Mapping pedagogic practices for and with international students
15th October 2020 : 14:00 - 15:00
Speaker: Sylvie Lomer, Jenna Mittelmeier
Location: Zoom webinar, registration required
Convener: Simon Marginson
While there is considerable academic interest in international student mobility (e.g. Mazzarol and Soutar 2012), there is little critical research on the pedagogies and learning structures that support international students’ academic transitions and learning experiences in HE (Madge, Raghuram, and Noxolo 2015). All too often, literature focuses on challenges instead, replicating a deficit narrative of international students (Lomer 2017). This shapes learning relationships, given that many international students perceive discriminatory language and bias from their classmates (Heliot, Mittelmeier and Rienties, 2019) and from lecturers (Rhoden, 2019).
How international students are perceived is likely to shape pedagogical practices. Deficit narratives imply that students should assimilate to traditional pedagogic practices (Ploner 2018), instead of critically conceptualising international students as complex knowledge agents and partners in pedagogy (Madge, Raghuram, and Noxolo 2015). For instance, institutions often provide generic centralised support rather than through a re-examination of fundamental pedagogic practices (Jenkins and Wingate 2015). Yet individual academics frequently undertake the latter, supporting more inclusive, ethical, and sustainable curriculum internationalisation (Turner, 2015; Lomer and Anthony-Okeke, 2019). Literature and case studies by professional organisations like AdvanceHE, UKCISA, and BALEAP show that innovative practices aimed at enhancing learning for and with international students exist but are disparate and institutionally bound. However, the persistence of the deficit narrative and assimilationist model of academic transition suggests that such innovations are far from universal across the sector. This project, therefore, aims to build on existing literature and case studies to systematically synthesise and disseminate what is currently known about evidence-based pedagogic practices for and with international students. This event will present initial results from this systematic literature, feeding into an interactive workshop for students and practitioners to share.