10 SES 04 B, Parallel Paper Session
Parallel Paper Session
Study in one country to support the development of education in another is a regular event in the field of contemporary tertiary education, and it is likely to grow as developing countries accelerate their educational development projects and as western universities seek international student funding. Moreover international funding initiatives for developing countries often require students to study in western universities, often the institutions of the primary funding country. The nature of the interactions between international students and institutional academics plays a vital role in the success of such initiatives. Yet little research has focused on how to support such learning experiences, how to help both students and supervisors navigate between what might often be competing ideologies, and how the students can effectively utilise the knowledge and experience gained on their return home.
This paper briefly reports the context and experience of a specific teacher development project that involved western study, and examines in more detail the strategies used by participants to ensure that local goals are met (or sometimes fail to be met) within an overtly international study experience. In particular, it reports the ways in which the research and wider learning goals of the participants are being extended beyond the formal study period, and the means by which collaborations are being developed to disseminate the knowledge gained, to provoke further examination of local challenges and opportunities, and to develop relevant and accessible teaching resources. In broad terms the emerging collaborations continue to address the question: how can we develop more effective teachers?, and to ensure that the question is firmly situated within the real context of the developing country, its resources, and its people’s needs and aspirations.
The overarching research question is thus twofold:
· How can the international trade in teacher education serve the needs of the home country of the students as well as meeting the academic expectations of the western institution?
· What kind of collaorations and initiatives would serve these goals?
The theoretical framework for the discussion draws on conceptualisations of indigenous constructions of knowledge (Smith, 2011), reciprocity (Greenwood & Te Aika, 2010), and capacity building (Kemmis & McTaggart, 2005), as well critical analyses of neo-liberalism and its impact (Peters, 2011) and ethicality within globalisation (Andreotti & De Silva, 2011).
An examination of local and global educational goals and process of navigating through the currents they generate aligns with the conference theme of educational research to champion freedom, education and development for all. In particular, the exploration of how local and global both interrelate and clash, and of how interdependence and independence are necessarily interwoven in contemporary educational visions, troubles notions such as ‘comprehensive development of citizens of the whole world’, and challenges us gto further explore both inclusiveness and hegemony. And while the context of the project affirms values of research, lifelong learning, creativity, inquiry and criticality, it offers possible re-inscription of such values within grounded localised contexts.
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