CHALLENGES IN INTERNATIONALIZING THE CURRICULUM
is no 'one size fits all' method of internationalizing an institution
or of internationalizing the curriculum (Bond, 2003a; Harari, 1992).
The decision of how to internationalize an institution and the extent
of the internationalization process must be based upon an institution's
unique history, context, goals, mission, values, and resources (Harari,
1992; Knight, 1994, 1995, 2004; Lemasson, 1999; Schoorman, 2000a).
internationalization of the curriculum is an ongoing, multifaceted
process that requires the collaboration and support of faculty members,
students, academic departments, the institutional administration, and
international offices on campuses. For stakeholders to work together to
successfully internationalize the curriculum, it requires visionary
leadership, commitment to the process, intercultural sensitivity,
financial support, willingness, interest, open lines of communication,
and interdisciplinary cooperation (Ellingboe, 1998). A lack of these
requirements either individually or in harmony can result in a number
of challenges to internationalizing the curriculum including the following:
who are the key to curricular reform (Bond, 2006; Bond et al.,
2003; Carter, 1992; Ellingboe, 1998; Green & Olson, 2003; Harari,
1992; Paige, 2003; Saloojee, 1996; Schuerholz-Lehr & van Gyn, 2006;
Taylor, 2000), need to become engaged in the internationalization
process which won't occur unless they undersand the link between the
internationalization process and their personal projects and missions
administrators who traditionally make decisions regarding the
curricular reform process often don't have the required
interdisciplinary, intercultural, and pedagogical competencies required
to engage in this process (Mestenhauser, 1998).
often neglect to draw upon the experiences of international students
and domestic students who have international or intercultural
experiences as potential resources for internationalizing their
curricula and pedagogical practices (Bond, 2003a, 2003b, 2006;
Mestenhauser, 1998, 2002b; Taylor, 2004; Vertesi, 1999).
Canadian institutions provide support to faculty in how to effectively
incorporate the cross-cultural knowledge and experience of their
international students within their classes (Knight, 2000a).
for the curricular reform process must be recognized within written
policy statements and strategic plans of the institution and must
be effectuated at the departmental and institutional levels (Bond et al., 2003; Knight, 1994,
1995; Schuerholz-Lehr & van Gyn, 2006).
lack of a curricular review and assessment process at the majority of
Canadian universities is a major barrier to the curricular reform
process (Knight, 2000a; McKellin, 1998).
resources to support the
internationalization of the curriculum can also be serious
impediments to this process (Bond, 2003a; Bond et al.,2003; Castenada, 2004; Cleveland-Innes, Emes, & Ellard, 2001;
Ellingboe, 1998; Jones & Andrews, 2002; Knight, 1995, 2002a; Schoorman, 2000a;
Schuerholz-Lehr & van Gyn, 2006).
discipline-based focus of many North American institutions and the
traditionally decentralized nature of the curricular reform process
within Canadian institutions can negatively impact on the
internationalization of the curriculum (Carter,
1992; Maidstone, 1995; Taylor,
2000). Since successful internationalization of the curriculum
requires a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach, one of the
greatest challenges to curricular reform is promoting collaboration
amongst faculty from diverse disciplines (Cleveland-Innes et al., 2001;
Ellingboe, 1998; Jones & Andrews, 2002; Maidstone, 1995;
who have not been involved in the development of the institution's
mandate to internationalize may perceive the call to internationalize
their courses to be mandated from a top-down perspective and may resent
what they regard as an intrusion into their rights of academic freedom
and integrity (Khalideen, 2006).
must believe that the academic and humanistic rationales for
internationalizing the curriculum are the institution's priority and
that the process will enrich the learning environment for the
benefit of everyone on campus rather than simply being an avenue of
revenue generation which will increase the institution's
potential of recruiting international fee-paying students (Bond &
Thayer Scott, 1999; Brown & Jones, 2007; Cleveland-Innes et al.,
2001; DeVita & Case, 2003; Knight, 1997; Schapper & Mayson,
2008; Taraban, Dippo, Fynbo, & Alsop, 2006; Vertesi,
that neglect to
consider faculty's international experience and competence in their
recruitment and hiring processes and fail to introduce reward and promotion
strategies for faculty based on their involvement in international
activities such as internationalizing the curricula impede the
curricular reform process (Bond, 2006; Bond & Thayer Scott, 1999;
Carter, 1992; Knight, 1994; Maidstone, 1995; Tonkin & Edwards,
- Lack of funding
to support faculty development and to aid faculty in increasing their
levels of international awareness and expertise through international
research, study, and teaching activities can also negatively impact on the
process of internationalizing of the curriculum (Cleveland-Jones et al., 2001;
Ellingboe, 1998; Harari, 1992; Knight, 1994, 2000; Paige, 2003; Taylor,
2000; Tonkin & Edwards, 1981).
of personal knowledge, skills, or interest in internationalization, and
a lack of intercultural knowledge and sensitivity are other reasons for
the lack of faculty involvement in international curricular reform
initiatives (Bennick et al., 1996).
a disbelief that knowledge is socially constructed, a belief that their
discipline is already international, and a neglect to engage in
self-reflection regarding the impact of their personal cultural beliefs
on their choice of course content and pedagogical practices are all
issues in faculty reluctance to engage in curricular
internationalization and reform (Bond, 2006).
may be reluctant to internationalize the curriculum at the expense of
the basic knowledge required within the discipline and may question
whether they should be creating a distinction between the international
and traditional content within their courses or integrating the two (Schuerholz-Lehr et al., 2007).