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Exploring new frontiers: Connecting people, policy, ideas and action in an internationalised curriculum 17 June 2011 University of Warwick Associate Professor.

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Presentation on theme: "Exploring new frontiers: Connecting people, policy, ideas and action in an internationalised curriculum 17 June 2011 University of Warwick Associate Professor."— Presentation transcript:

1 Exploring new frontiers: Connecting people, policy, ideas and action in an internationalised curriculum 17 June 2011 University of Warwick Associate Professor Betty Leask ALTC National Teaching Fellow University of South Australia

2 Introduction and outline Internationalisation of the Curriculum in Action An ALTC Funded National Teaching Fellowship –A conceptual framework –Characteristics of an internationalised curriculum –Challenges for Institutions –Blockers for academic staff –Disciplinary interpretations –Strategies and resources

3 Frontiers (wikipedia) areas near or beyond a boundary borrowed into English from French in the 15th century, with the meaning "borderland"- the region of a country that fronts on another country also means "regions at the edge of a settled area" in North America (Compare the Australian "outback".)outback

4 Frontiers in IoC the borders between teaching, learning and curriculum the point where students and teachers engage with each other and with curriculum content and learning takes place the regions at the edge of the settled area, outside the comfort zone of students and staff Engaging academic staff in internationalisation of the curriculum (IoC)

5 The Focus of the Fellowship How can we internationalise the curriculum in this discipline area in this particular institutional context and ensure that, as a result, we improve the learning outcomes of all students? Funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) $348,000 AUD over 15 months Aug 2010-Nov2011


7 Began with a few key messages 1.It is not enough to recruit and teach international students – this is not a valid measure of IoC 2.It is not enough to include a few comparative, international case studies 3.Internationalisation of the curriculum is not about adapting our teaching and our curriculum for offshore/transnational delivery 4.If we could get more students to go on exchange and/or study abroad our university would not necessarily be more internationalized

8 Used a definition that was consistent with these An internationalised curriculum will purposefully develop the international and intercultural perspectives (skills, knowledge and attitudes) of all students IoC is the incorporation of an international and intercultural dimension into the preparation, delivery and outcomes of a program of study (Leask 2009) basis for discussions with discipline teams


10 Characteristics of an internationalised curriculum Disciplinary driven –From rationale to outcomes Context sensitive –Multiple layers Future oriented –Critical perspective on the past and present Founded on excellent teaching –Aligned and student focussed

11 Challenges for institutions Creating shared understanding across disciplines and degrees Connecting policy with practice Engaging with academic staff on IoC Dealing with associated quality issues

12 Blockers for academic staff Knowing what it means, how to do it and measure outcomes within the discipline Moving beyond personal and dominant paradigms Time and competing priorities Reward and recognition

13 Strategies to engage staff 1.Involvement of some key people beyond the program team 2.Respect for the autonomy of the program teams but willingness to challenge some of their basic assumptions 3.Patience - the process is slow and at times cumbersome 4.Timing – the stars need to be aligned

14 5.Teamwork– reflection and discussion within program teams 6.Developing understanding that IoC can look very different in different contexts 7.Recognition and reward for engagement/time spent in local currency 8.Appreciation of contextual layers and critical role each plays

15 What disciplines? Program teams in 6 universities –Nursing –Public Relations –Business –Social Sciences –Journalism –Accounting –Media and Communication –Applied Science –Marketing –(IT, Medicine, Law)

16 Tools and resources Themed literature review Questionnaire on Internationalisation of the Curriculum (QIC) Support materials for Action Plan Case studies

17 Where do these activities go on the continuum? 1__________2_________3_________4 Localised curriculum International curriculum Study abroad Language study Case studies from different cultures International learning outcomes Multi-cultural group work

18 Disciplinary Approaches and Interpretations

19 Nursing: Rationale education can and should create the conditions necessary for health, peace and harmony as fundamental human rights in every society nurses and midwives can make a valuable contribution to the promotion preservation and maintenance of these conditions (Sandstrom 1998, p.146)

20 Nursing: Learning Outcomes Learning outcomes for nurses in a globalised world Ability to co-operate and collaborate in joint efforts across national and cultural boundaries Intercultural communicative competence required for provision of professional health care to patients from diverse cultural backgrounds Ability to obtain and utilise ideas and experiences from different parts of the world Ability to function within the healthcare organisations of the future (Sandstrom 1998)

21 Nursing 2010-2011 1 60% teaching staff completed QIC5 online Follow-up interviews with 7 staff Some surprising moments e.g. –Every course has a question about what would happen if this problem was situated in another cultural context? –But staff dont use these Staff induction, development and resources Need to make implicit explicit to staff & students Make more of Cambodian experience

22 Public Relations Public Relations as a discipline is culturally constructed and culturally specific In 2005 curriculum was modified to include assessment options related to application of theory in different social and political contexts e.g. Development/analysis of communication materials generated in relation to: –Power blackouts in Malaysia and Western Australia –Water issues in Singapore & Malaysia –Taiwanese government elections (Surma & Fitch 2006)

23 PR Literature Review 2010 Public Relations theory is not objective, scientific or culturally neutral Culturally diverse student groups have challenged normative approaches to the field Teaching offshore is not IoC

24 Public Relations 2011 Four themes identified in interviews with 17 PR professionals in Perth and Singapore 1.Intercultural challenges in PR practice 1.Role of PR – diverse interpretations 2.Understanding of international current affairs 3.Understanding and applying ICC 2.Contexts for intercultural competence 1.Diversity at home 2.Working across borders 3.Communicating with Indigenous communities 4.Doing Media relations in different countries

25 3. Intercultural competence and PR graduates 1.Personal attributes 2.Languages 3.Values of overseas experience 4.Intercultural competence and PR education 24 suggestions

26 Social Sciences (1) In Social Sciences we cant easily define for student what their professional practice will be – but important that we help students to create a professional identity in globalised world Curriculum in some areas is internationalised already (e.g. anthropology)but could be better articulated and made more explicit to students

27 Social Sciences (2) cont Not just about how we get students to look at other cultures (this is the easy bit), but how we get them to look at themselves and their own cultures Need to create room for staff and students to be more self-reflective in relation to intercultural and cross-cultural problems/issues Need to incorporate IoC as part of regular reviews such as Annual Review rather than as something separate and extra

28 Applied Science a curriculum based on a critical analysis of the connections between culture, knowledge and professional practice in science within a globalised world employ problem-based methodologies prepares students to be flexible, adaptive and reflexive problem solvers who can conduct community-based as well as industry-based investigations (Carter 2008 p.629)

29 Sharing what we have learned Symposium Publications National and international networks

30 Conclusion A range of obstacles and challenges to be overcome by staff and institutions before we can even start to talk about the details of IoC Easy to underestimate how hard it is to open own and others minds; to discard assumptions and take on new ways of thinking and doing IoC is an intellectual challenge and needs to be addressed by disciplinary specialists IoC has many different variations – no single script or map Importance of international networks and learning

31 Want to learn more or contribute? Contact me: Visit the website

32 References Carter, L. (2008) Globalization and science education: the implications of science in the new economy. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 45(5), 617–633. Leask, B. (2009) Using formal and informal curricula to improve interactions between home and international students. Journal of Studies in International Education, Vol. 13, No. 2, 205-221 Engagement. Hawthorn: International Education Association of Australia (IEAA). Sandstrom, S. (1998) Internationalisation in Swedish Undergraduate Nursing Education: Its interpretation and implementation in the context of nursing with tender loving care. Research Bulletin 96 Helsinki: Faculty of Education: University of Helsinki. Surma, A. & Fitch, K., (2006). The challenges of international education: Developing a public relations unit for the Asian Region. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 3(2), 104- 113

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