Pedagogical Opportunities to Foster Interaction and Deep Understanding Between International and Domestic University Students: Teaching Critical Reflexivity Through Interaction

Pedagogical Opportunities to Foster Interaction and Deep Understanding Between International and Domestic University Students: Teaching Critical Reflexivity Through Interaction

Samantha Clifford
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3796-1.ch003
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers


Diverse friendships established in college can significantly impact students' lives and affect cognitive development, learning, retention, and college success. The encouragement of meaningful interaction through curriculum design and teaching practices as part of internationalization efforts can positively impact the campus and social structure of society. Opportunity exists within institutions of higher education to foster reflexivity and interaction in classrooms composed of individuals from around the world. The variety of experiences can provide a foundation for a trans-formative educational experience. This context may be a key component to reducing prejudice because perceptions and behavior result from enculturation. The author describes data collected over a five-year period from a 16-week undergraduate mixed nationality Anthropology course that attempts to hone skills in reflexivity and global awareness. The results exemplify teaching practices and curriculum design for internationalization within the classroom and outcomes indicate significant lifelong learning for students.
Chapter Preview


The increase of students studying in countries other than their own creates an opportunity to foster meaningful relationships, increase understanding of others and ourselves, and cultivate open-mindedness and critical thought on university campuses. Unfortunately, this opportunity is often missed. The lack of meaningful interaction between international and domestic students at university is well documented in many countries that host large numbers of international students, including the United Kingdom (Pritchard & Skinner, 2002), U.S.A. (Trice, 2004), Australia (Smart et al., 2000; Tran, 2009), New Zealand (Ward, 2001), and Japan (Tanaka et al., 1997).

The contradiction becomes evident when examining the research that details the benefits to interaction and research that details a lack of interaction. For example, many researchers indicate meaningful interactions between international and domestic students are mutually beneficial in a variety of ways, including social support, skills to work in a diverse workforce, engagement in education, forming relationships, and participating in campus life (Hechanova-Alampay et al., 2002; Hurtado, 2005; Luo & Jamieson-Drake, 2013; Pritchard & Skinner, 2002; Smart, Volet & Ang, 2000; Thomas et al., 2018; Trice, 2004). Researchers have also indicated that developing face to face relationships between students can play an important role in student learning and retention (Hall & Jaugietis, 2011; Micari, Streitwieser & Light, 2006; Williams, 2011). Peer education between diverse students can also positively contribute to learning and retention (Hall & Jaugietis, 2011; Hurtado, 2005; Longerbeam, 2010; Micari, Streitwieser & Light, 2006; Williams, 2011). Hurtado (2005) found that domestic “student interaction with diverse peers during college results in changes in student cognitive, social, and democratic outcomes” (p. 595).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Ideology: Often an unconscious set of beliefs and expectations of how the world should work within a particular culture. Ideology has an emotional component, one feels ‘a certain way’ about events, beliefs, values, behavior etc. Ideology can affect behavior, policy, treatment of others, economics, and politics.

Critical Race Theory (CRT): A form of inquiry that incorporates theoretical and practical methodology to examine issues of race, structural racism and education. CRT scholars work from the premise that racism is embedded in U.S. society. A CRT lens can help students critically examine how the values and norms of cultures are accepted as ‘natural’.

Hegemony: A historical process in which those in power seek to promote values and norms that establish a particular way of seeing the world and human nature and relationships. Hegemonic power is a form of social power that relies on persuasion and legitimation that make the ideas of those in power seem to be in the best interests of everyone. The ideology becomes acceptable as natural or normal through persuasion rather than force.

Reflexive Ability: An awareness of how our own culture has shaped our outlook on the world, and our place within it.

Critical Reflexivity: The ability to analyze the contextual and historical processes that contribute to personal reactions and feelings which impact behavior. In this chapter the term is used to describe the ability to think about the ways in which your culture influences the development of the acceptance of norms and how attitudes, beliefs, values, behaviors, and expectations are related to this acceptance.

True Acquaintance: A term that is similar to meaningful relationship. Characterized by people of equal status who work towards shared goals.

Reframing the Self: The ability to reposition one’s perspective of self in relation to others as a result of new information or a change in beliefs.

Negative Discourse: The negative terminology and words associated with a group of people.

Prejudice: A negative view or biased treatment of one group based solely on their membership in that group.

Engaged Pedagogy: A term used by bell Hooks that integrates real life and classroom lessons. hooks suggest teachers help students connect their experience to academic material in order to make learning meaningful and relevant.

Transformative Education: A process where our perspectives of self and how we interact with the world are challenged and questioned. This questioning can lead us towards a better understanding of ourselves and the differences and similarities we ascribe to others.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: