Grounded Globalism: Regional Identity Hypothesis as a Framework for Internationalizing Higher Education Curriculum

Grounded Globalism: Regional Identity Hypothesis as a Framework for Internationalizing Higher Education Curriculum

Paulo Zagalo-Melo (Western Michigan University, USA), Charity Atteberry (University of Montana, USA) and Roch Turner (University of Montana, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2791-6.ch013
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This chapter explores the internationalization of higher education at four-year institutions in the Rocky Mountain West (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico) through the lens of James Peacock's grounded globalism. As global forces increase and impose upon higher education, administrators and faculty must remain mindful of best practices in internationalizing curriculum. This chapter draws on surveys of senior international officers at four-year colleges in the Rocky Mountain West states. It examines existing literature to apply Peacock's concept of grounded globalism. The authors provide shared characteristics of states in the Rocky Mountain West to add context to the challenges and strengths of internationalization in this region. The authors provide recommendations for future research and best practices in internationalizing curriculum.
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The internationalization of education demands that educators provide students with globalizing experiences as tools for contextualizing an increasingly interconnected world. Authors, internationalization professionals, and faculty have made efforts to close the global learning circle by redirecting global learning goals and outcomes toward the student’s place of belonging. As noted by Peacock (2007, p. 10), “Once we achieve global identities, we must ground them, integrating the global and the local in some way that energizes and sustains both.” Grounded globalism, which serves as the theoretical framework for this chapter, assumes that humans contextualize their lives through a sense of place and belonging. For grounded globalism, the progressive globalization of society necessarily and continuously encroaches upon our sense of place and belonging. The same courses of identity promoting a sense of place and belonging constitute barriers to expanding and reintegrating global learning.

This chapter will present cases on internationalization efforts from four-year universities in the Rocky Mountain West. It will highlight challenges and opportunities unique to regional identities and enumerating strategies for internationalizing curriculum in higher education. The authors will discuss the regional identity of the Rocky Mountain West, as well as its impact on comprehensive internationalization efforts. Using Peacock’s conceptual framework for grounded globalism, this chapter will describe barriers and good practices in globalism and internationalization efforts seeking to foster a sense of place in Rocky Mountain West universities.

The chapter will begin with an adaptation of Peacock’s (2007) seven step model and regional identity hypothesis to define the cultural nuances of the Rocky Mountain West. Building on a detailed understanding of regional identity, the juxtaposition of internationalization efforts and regional opposition to global endeavors will be explored. These findings will be used as a foundation for suggested internationalization efforts in other regions.

The authors will discuss strategies for facilitating grounded globalism in higher education. The chapter will discuss internationalization of higher education and regional impacts of globalism. Integrated approaches to learning abroad, including pre- and post-international experiences, will be presented as best practices and global learning pathway programs connecting disciplines across curricula for faculty, staff, and students at the university level.

The authors acknowledge the help of many individuals, including the senior international officers and reviewers. This chapter came to fruition through these collaborative efforts.1

This chapter will identify obstacles faced by educational practitioners in international education. The authors endeavor to provide relevant, illustrative examples of obstacles in the Rocky Mountain West. The expectation is that this chapter will facilitate a dialogue between international education stakeholders. Collective global knowledge will increase while the cultural identity of the Rocky Mountain West is enhanced. Additionally, this work will present a detailed framework for exploring grounded globalism in other regions.

In an effort to clarify the terminology that will be used throughout the chapter, the following terms and definitions are provided:

  • Seven Step Model and Regional Identity Hypothesis - Far Away and Deep Within: A framework developed by James Peacock that offers parameters by which grounded globalism, a term to “describe and prescribe syntheses of international connections and local traditions that are fueled by energies from both,” can be explored (Peacock, 2007, p. ix). Three stages - past, present, and future - are included in Peacock’s seven step model, and trends, or hypotheses, explore globalization in a region;

  • Globalism: The broad economic, technological and scientific trends that directly affect higher education and are largely inevitable in the contemporary world (Altbach, 2006, p. 123);

  • Internationalization: The process of integrating an international, intercultural, or global dimension into the purpose, functions or delivery of post-secondary education (Knight, 2004, p. 11).

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