Transformalists and transactionists: Towards a more comprehensive understanding of academics’ engagement with ‘internationalisation of the curriculum’
Green, W and Mertova, P, Transformalists and transactionists: Towards a more comprehensive understanding of academics' engagement with internationalisation of the curriculum', Research in Comparative and International Education, 11, (3) pp. 229-246. ISSN 1745-4999 (2016) [Refereed Article]
This paper explores the gap between the rhetoric of institutional policies on internationalisation and how academics understand and translate these policies into in their daily practices. It is based on a study conducted in one large, research-intensive university in Australia. Recent studies investigating this gap from the perspective of academics have tended to do so using an individual/psychological or structural lens. This study applies both lenses to investigate academics’ perceptions and practices of internationalisation of the curriculum (IoC). Academics from a range of disciplines were invited to discuss their understandings of internationalisation and its impact on their curriculum and teaching. ‘Re-storying’ the interview data revealed a range of responses: from ‘transformalists’ who articulated strong, positive personal views and understandings of the concept, to ‘transactionists’ who had little understanding or interest in the concept. It was found that individuals’ understandings and practices of IoC were shaped by what they understood to be the purpose of a tertiary education and their sense of students as future graduates; their approach to teaching; their understanding of their discipline’s orientation to the global context; their own identities as teachers/researchers and citizens; and their capacity or agency to develop these understandings into an authentic teaching practice. Four interrelated threads were common to all transformalists’ narratives – the impact of international experience; an understanding of active, student-centred pedagogy; a sense of belonging in a like-minded (disciplinary) community; and a reflective awareness of the self and others – have implications for the professional development of academics, and for further research.
internationalisation, internationalisation of the curriculum, global citizenship, academic self, reflective practice, narrative research