Advancing Public Education in Pakistan through a Teacher Exchange Program in the United States

Madeline Milian and Sajid Ali Yousafzai

This study examined a multi-year teacher exchange program that included Pakistani secondary English teachers and took place at a mid-sized institution of higher education in a western state in the United States. It aimed to understand the program’s possible impact on advancing Pakistan’s public education after the completion of the program. A major goal of the study was to analyze how participating secondary English educators in the program viewed, interpreted, and could transform the new knowledge and strategies learned in the program into effective practices in their Pakistani educational settings. The information for this study was gathered from open-ended questionnaires and multiple focus group discussions with 37 in-service secondary teachers who attended this 6-week professional development program. Participants concluded that low-class size, technological tools, student diversity, teacher-student interactions, social and cultural practices, and classroom structures were some of the major differences between the U.S. and Pakistan’s classrooms. Information on educational and practice similarities that are found in both countries, as well as culturally acceptable adaptations are also included as part of the findings of the study. Recommendations for future work are suggested as a way to confirm how these exchange programs generate changes in teaching practices.

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