Developing Cultural Capability in International Higher Education: A Narrative Inquiry (BOK)
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Cultural capability - the ability to function effectively in an international and intercultural context -- is crucial in the interconnected world of the 21st century. Based on intensive reflexive research, this book will provoke readers to consider their own experiences of learning and teaching in culturally diverse contexts, highlighting useful strategies that might be used to effect cultural capability. Utilising information that builds on empirical data and examples from a variety of countries the author considers in detail four main themes: learning, teaching and assessment practices in higher education and their cultural embeddedness; personal and professional interactions between students and staff; the political - and personal - dimensions of the internationalisation of higher education; and Methodological and ethical considerations when conducting research across cultures. By doing so she demonstrates that there is much to learn from students and academics from different cultural backgrounds about the complex and culturally situated influences on teaching and learning, and in this book she proposes practical suggestions on how to develop cultural capability. The book also provides strategies for enabling all students and staff to benefit both from the greater cultural diversity in their own countries and from internationalised higher education communities. It provides important guidance on methodological and ethical considerations that must be considered by both academics and student researchers. Conducting cross-cultural research is not new but the need for sensitivity when designing cross-cultural studies is becoming paramount. By writing as a practitioner researcher who has reflected, extensively and critically, on her own practice, the author here interweaves empirical research, case studies and personal reflections, beliefs and assumptions; reflexive accounts of the experience of the researcher(s) / practitioner(s) in grappling with layers of cultural complexity are rare and it is these accounts combined with the practical solutions outlined that render this book different, creative and innovative.