ERG SES H 11, Globalisation and Education
In a globalising society, processes and structures of inclusion and exclusion are increasing and thus education needs to tackle resulting challenges such as diversity, interculturality and internationality. In Europe, social challenges such as the huge refugee movement to Europe since 2016, which have led to re-nationalisation tendencies in European countries, highlight even more the quest to achieve sustainable and socially balanced development and the need for active and engaged world citizens. The educational concept Global Citizenship Education (GCE)emphasises the orientation towards developing critical individuals who are capable of analysing power structures in the wake of globalisation, having empathy towards distant others, building global community and engaging in more active citizenship locally (Lewin, 2010; Pashby, 2012; Pike, 2008). Nussbaum (2002) argues that it must be a priority of Higher Education (HE) to develop human kinds’ richness of human understanding and aspiration necessary to function as a citizen in a complex and interwoven world. HE is not only a preparation for a career, but rather a “general enrichment of citizenship and life” (ibid., p. 292).
Education is seen as decisive and thus HE has reacted to the ongoing globalisation insofar as universities have adopted policies that promote cross-border mobility of students as a tool of internationalisation (Rizvi & Lingard, 2009). In the European context, the Bologna Reform in 1999 identifies academic mobility as the key to facilitate Europeanisation (Dale & Robertson, 2009). Among multiple mobility programmes, the Erasmus+ programme, funded by the European Union (EU), is considered as the European “success story” (Rizva & Teichler, 2007, p. 464). International mobility is seen as very powerful because it takes people out of their comfort zone: The fact that students have to interact with different people, other cultures, statuses, ethnicities, and so on makes them more aware of themselves and their position in the world, which is an essential first step toward the self-transformation processes within educational processes (i.e. Jickling, 2017).
The research questions of the PhD project are: (1) In what way does studying abroad entail specific educational processes and thereby contribute to become a global citizen? and (2) How do different social, political and cultural conditions in constructing and changing self- and world-relations influence students’ experiences abroad?
Against this background, this paper presentation asks (1) what potential offers the educational concept of GCE to investigate student mobility, and more specifically, student’s experiences abroad to become a so called global citizen. Furthermore, it is on specific interest (2) whether a mixed-method approach combining narrative timeline interviews and digital ethnography as well as focus groups is sufficient to capture student’s experiences on Erasmus+ mobility. The objective of this paper presentation is to further develop the theoretical and conceptional basis of the PhD project by elaborating the link between student mobility and GCE.
In the PhD project, Global Citizenship Education (GCE) is used as an analytical concept to examine student´s studying experiences abroad. Huckle and Wals (2015) have identified four dimensions which are useful as an analytical framework to investigate GCE: (1) scale (understanding of global society and impacts of personal and collective decisions on distant humans and non-humans); (2) ethical (recognition of sustainability as a normative notion which encompasses respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice and a culture of peace); (3) relational (understanding of the socially constructed nature of notions and discourses of sustainability, citizenship and globalisation); and (4) political (exploration of structural causes of social and environmental injustice and reformist and radical solutions dimensions) (p. 494-495).
The PhD project follows a mixed-method approach. An ethnographic fieldwork will be carried out over a total duration of six months in Copenhagen and Melbourne. Personal experiences of Danish students studying abroad and Erasmus+ students studying at Aarhus University and University of Copenhagen will be investigated through approximately 20 narrative timeline interviews. This modified approach integrates narrative techniques (Schütze, 1983) and a timeline (Adriansen, 2012) to reconstruct subjective contexts of the Erasmus students and provide a visual representation of main events within a wider context during the mobility and thereby underlines the co-construction of knowledge. Additionally, a few focus groups will be conducted to examine the social dimension of student mobilities by contextualising and reflecting educational experiences abroad in a group (Finch, Lewis & Turley, 2014). Bohnsack (1998) describes the knowledge of groups as collective orientations that have been acquired in practice. It will be of interest to synthesize the collective knowledge about educational experiences abroad. In times, when students are digital natives, it has become possible to investigate students’ experiences through digital ethnographic methods by using web applications which engages students as auto-ethnographers (Klemenčič et al., 2017). Thus, selected Erasmus+ students and Danish students will be asked to document their experiences via a web application resembling a web blog which prompts them to record and reflect their experiences of Erasmus mobility. By combining these methods, it will be possible to capture specific transformative experiences, individual and collective meaning-making processes, different studying environments and reconstruct the changes educational processes have initiated due to studying abroad. The analysis will be carried out by using the documentary method (Bohnsack, 2007; Nohl, 2006).
In these times, to intend to develop global citizens through study abroad should be a high priority for institutions of HE and thus the proposed PhD project seeks to lunch a better understanding of the holistic experience of studying abroad. The project pursues a fundamental theoretical as well as practical aim: On the one hand, it strives to contribute with in-depth knowledge about the lived experiences of Erasmus+ students and how it is linked to the notion of GCE. Furthermore, it aims to contribute to a critical discourse of the ongoing debate of internationalisation of HE and student mobility – particularly before the background of increasing trends of economisation –, and thus expand current research within this field. On the other hand, students’ experiences can be used to further develop study abroad programmes at universities (Lewin, 2009) regarding its educational aims. The premise is to designing student mobility programmes that are aiming at developing global citizens and thus contribute to universities internationalisation enhancements. The expectation is that the Erasmus+ mobility programme is decisive for educating global citizens and thus need to be (1) strategically reviewed in its pedagogical aims at universities a, (2) pedagogically prepared and followed up to ensure educational experiences that have transformational potential and (3) expanded in terms of evaluation strategies which go far beyond language tests but rather grasp the educational experiences and its impact on becoming a global citizen. The collection of the empirical data will be pursued in summer this year.
Adriansen, H.K. (2012). Timeline Interviews: A Tool for Conducting Life History Research. Qualitative Studies, 3 (1), 40–55. Bohnsack, R. (1989). Generation, Milieu und Geschlecht – Ergebnisse aus Gruppendiskussionen mit Jugendlichen. Opladen: Leske + Budrich. Bohnsack, R. (2007). Die dokumentarische Methode und ihre Forschungspraxis. Wiesbaden: VS. Dale, R. & Robertson, S. (Eds.). (2009). Globalisation and Europeanisation in Education. Symposium Books Ltd. Finch, H., Lewis, J. & Turley, C. (2014). Focus Groups. In J. Ritchie, J. Lewis, C. McNaughton Nicholls & R. Ormston (Ed.), Qualitative Research Practice. A Guide for Social Science Students and Researchers (p. 211–242). Los Angeles: SAGE Publications Ltd. Huckle, J. & Wals, A.E.J. (2015). The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development: Business as Usual in the End. Environmental Education Research, 21 (3), 491–505. Jickling, B. (2017). Education Revisited: Creating Educational Experiences That Are Held, Felt, and Disruptive. In Post-Sustainability and Environmental Education Education (p. 15–30). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Klemencic, M., Žnidaršic, M., Vavpetic, A. & Martinc, M. (2017). Erasmus Students' Involvement in Quality Enhancement of Erasmus+ Mobility through Digital Ethnography and ErasmusShouts. Studies in Higher Education, 42 (5), 925–932. Lewin, R. (2009). Transforming the Study Abroad Experience into a Collective Priority. Association of American Colleges and Universities, 11 (4), 8–11. Lewin, R. (Ed.). (2010). The Handbook of Practice and Research in Study Abroad: Higher Education and the Quest for Global Citizenship. London: Routledge. Nohl, A.-M. (2006). Interview und dokumentarische Methode. Wiesbaden: VS. Nussbaum, M. (2002). Education for Citizenship in an Era of Global Connection. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 4–5 (21), 289–303. Pashby, K. (2012). Questions for Global Citizenship Education in the Context of the ‘New Imperialism’: For Whom? By Whom. In V. Andreotti & M. Souza (Eds.), Postcolonial Perspectives on Global Citizenship Education (p. 9–26). New York: Routledge. Pike, G. (2008). Citizenship Education in Global Context. Brock Education, 17 (1), 38–49. Rivza, B. & Teichler, U. (2007). The Changing Role of Student Mobility. Higher Education Policy, 20 (4), 457–475. Schütze, F. (1983). Biografieforschung und narratives Interview. Neue Praxis, 1 (3), 283–293.
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