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Different ways of thinking and going about international education
journal contributionposted on 30.10.2018, 00:00 authored by Josina van den AkkerJosina van den Akker
This article stresses that national governments, international higher education institutions, and global agencies need to rethink their theoretical frameworks and be transparent about their ontological and epistemic frameworks. At present they operate from the top-down and design pedagogies that subject people to certain ways of learning to suit (labour) market needs. They prioritize and validate the Western concept of knowledge: the active, yang quality that focuses on inventing solutions, conceptual models based on the idea of a single reality that can be measured and controlled. Philosophical debate around what human development means in the context of international education is missing. People concerned with international education need to rethink their theoretical frames and their educational practices to engage equitably with the challenges and opportunities that emerge in the globalizing world of today. Global agencies that seek to “transform education” at a primary level and on a global scale with a focus on universality need to be questioned. They also need to ask the bigger questions pertinent to international education and with respect to human development, including other ways of knowing, doing, and being. People in national government positions responsible for framing what is and what is not a university and for funding internationalizing higher education institutions while measuring their outcomes also need to reflect and be transparent about their agendas and the ontological and epistemic frameworks upon which they base policy. The same applies to people in management positions of internationalizing higher education institutions.