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International Education in Global Times

Engaging the Pedagogic

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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 Four: Lessons from Overseas Teaching: International Schools in the Global South

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This chapter turns from the much more highly publicized ‘study abroad’ industry with its investments in intercultural competence and adaptation research (Savicki, 2008), to the context of international school teaching that has barely begun to be taken up as a phenomenon worthy of study and academic research. With international school growth exploding in certain regions of the world, ever greater numbers of Anglo-Westerners are teaching in private, English-medium international schools found in virtually every major city of the world. Albeit, as Hayden and Thompson (2008) note:

Accurate and comprehensive data about the teaching populations of international schools as a whole is almost impossible to find. Experience suggests, however, that while there are, indeed, many British and American teachers to be found in such schools, they have been joined more recently by increasing numbers of Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders (p. 54).

Despite the existence of precise estimates, thousands of Canadian- and U.S.-certified teachers are currently teaching internationally. There is scant available research that tracks the movement or examines the experiences of these teachers in their international contexts. Nevertheless, ‘overseas teaching’ represents a uniquely rich context to examine the (transformative) effects of international experience. One advantage of researching overseas teachers is the longer-term duration of their international experience, which is typi ← 61 | 62 → cally at least two years of living abroad. Another advantage is that, as international school teachers, these Anglo-Westerners are often deemed to be ambassadors of intercultural respect and understanding as they take up their...

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