Goodbye ‘Mr Chips’: The Global Mobility of Australian-Educated Teachers

  • Carol Reid
  • Jock Collins
  • Michael Singh


Global teachers leave and arrive. This chapter looks at emigrant teachers, that is, Australian-trained teachers who leave to teach in other countries. They are part of the Australian Diaspora. It explores their motivations for teaching in other countries and their experiences in schools and communities overseas. Emigrant teachers experience difficulties with the formal and informal curriculum. Racialization plays a key role in responses to these mainly White emigrant teachers through the construction of their Western-ness, which impacts strongly on many female emigrant teachers, who reported stereotypical expectations of their femininity and sexuality by the school and community. Humour is one strategy emigrant teachers adopt in new schools in new countries to deal with these unsettling situations. Cosmopolitan Social theory provides new insights into the personal and professional experiences, hopes and aspirations of emigrant teachers. These emigrant teachers develop a more cosmopolitan disposition and acceptance of difference, a very valuable trait for teachers who return to Australia, one of the world’s most cosmopolitan nations. However most emigrant teachers are penalised and not rewarded in the Australian school system after the return to Australia with their global teaching experience, a form of market failure in Australian school education.


Western Australia Australian School International School South Australia White Teacher 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Adkins, L. (2011). Practice as temporalisation: Bourdieu and economic crisis. In S. Susen & B. S. Turner (Eds.), The legacy of Pierre Bourdieu: Critical essays. London: Anthem Press.Google Scholar
  2. Agee, J. (2004). Negotiating a teaching identity: An African American teacher’s struggle to teach in test-driven contexts. Teachers College Record Volume, 106(4), 27.Google Scholar
  3. Ajayi, L. (2011). Exploring how ESL teachers relate their ethnic and social backgrounds to practice. Race Ethnicity and Education, 14(2), 253–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Appadurai, A. (1996). Modernity at large: Cultural dimensions of globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  5. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). (2012). Overseas arrivals and departures. Australia, October 2012.Google Scholar
  6. Birrell, B., Dobson, I. R., Rapson, V., & Smith, T. F. (2001). Skilled labour gains and losses. Melbourne: Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University.Google Scholar
  7. Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: A social critique of the judgement of taste. Oxfordshire: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Buscher, M., & Urry, J. (2009). Mobile methods and the empirical. European Journal of Social Theory, 12(1), 99–116. doi: 10.1177/1368431008099642.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Connell, R. W. (2002). Gender. Malden, MA: Polity.Google Scholar
  10. Connell, R. (2007). Southern theory: The global dynamics of knowledge in social science. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  11. Delanty, G. (2009). The cosmopolitan imagination: The renewal of critical social theory (1st ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA). (2005). Analysis of the skilled migration designation area sponsored subclass. Canberra: Department of Immigration, Multiculturalism and Indigenous Affairs.Google Scholar
  13. Farrer, J. (2008). From “passports” to “joint ventures”: Intermarriage between Chinese nationals and Western expatriates residing in Shanghai. Asian Studies Review, 32, 7–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Forte, M. C. (Ed.). (2010). Indigenous cosmopolitans: Transnational and transcultural indigeneity in the twenty-first century. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  15. Han, J., & Singh, M. (2007). Getting world english speaking student teachers to the ‘Top of the Class’: Making hope for ethno-cultural diversity in teacher education robust. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 35(3), 291–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hansen, D. (2011). The teacher and the world: A study of cosmopolitanism as education. Teacher quality and school development. New York\London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Hickling-Hudson, A. (2009). South theory and postcolonial education. In R. S. Coloma (Ed.), Postcolonial challenges in education (pp. 365–374). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  18. Hofacre, C. A. (2006). Walking outside the box: The impact of an international immersion program for K-12 teachers. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia.Google Scholar
  19. Hugo, G. (2003). Circular migration: Keeping development rolling? Accessed 6 Dec 2010.
  20. Kipnis, A. B. (2011). Governing educational desire: Culture, politics, and schooling in China. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lauder, H., Young, M., Daniels, H., Balarin, M., & Lowe, J. (Eds.). (2012). Educating for the knowledge economy?: Critical perspectives. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Maoz, D. (2006). The mutual gaze. Annals of Tourism Research, 33(1), 221–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Miles, R. (1993). Racism after ‘race relations’. London\New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Nyers, P. (2003). Abject cosmopolitanism: The politics of protection in the anti-deportation movement. Third World Quarterly, 24(6), 1069–1093. doi: 10.1080/01436590310001630071.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Picower, B. (2009). The unexamined whiteness of teaching: How white teachers maintain and enact dominant racial ideologies. Race Ethnicity and Education, 12(2), 197–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Power, M. D. (1997). The audit explosion. London: Demos.Google Scholar
  27. Preston, B. (2000). Teacher supply and demand to 2005: Projections and context. Canberra: Australian Council of Deans of Education.Google Scholar
  28. Rapoport, A. (2008a). Exchange programs for educators: American and Russian perspectives. Intercultural Education, 19(1), 67–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rapoport, A. (2008b). The impact of international programs on pedagogical practices of their participants: A Russian experience. Teachers and Teaching, 14(3), 225–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Reid, C. (2004). Negotiating racialised identities – Indigenous teacher education in Austrlia and Canada. Australia: Common Ground Publishing.Google Scholar
  31. Reid, C., & Velissaris, H. (1991). Yes it isn’t – No, it is. Aboriginal Child at School, 19(5), 12–17.Google Scholar
  32. Robertson, S. L. (2012). ‘Placing’ teachers in global governance agendas. Comparative Education Review, 56(3).Google Scholar
  33. Sandercock, L., & Lyssiotis, P. (2003). Cosmopolis II: Mongrel cities in the 21st century. New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  34. Santoro, N. (2007). ‘Outsiders’ and ‘Others’: ‘Different’ teachers teaching in culturally diverse classrooms. Teachers and Teaching, 13(1), 81–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sean. (2008). I am not sure how to prounounce it. It’s alphanumeric. White man in Korea…The trials and tribulations of a culture-shocked Canadian stumbling through a teaching job in Seoul, South Korea. Suwon.Google Scholar
  36. Sleeter, C. E. (2001). Preparing teachers for culturally diverse schools: Research and the overwhelming presence of whiteness. Journal of Teacher Education, 52, 94–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sobe, N. W. (2009). Rethinking ‘Cosmopolitanism’ as an analytic for the comparative study of globalization and education. Current Issues in Comparative Education, 12(1), 6–13.Google Scholar
  38. Stachowski, L. L., & Mahan, J. M. (1998). Cross-cultural field placements: Student teachers learning from schools and communities. Theory into Practice, 37(2), 155–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Stanley, P. (2011). Performing foreigners: Attributed and appropriated roles and identities of Westerners teaching english in Shanghai. In M. Lobo, V. Marotta, & N. Oke (Eds.), Intercultural relations in a global world (p. 231). Champaign: Common Ground.Google Scholar
  40. Stanley, P. (2012). A critical ethnography of ‘Westerners’ teaching english in China: Shanghaied in Shanghai. London: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  41. Urry, J. (2003). Social networks, travel and talk. The British Journal of Sociology, 54(2), 155–175. doi: 10.1080/0007131032000080185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Widegren, P., & Doherty, C. A. (2010). Is the world their oyster? The global imagination of pre-service teachers. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 38(1), 5–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol Reid
    • 1
  • Jock Collins
    • 2
  • Michael Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Educational ResearchUniversity of Western SydneyPenrithAustralia
  2. 2.Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research CentreUniversity of Technology SydneyBroadwayAustralia

Personalised recommendations