Affordances for Internationalist Teachers


M. Gaisch - Affordances for Internationalist Teachers - 28th CHER Annual Conference, Lisbon , Portugal, 2015, pp. 1-10


In view of the current transformation processes that impact society and its structures in all its facets, this contribution seeks to shed light on changed practices in higher education institutions. More specifically, it is investigated how academic staff that is confronted with a growing body of multicultural students perceives, reacts to and acts upon opportunities for action that open up for internationalist teachers. It was found that English-medium teaching is a process of enculturation where both lecturers and students are apprenticed into a nexus of educational practice that requires a common social space, history, body of knowledge and discourse. Meaning-making needs to go hand in hand with a high degree of reflexivity and a heightened awareness of the significance of locally developed discourses that had previously been developed through mutual engagement between teachers and domestic students. It came to the fore that localised discourses and recurrent and entrenched (tacit) practices have to be made accessible to internationally mobile students in order to allow them a partnership of equals in a local " community of academic transformation ". Academic staff was found to appropriate their classroom practices in line with the emergent action possibilities they were able to perceive. The sequential affordance-based perception process largely depended on their subjective grounds for action and reflection, but was also stimulated by the researcher in form of itineraries of transformation.