Transformative learning in international student exchange: a critical perspective

Jones, Peter F., and Miles, Debra (2017) Transformative learning in international student exchange: a critical perspective. Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education, 19 (2). pp. 47-60.

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There is increasing interest in social work education in providing students with the opportunity for international study experiences, as short-term mobility travel, international field education placements or semester long exchanges. This interest reflects the internationalisation of the social work curriculum, as well as the emergence of initiatives such as the New Colombo Plan in Australia. To support meaningful learning, such travel should be underpinned by intentional pedagogical approaches. Transformative learning theory suggests that learners develop frames of reference through which experience is mediated. These frames of reference may sometimes be disrupted by disorienting experiences, leading to reflection on the learner’s underlying beliefs and assumptions, and a subsequent shift in their worldview. By linking a transformative approach with a critical social work perspective, international travel can become a rich source of such disorienting experiences.

This paper explores the ways transformative learning theory may be used in understanding and facilitating student learning during international experiences, and discusses an approach employed at James Cook University. The authors argue that the potential for transformative learning to occur is enhanced when preparation and facilitation of international student travel reflect the critical and emancipatory concerns characteristic of the critical perspective within social work education and practice.

Item ID: 49475
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1329-0584
Keywords: social work education; internationalisation; student exchange; critical; transformative learning
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2017 00:13
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4409 Social work > 440999 Social work not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9499 Other Law, Politics and Community Services > 949999 Law, Politics and Community Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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