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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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Chapter One: The Rise of International Education: Expanded Opportunities, New Complications


CHAPTER ONE The Rise of International Education: Expanded Opportunities, New Complications In 1992 I flew out of Toronto airport with a handful of suitcases, a travel guide on Ecuador, and little forethought or planning to begin my K–12 teaching career in an international school in Quito. At the time it seemed like a relatively uncommon endeavor. Fast-forwarding to the present I find myself teaching a course on ‘International Education’ for students in a teacher education pre-service program for teacher candidates interested in the possibility of teaching internationally. Some of my students have been exploring international opportunities before coming to my class. Moreover, a few of my students have already taught internationally, most often in ESL institutes or schools in Asia, and have leveraged their experiences to gain entry into our program. Teaching internationally during the 1990s I learned about and taught one of the ‘International Baccalaureate’ (IB) programs. Upon my return to Canada, in my work as a doctoral student, I found that IB was not exclusive to the internationals schools; IB had a growing presence ‘here’ within the publicly funded school system. Although I did not originally plan on engag- ing international education in my doctoral research, it seemed to be an area of increasing relevance for scholars and converged with my own experience. Now, as an assistant professor at Western University, I am often confronted with the presence of the ‘internationalizing education’ (IE) movement, both 2 International Education in Global Times as a set of pressures stemming...

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