Engaging the Pedagogic
Chapter Five: Fostering Cosmopolitan Literacies: Toward Educating International Education
Can certain problematic assumptions founding and limiting international education discussed in the preceding chapters be adjusted and reworked? Can ‘blind spots’ be acknowledged and engaged? For example, can the ‘unpreparable’ of encountering difference in an international experience inform how study abroad students are taught? Can education even diverge from “the quest for an omnipotent knowledge unencumbered by psychical life” (Britzman, 2009, p. 3)? Can the inherent difficulties of transformative learning in intercultural/international contexts represent the grounds for pedagogies of the international, rather than the obstacles to be suppressed under functionalist and idealist imaginaries of the coherent, rational, knowledge-seeking subject? That is, can international education be educated?
This book argues in the affirmative if the very impossibility ‘of being educated’ sets the conditions for the work to be done. Educating international education is an ongoing and collective task given the dynamic yet vulnerable state of the human in the world and amidst the pervasive demand for certainties. Indeed this challenge of educating international education, through acknowledging and responding to the inherent uncertainties in human existence, ethics and knowing, would reconstitute pedagogies of international education. This reconstitution represents a departure from more traditional approaches of providing students with the most accurate and ← 97 | 98 → appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes ‘packet’ constructed as if one moves progressively from ethnocentrism (ignorance) to ethno-relativism under the teleology of Enlightenment. If humanism grants us the authority to draw upon our faculties to shape our futures on our own accord, hyper-rational (technological) progress in the...
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