Are sojourners natural comparativists? Critical perspectives on the learning experiences of international students

Schweisfurth, M. (2012) Are sojourners natural comparativists? Critical perspectives on the learning experiences of international students. Research in Comparative and International Education, 7(1), pp. 81-89. (doi: 10.2304/rcie.2012.7.1.81)

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Abstract

Students who spend a period of time studying outside of their own national systems have a number of advantages in terms of developing a comparative perspective on education. The experience of living and studying abroad provides them with the opportunity to act as participant observers of at least two different systems, and the natural juxtaposition of these experiences should, in theory, help these individuals to better understand their own and the other education systems. This article uses a number of sources to interrogate this assumption. It draws on findings from research conducted by the author and colleagues on international students in the United Kingdom, in order to explore the potential and limitations of a period of international study in informing a learner's comparative perspective. While such students evidently adopt a comparative discourse in discussing their experiences, questions are raised about the validity and depth of these understandings.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Schweisfurth, Professor Michele
Authors: Schweisfurth, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:Research in Comparative and International Education
ISSN:1745-4999

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