Developing international partnerships and exchange: initiatives from the Division of Education

Mike Jarvis, Beth Ashforth

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Abstract

In the following report we try to show how our international links and practice in the Division of Education enable students and staff to present a wider perspective on knowledge and pedagogy, in keeping with the notion of the ‘global citizen’. Crossley (2002, p.81) argues that the ‘impact of intensified globalisation is possibly the most often cited challenge facing the field of comparative and international education at this point in time.’ Henceforth, education can no longer be perceived as a localised, or even national, agenda but rather, that global forces are, ‘dramatically changing the role of the state in education, and demanding increased attention to be paid to factors operating beyond the national level’ (Crossley, 2002, p.81). We are keenly aware of Northumbria University’s wider objectives in helping our students prepare for the international and global market. Further, we are anxious to inculcate the wider notion of being a ‘global citizen’ amongst the student body, providing them with authentic international experiences and making an international element a central tenet of our wider pedagogical philosophy for emergent teachers. We have realised that, by providing a context of wider European and associated cultural awareness, and embedding such elements into our programmes, we can enable our students to be better placed as European and global citizens, as they approach the job market at the conclusion of their degree studies. Such an awareness and actual experiences can also enable students to critically reflect on their emerging pedagogies through the possession of wider and differing perspectives upon their own cultures and identities. The ‘global’ and ‘national’ modes of education might seem to be mutually exclusive and Crossley acknowledges the consequences of power and influence moving away from local communities towards a more global context. However, he reiterates that the opposite is also true, and that ‘globalisation not only pulls upwards, it pushes downwards, creating new pressures for local autonomy’ [and that] ‘national and local cultures . . . play a significant role in mediating global influences’ (Crossley, 2002, p.82).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-59
JournalEMERGE
Volume3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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