Cory Leonard

Rethinking (and Improving) the Internationalization of Higher Ed

In career on February 22, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Nearly everyone wants to internationalize their university.  But Stanley N. Katz suggests that the failure to link research centers, study abroad programs and other traditional parts of the “internaitonal campus” to the key components of an undergrad’s liberal education reveals internationalization to be “stalling” as a educational strategy.

More important, each of the international aspects of an undergraduate’s learning experience should also contribute to his or her cognitive development. Most of our educational programs for undergraduates focus on content, as they should, but their long-term impact, if any, will be less in the material retained than in the habits of mind formed. Which takes us back to the skills and values of respect, vulnerability, etc.

Hannah Arendt put her finger on the problem when she criticized the “professional problem solvers” who left the university for government and think tanks in the 1960s. They had, she wrote, “lost their minds because they trusted the calculating power of their brains at the expense of the mind’s capacity for experience and its ability to learn from it.” John Dewey would have agreed.

We will have truly internationalized the undergraduate curriculum when our students develop the capacity to understand what it means to think internationally. That is a huge challenge.

via Borderline Ignorance – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.



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