Facilitating dialogue for a more inclusive curriculum

Kate Smith

Abstract


Despite the exponential increase in international students in UK higher education (HE) and the increasingly diverse nature of home students, literature highlights the persistence of application of the deficit model when supporting international students?ǨѢ learning development. Two major causes for this are assumptions made on the basis of linguistic and cultural difference, including previous academic experience, and the tendency for research in this area to focus on international students?ǨѢ perceptions of their learning experience in isolation from home students?ǨѢ diverse experiences. Drawing on the perspectives of a cohort of home and international postgraduate students and their teachers, this study aimed to explore whether participants value curricular adjustments designed to equip all students to engage with academic culture. In this way, it presents potential barriers and offers practical suggestions for ?Ǩinternationalising the curriculum?ǨѢ to ensure its inclusiveness for all. The article initially focuses on methodological approaches taken to address existing inequalities. Combining a conceptual framework based on critical post-structural and feminist theories with a collaborative methodology, this case study explores the multiplicities of identities and positionings that previous literature in this area have generally left uncontested. The findings suggest that both home and international students feel that they lack necessary cultural and linguistic capital and value the deconstruction of taken-for-granted academic practices. Suggestions made by all research participants for enhancing the curriculum are presented.

Full Text: PDF

Editor-in-Chief: Prof Norbert Pachler
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
ISSN 1746-9082

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