. The data suggests that purposeful inclusions of religious experiences, sites, and more importantly personal encounters with individuals of a variety of faiths can create occasions to reflect upon the role of religion in identity. The preservice teachers in this study, while each possessing unique perspectives, spoke to the impact of this experience upon their teaching in the classroom. The chapter concludes with suggested recommendations on how to incorporate religion while planning a trip with preservice teachers.


Chapter published in:

An, H. (Ed.). (2017). Handbook of research on efficacy and implementation of study abroad programs for P-12 teachers. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.


DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1057-4.ch016