Internationalisation for all: Curricula for Cosmopolitan Communicative Skills

  • Rupert Waldron: International Academic Tutor, School of Media and Communication, LCF

Brief description of session and activities

The session discusses the place of curriculum internationalisation in effecting inclusive student group collaborative interaction patterns in contexts of cultural diversity.

Drawing on audio-visual observation of fashion media students in group project work as well as workshop and interview data, it considers how subject context can inflect student interactional identities and behaviours with either the more dominant or more exploratory discourses and processes associated with globalisation. Both fashion and media are of course central sites of the construction but also contestation of exclusionary national and ethnic identifications, and both process directly impact on student approaches to collaboration. Where at times fluid positions allow shared group agency, at others more restrictive practices can leave international students sidelined as international students.

Such data highlight the importance of carefully managing the mediation of subject so that, rather than reproductive of unjust divisions, it is productive of equitably dynamic group solutions. The paper therefore considers the practicalities of bringing to bear the combined tools of internationalisation at the theoretical level, in the sense of subject de-Westernisation, with interaction intervention, as a part of curriculum content.

The fashion media subject specificity is designed to invite reflection on the specifics of subject in the mediation of cultural processes in general, and participants will be invited to share reflections on applications and implications within their own subject areas.

The aim throughout will be to consider how to ensure that the growing diversity of student groups is a source for the development in all students of those cosmopolitan knowledges, attitudes, and interactional approaches which are a prerequisite of a just learning environment, but also a competent global citizen and professional. That is, how to ensure, through curriculum and activity engagement, that ‘International’ be not an identification of some, but a transformative potential for all.

How will students be involved in the session?

Not directly – they were central, though, to understanding and working through the research processes.

What will participants take away from the session?

Participants will have gained insights into the articulation of subject area with student identifications and communicative practices, and thus how to mediate student group communication through curriculum internationalisation. Through the particular focus on the interactional level they will gain a deeper insight into how to develop transformation of communicative behaviour into internationalisation as a learning outcome for all.