Joseph Xhuxhi, Carmen Romero-García


The Komisioni Kombëtar i Edukimit Katolik Shqiptar (KKEKSH) aims to reform education in Albania. In 2022 it established a relationship with Stella Maris College (SMC) in Madrid, Spain. As part of this relationship, a teacher exchange program was established between the SMC and the KKEKSH. This exchange aims to share good practices in the field of using active methodologies in the classroom and explore the impact of such an exchange program on the professional identity of Albanian primary teachers. In the first week of June 2023, a group of three SMR teachers visited three Albanian Catholic schools for a week. Based on this experience, three theoretical constructs are analysed to explore the experience of the Albanian teacher: transformative learning, agency, and hybridization. A mixed methodology was used, based on a case study of the experience of Albanian teachers during the visit of the Spanish teachers. Two questionnaires were designed and shared online with the Albanian teachers who participated in the experience to collect information about, 1) a qualitative pre-visit questionnaire sought to explore the views of initial teacher identity and agency, 2) a mixed qualitative with Likert style quantitative post-visit questionnaire sought to explore changes in teacher identify and agency as result of the Spanish teacher visit. A constant comparative analysis, a percentage frequency of mentions and a basic SPSS analysis of the data were performed. The results show that by providing teachers with a space for reflection in their daily practice, the way they conceptualize their pedagogical knowledge changes. Communication between Spanish and Albanian teachers created a space for the hybrid identity of the participants to be scrutinized and evaluated. The participants in this study, after having been exposed to different points of view and practices in education, begun to take steps to incorporate active methodologies, alternative assessment approaches in their educational practice and adaptation of the curriculum to make it more accessible to their students, so that students become the "focus" and "priority" of what they do. It is concluded that it is necessary to work in local dialogue, firstly within the school and through the creation of local communities, in both cases to allow different knowledge and experiences to promote the creation of collaborative pedagogical knowledge. We demonstrate that the tension that arises in the hybrid identities of the participants strengthens their individual agency within the neoliberal micromanaged education system the participants find themselves in.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter


agency; teacher identity; teacher hybridity; teacher exchange programs

Full Text:



Archer, M. S. (2007). The ontological status of subjectivity: The missing link between structure and agency. In C. Lawson, J. Latsis, & N. Martins (Eds.), Contributions to social ontology. Routledge.

Aydın, S. (2012). “I am not the same after my ERASMUS”: A qualitative research. The Qualitative Report, 17(28).

Bakx, A., Bakker, A., Koopman, M., & Beijaard, D. (2016). Boundary crossing by science teacher researchers in a PhD program. Teaching and Teacher Education, 60.

Ball, S. (2016). Subjectivity as a site of struggle: Refusing neoliberalism? British Journal of Sociology of Education, 37(8).

Bazzul, J. (2012). Neoliberal ideology, global capitalism, and science education: Engaging the question of subjectivity. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 7(4).

Bhabha, H. (1990). The Third Space: Interview with Homi Bhabha. In J. Rutherford (Ed.), Identity: Community, Culture, Difference. Lawrence and Wishart.

Buchanan, R. (2015). Teacher identity and agency in an era of accountability. Teachers and Teaching, 21(6).

Capo, D., & Granados, C. in; Arellano, F. C. (2023). Daniel Capó y Carlos Granados, Florecer. Scripta Theologica, 55(2), 494-497.

Creswell, J. W. (2015) Revisiting mixed methods and advancing scientific practices. In: Hesse-Biber S and Johnson RB (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Multimethod and Mixed Methods Research Inquiry. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 61–71.

Creswell, J. W., Klassen, A. C., Plano Clark, V. L., & Smith, K. C. (2011). Best practices for mixed methods research in the health sciences. Bethesda (Maryland): National Institutes of Health.

Denzin, N. (2017). Critical qualitative inquiry. Qualitative Inquiry, 23(1).

Dolasir, S., & Tuncel, F. (2004). Evaluating the Turkish higher education law and proposals in the light of Erasmus's goals. Paper presented at the First International Congress on University Education, Istanbul, Turkey.

Donmoyer, R. (2000). Generalizability and the single-case study. In: Gomm R, Hammersley M, Foster P, editors. Case study method- key issues, key texts. London: Sage.

Dooley, K. E., Dooley, L. M., & Carranza, G. (2008). Beliefs, barriers, and benefits of a faculty abroad experience in Mexico. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education, 15(3), 29-38.

Doyle, L., Brady, A. M., & Byrne, G. (2016). An overview of mixed methods research–revisited. Journal of research in nursing, 21(8).

Duffy, T. M. & Jonassen, D. J. (1992). Constructivism and the Technology of Instruction: a Conversation. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Emirbayer, M., & Mische, A. (1998). What is agency? American Journal of Sociology, 103(4).

Flyvberg, B. (2011). Case study. In: Denzin NK, Lincoln YS, editors. The Sage handbook of qualitative research. 4th ed. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Freire, P. (1998). Pedagogy of freedom: Ethics, democracy, and civic courage. Rowman and Littlefield.

Gerring, J. (2006). The conundrum of the case study. In: Gerring J, editor. Case study research: principles and practices. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Giroux, H. A. (2009). Paulo Freire and the politics of postcolonialism. In A. Kempf (Ed.), Breaching the colonial contract. Springer.

Glaser, B. (1965). The constant comparative method of qualitative analysis. Social Problems, 12(4).

Guba, E. G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1983). The epistemological and methodological bases of naturalistic inquiry. In G. Madaus, M. Scriven, & D. L. Stufflebeam (Eds.). Evaluation Models and Conceptualizations. Boston: Kluwer-Nijhof. Reprinted and abridged from the Educational Communications and Technology Journal.

Harding, S. (1993). Rethinking standpoint epistemology: What is ‘strong objectivity’? In L. Alcoff & E. Potter (Eds.), Feminist epistemologies (pp. 49–82). Routledge.

Hökkä, P., Vähäsantanen, K., & Mahlakaarto, S. (2017). Teacher educators' collective professional agency and identity–transforming marginality to strength. Teaching and Teacher Education, 63.

Holloway, J., & Brass, J. (2018). Making accountable teachers: The terrors and pleasures of performativity. Journal of Education Policy, 33(3).

Hovland, K. (2009). Global learning: What is it? Who is responsible for it? Association of American Colleges and Universities Peer Review, 11, 4-7.

Isabelli-García, C., Bown, J., Plews, J. L., & Dewey, D. P. (2018). Language learning and study abroad. Language Teaching, 51(4).

INSTAT 1: https://www.instat.gov.al/al/statistikat-n%C3%AB-shkolla/arsimi-n%C3%AB-shqip%C3%ABri/

INSTAT 2: https://www.instat.gov.al/al/temat/tregu-i-pun%C3%ABs-dhe-arsimi/arsimi/

Jamieson, S. (2004). Likert scales: How to (ab) use them? Medical education. 38 (12),

Johnson, B., & Christensen, L. (2012). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE publication.

Klein, J. & Wikan, G. (2019). Teacher education and international practice programmes: Reflections on transformative learning and global citizenship. Teaching and Teacher Education, 79.

Kosara, R. (2016). An empire built on sand: Reexamining what we think we know about visualization. In Proceedings of the sixth workshop on beyond time and errors on novel evaluation methods for visualization. 162.

Li, D., & Edwards, V. (2013). The impact of overseas training on curriculum innovation and change in English language education in Western China. Language Teaching Research, 17.

Maciejewska, M. (2018). Opportunities of transformative student learning – The case of the Erasmus+ programme. Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference: Society. Integration. Education.

MASR. (2021). Strategjia per Arsimin 2021-2026.

Mayo, P. (2019). Praxis, hegemony, and consciousness in the work of Antonio Gramsci and Paulo Freire. In C. A. Torres (Ed.), The Wiley handbook of Paulo Freire. Wiley Blackwell.

Mezirow, J. (1991). Transformative dimensions of adult learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Mezirow, J. (1997). Transformative learning: Theory to practice. New directions for adult and continuing education, 1997 (74), 5-12.

Mezirow, J. (2000). Learning to think like an adult: Core concepts of transformation theory. In J. Mezirow & Associates (Eds.), Learning as transformation: Critical perspectives on a theory in progress (pp. 3–34). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Mezirow, J. (2009). An overview on transformative learning. In K. Illeri (Ed.), Contemporary theories of learning: Learning theorists in their own words (pp. 7-20). London and New York: Routledge.

Moura, C. (2021). Science education research practices and its boundaries: On methodological and epistemological challenges. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 16.

News report: https://top-channel.tv/2022/09/12/numri-i-nxenesve-ne-arsimin-para-universitar-pergjysmohet-ne-tre-dekada/

O’Cathain, A. (2010). Assessing the quality of mixed methods research: Toward a comprehensive framework. In A. Tashakkori & C. Teddlie (Eds.), SAGE handbook of mixed methods in social & behavioral research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Pineda, P., Moreno, V., & Belvis, E. (2008). The mobility of university students in Europe and Spain. European Educational Research Journal, 7(3).

Roth, W. M. (2008). Bricolage, metissage, hybridity, heterogeneity, diaspora: Concepts for thinking science education in the 21st century. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 3(4).

Shor, I., & Freire, P. (1987). A pedagogy for liberation. Westport, CT: Bergin and Garvey

Sifakis, N. C. (2007). The education of teachers of English as a lingua franca: A transformative perspective. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 17(3).

Simons, H. (2015). Case study evaluation: past, present and future challenges. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Thomson, P., & Gunter, H. (2011). Inside, outside, upside down: The fluidity of academic researcher ‘identity’ in working with/in school. International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 34(1).

Trent, J. (2011). Learning, teaching, and constructing identities: ESL pre-service teacher experiences during a short-term international experience program. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 31(2).

Vande Berg, M., Paige, R.M., & Lou, K.H. (2012). Student learning abroad: What our students are learning what they’re not, and what we can do about it. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Wodon, Q. (2022). Responding to Pope Francis’ Call for a Global Compact on Education: Insights from Interviews by the Global Catholic Education Project. Journal of Global Catholicism, 6(2), 116-149.

Yin, R.K. (2009). Case study research: designs and methods. Harvard Educational Review, 74(1), 107-109.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejes.v10i12.5109


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 Joseph Xhuxhi, Carmen Romero-García

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2015-2023. European Journal of Education Studies (ISSN 2501 - 1111) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All authors who send their manuscripts to this journal and whose articles are published on this journal retain full copyright of their articles. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).