International Scholars of the 21st Century: Comparative Visions from Teaching Floors in Finland and Australia
Scholars around the world are currently engaging in new debate about what constitutes culturally appropriate, sustainable and effective pedagogy in contexts involving international education (Hellstén & Reid, 2008). There is today universal agreement among the community of scholars that most higher education learning sites in contemporary society are at least culturally and ethnically international. The issue of global academic accountability and best practice is therefore positioned at the core of recent pedagogical articulations. However, at the ground level, where teaching and learning reveals its intricacies of a ‘human kind’, academics and students alike are struggling with relating to the new jargon defining the 21st Century Scholar. This ‘scholar’ is well equipped for the new global era, is amicably versed in the communicative repertoires of globally aware citizens and has an impressively mapped cross-cultural academic pathway and graduate capabilities supported by their institution.
In this presentation we report on discussions with current students and teachers about their academic and professional visions of and for the future, and their sense of place among the community of scholars of the 21st Century. The study was conducted in Australia and Finland, two countries that have received recent comparable attention on student literacy levels internationally (PISA), and consequently on the quality of teaching, including teacher educators. The empirical data consists of students’ written narratives subjected to discourse analytic scrutiny. We offer some implications for developing pedagogy, policy and practice for higher education and invite insights and comments from the international forum of the conference community of scholars.
Hellstén, M. and Reid, A. (2008). Researching International Pedagogies: sustainable practice for teaching and learning in higher education. Dordrecht: Springer. http://www.springer.com/education/higher+education/book/978-1-4020-8857-5
Keywords: International Pedagogies, Higher Education, Comparative Research, Student Narratives, Teacher Educators
Dr. Meeri Hellstén
Senior Lecturer, School of Education
Dr. Sari Poikela
Docent, Senior Researcher, Faculty of Education, University of Lapland