22 SES 06 C, Academic Work and Professional Development
Parallel Paper Session
Pedagogical reflections concerned with intercultural and international education is currently attracting attention among scholars. The focus on self-studies is one of the self-imposed measures undertaken in an attempt at making sense of a pedagogical uncertainty that has developed as a result of the vast and in some cases volatile expansion of the global education arena during the past decades.
While a large bulk of research into internationalization of higher education has been concerned with quantitative paradigms, in terms of their impact on market economies and their fluctuations relative to globalization (see e.g. Marginson, 2005), its pedagogical impact remains comparatively unexplored (Svensson and Wihlborg, 2010).
Both quantitative and qualitative research paradigms are beneficial for furthering research into intercultural education matters. What is at issue however, among those highly committed to the continued benefits of this enterprise, concerns to what extent it advocates high quality pedagogy and curriculum delivery including assessment, which is concurrently (inter-)culturally sustainable. Further cross-cultural investigations are needed, that examine pedagogical impact in professionally meaningful ways.
This presentation aims at providing a contribution to the pedagogical, didactic and professional conceptualizations involved in intercultural and international education practices in times of change. The study aims at articulating pedagogical visions, awareness and aspirations and perceived didactic capabilities through the use of narrative accounts (see e.g. Trahar, 2011) of senior academics incumbent of the field. It stems from years of international collaborative research (Ninnes & Hellsten, 2005; Hellsten & Reid, 2008; Hellsten & Goldstein-Kyaga, 2011) investigating pedagogical quality within international teaching and learning communities.
Schön’s (2005) theory of reflective practitioners in combination with principles of narrative inquiry (Trahar, 2011) provide a solid framework upon which to rest the rationale. The groundbreaking analyses that Schön declared as reflection-in action, described the function of professional (and other) life-histories being made up of a synchronized sense-making activity. In this process a deeper contemplation and self-scrutiny is called into action without which it is meaningless to recognize work satisfaction, let alone reach higher levels of professionalization. In the intercultural education research field, narrative inquiry is gaining ground as a method which, among other things, claims that human action is essentially predicated upon it being narrated, or ‘storied’ and necessarily interrelational. As such, social lives are constructed around the need to be ‘told’. The combination of narration and reflective action becomes a powerful device with which to glean insights into how pedagogy in and for international and intercultural education fields is accomplished-in-action.
References Hellstén, M., and Reid, A. (2008) (eds.), Researching International Pedagogies: sustainable practice for teaching and learning in higher education, Dordrecht, NL: Springer. Lundegård, I., and Wickman, P-O. (2009). Identity transformation in Education for Sustainable Development: A Question of Location. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 53, 5, pp. 461-479. Marginson, S. (2006). Dynamics of national and global competition in higher education. Higher Education, 52, pp. 1-39. Ninnes, P., and Hellstén, M. (2005) (eds.), Internationalizing Higher Education: critical perspectives on pedagogy and policy, Dordrecht, NL: Springer. Schön, D. (1983). The Reflective practitioner: how professionals think in Action. New York: Basic Books. Somers, M., and Gibson, G. D. (1994). Reclaiming the Epistemological ‘Other’: Narrative and the Social Constitution of Identity. In Calhoun, C., Social Theory and the Politics of Identity. Oxford: Blackwell. Svensson¹, L & Wihlborg¹, M. (2010). Internationalising the Content of Higher Education. Higher Education . Vol, 60, No 6, pp. 595-613. Trahar, S. (ed). 2011. Learning and Teaching Narrative Inquiry. Travelling in the Borderlands. Studies in Narrative 14. John Benjamins Publishing Company.
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