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International Education in Global Times

Engaging the Pedagogic


Paul Tarc

This book illuminates the changing landscape and expediency of international education in global times. Within this larger picture, the book focuses on the educational effects of international encounters, experiences and lessons – the complex processes of learning and subject formation in play during and after one's international/intercultural experience. These complex processes, hinged on past and present self-other relations, are illustrated by employing the parable of «The Elephant and the Blind Men.» In contrast to more narrow, developmentalist conceptions of intercultural learning, Paul Tarc attends to each of the linguistic, existential, structural, and psychical dimensions of difficulty constituting learning across difference. Becoming aware of, and reflexive to, these dimensions of difficulty and their implications for one’s own learning and resistance to learning, represents the domain of cosmopolitan literacy. The key intervention of this book is to re-conceive pedagogical processes and aims of international education as fostering such cosmopolitan literacy. Graduate courses on international education, study abroad, global citizenship education, and preservice education courses focusing on international education and teaching internationally could be primary candidates for this text.


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As the preface will explain, this book attempts to situate, represent and analyze a small set of current tensions of international education in non- specialized language. I use only the most necessary citations, but my past relations with teachers, colleagues, students and with multiple texts (only some included in the bibliography) have enabled and shaped the understandings shared in this book. In particular I want to acknowledge five scholars whose writings and/or teachings have been most helpful to my conception of ‘cosmopolitan literacies,’ Professors Fazal Rizvi, Deborah Britzman, Warren Crichlow, Glenn Eastabrook and Aparna Mishra Tarc. This book is dedicated to Aparna, the first reader of my writings, who has most supported (and endured) my learning through difference in our many years together.

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