20 SES 06, To Study Abroad Is Challenging Intercultural Sensitivity Competencies but What from Technology to Philosophy Can Inform and Support This Academic Practice?
This paper presents a framework for the development of research within the emerging areas of internationalisation and technology that connect to build potential learning spaces within intercultural and global settings.
On the one hand, internationalisation in education has been employed for at least the past twenty years to meet the demands of a globalised world where diversity, urbanisation and immigration challenge schools on all levels. One way that internationalisation strategies have dealt with the challenges has been through the concept of ‘Internationalisation at Home’ or ‘Internationalisation of the Curriculum’, addressing the issues of preparing all graduates for a globalised world, both as professionals and as responsible global citizens (Nilsson, 2003; Deardorff & Jones, 2012; Leask, 2013).
On the other hand, advances and affordability of new media and contemporary technologies have been significant in accelerating globalisation, and different kinds of platforms (online education, e-learning, Open Educational Resources, MOOCs) have had an impact on education and learning (Chen, 2012; Aparicio et.al. 2016).
Thus, new media and internationalisation are two interrelated aspects of the global classroom. However, while there have been extensive studies of, for instance, the implementation and adoption of e-learning, there has been little research into the cultural and intercultural context of the teachers and their students it entails (Aparicio et.al. 2016) and of the learning possibilities it may provide.
Therefore, there is a need to explore various methodologies to investigate the impact of new media and technologies on learning in a culturally diverse setting or global classroom, and to investigate how to bridge the two areas in a pedagogy that is open to transforming traditional curricula and the paradigms that they are based on.
The project intends to use the concept of third space (Moll et al. 1992; Vygotsky 1978) and the related concepts of first, second and even fourth spaces, to provide a theoretical framework to investigate how teachers and students engage in, understand or even resist the global classroom. Third space is not a value neutral concept. It argues for the importance of acknowledging the reciprocal character of the civil (i.e. first space) and the educational (i.e. second space) worlds and negotiates for the third space as a possible mutual space between these worlds that can support and strengthen learning processes (Nash-Ditzel & Brown, 2012). Also, the idea of a fourth space (informal virtual worlds such as gaming) in social sciences is nothing new (van Vliet, 1983), yet how it is acted out in virtual worlds and across different cultures has only slowly started to emerge (Johari, 2005, 2009; O’Connor, 2012; Searle & Kafai, 2012).
Examples will be presented from a preliminary empirical study, from practice and literature in order to illustrate the complexity and the potential in bridging the theoretical ideas of third and fourth spaces in learning processes that deal with diversity and mediality.
For instance, in a Danish welfare professional context, digital media are widely present, but research projects have identified difficulties in integrating digital media into pedagogical practices (Jessen, 2004, 2001; Schrøder & Storgaard, 2012). UK Higher Education institutions are being encouraged to internationalise the curriculum, which may produce simplistic responses in order to fulfil this new requirement. This is particularly important in distance learning, where students and tutors never or rarely meet other than in the online, virtual world, and students build different identifies, with or without self-awareness, and which act as additional playgrounds to help construct their learning and understanding (Öztok, 2016).
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