“Internationalization of the curriculum” (IoC) and “Internationalization at Home” are both seen as paradigms of curriculum and educational design which include many degrees of freedom, enabling different institutional customizations and practical approaches. As IoC is a major focus of WILLIAM, this issue includes an introduction to the topic by Dr. Amit Marantz Gal, who recently completed her doctoral research on this subject in an Israeli context.
Internationalization of the Curriculum at a Glance
Amit Marantz Gal, PhD
What is Internationalization of the Curriculum?
Internationalizing an academic curriculum is a comprehensive process directed towards the overall improvement of curricula quality through the addition of intercultural and international dimensions. While there is no single, shared understanding of internationalization of the curriculum, it is defined by Leask (2015) as “the process of incorporating international, intercultural and global dimensions into the content of the curriculum as well as the learning outcomes, assessment tasks, teaching methods and support services of a programme of study.” In the process, academics are invited to critically reflect, revise, reconstruct or challenge existing paradigms of their disciplinary knowledge.
Internationalization at Home and Internationalization of the Curriculum
Internationalization at home and internationalization of the curriculum are sometimes used interchangeably. Though closely interrelated and overlapping, internationalization at home and internationalization of the curriculum are not entirely synonymous. Even though internationalization of the curriculum also targets areas of informal curriculum which support a program of study, engagement with internationalized activities on campus is more emphasized in internationalization at home. Moreover, while internationalization at home emerged as a concept with a direct exclusion of outbound mobility, internationalization of the curriculum is inclusive of at home and abroad experiences.
What does an internationalized curriculum look like?
There is no simple answer to this question. Internationalization of the curriculum is recognized as a highly contextualized process which is received and interpreted in many different ways across academic disciplines and regional settings. What is certain though, is that academic staff play a critical role in the process and their continuous engagement with it is necessary. Many challenges in recruiting staff to engage in internationalization of the curriculum have been raised.
Internationalization of the Curriculum in an Israeli College
The objective of my PhD research was to contribute to the growing body of case studies from different locales and explore the process of internationalization of the curriculum in the unique context of Sapir College across three academic departments (Social Work, English for Academic Purposes and Technological Marketing). The study captured the engagement of academic staff in the process, focusing on their responses, motivations, interpretations and enactment. The results of the research demonstrate the role of internationalization of the curriculum as a catalyst for curriculum design for academic individuals and teams in one higher education institution in Israel. It also shows that academics can be motivated to embark on the process even in a case when there is no obvious reason such as the presence of international students on campus. In addition, it shows contextualized modes of engagement with internationalization of the curriculum across the disciplines, supporting and extending previous research in this area. Specifically, the study offers important insights into the process of internationalization of the curriculum and suggests enhancements to Leask’s (2015) framework and makes several practical recommendations which are relevant for the unique space of Israeli higher education and possibly beyond.
Leask, B. (2015). Internationalizing the curriculum. New York: Routledge.
Further readings by the author:
Internationalization of the Curriculum in Action