Virtual teaching abroad during initial teacher education: pre-service teachers’ professional learning

Benjamin Luke Moorhouse*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


In-person teaching abroad experiences, where pre-service teachers spend a defined period teaching in schools in a foreign country, have received considerable research attention in recent years. However, virtual alternatives have yet to be explored. This exploratory study sought to understand the effects a virtual teaching abroad experience had on pre-service teachers’ professional learning. Data included teaching logs and reflective writings of two groups of pre-service teachers from Hong Kong who participated in a virtual teaching abroad experience hosted by a university in the United Kingdom and interviews with their course coordinators. The findings suggest that the PSTs found the virtual teaching abroad experience novel and unique, contributing to professional learning. Specifically, the experience (a) increased the PSTs’ confidence and flexibility; (b) improved their synchronous online teaching skills; (c) gave them greater awareness of learner differences and needs; and (d) exposed them to innovative pedagogical approaches. The study suggests that virtual teaching abroad experiences could have a place within initial teacher education, especially as the financial costs associated with them are lower than in-person experiences. However, they do not seem adequate to replace a sustained period immersed in an overseas school context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Education for Teaching
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Aug 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Education

User-Defined Keywords

  • Virtual teaching abroad
  • initial teacher education
  • international experiences
  • pre-service teachers
  • professional learning


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