International Educator - March/April 2016 - 14

INbrief
BOOK NOTES

Internationalizing the Curriculum
By Betty Leask
Routledge, 2015, 194 pages
Reviewed by Madeleine F. Green

T

HERE IS WIDESPREAD

agreement among international educators around the
world that if the majority of students
are to learn about the wider world
through their college experience,
we cannot depend on student mobility to accomplish this goal. This is
especially true in the United States,
where some 304,000 students out of
17 million undergraduate studied abroad for credit in 2013-14.
Although the numbers inch up every
year, the trend is for shorter stays: 62
percent of students were abroad for
8 weeks or less in 2013-14. While
those experiences can be quite
useful, they can hardly be expected
to create "globally competent"
students, or "global citizens."
Thus, the concept of
"internationalization at home"
has gathered momentum, and
increasingly the conversation about
global and intercultural learning
is focused on what happens
on campus, specifically in the
curriculum and cocurriculum.
But these are not easy or simple
discussions. Academics in some
disciplines, especially the hard
sciences, claim that their work
is international by nature (e.g.,
physics is "universal"); and some
simply do not see the point (e.g., if
you are preparing accountants to
practice in Michigan, what global
knowledge do they really need?).
Not all faculty share the international
educators' sense of urgency to

14  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M A R + A P R .16

prepare students to live and work
in a rapidly changing global
environment.
Betty Leask, an Australian
expert on internationalizing
the curriculum, has gathered
her work of several years
into an excellent book, useful
for international education
practitioners working with
faculty across the disciplines
and for faculty leaders of
internationalization. It is anchored
in the wise premise that
internationalizing the curriculum
is first and foremost a discussion
among academics that occurs in
the context of their discipline. The
role of the international education
professional is to facilitate those
conversations by providing a
structure, resources, and tools.
A theme throughout the book
is the opportunity provided by
internationalization for faculty
to examine such issues as the
dominance of Western paradigms,
whose knowledge counts, and
the inclusion of alternative
understandings of a field or
discipline. Addressing this sticky
wicket in some depth in the context
of specific disciplines probably
exceeded the scope of the book,
but the brief discussions and
examples that Leask provides are
only tantalizing glimpses of the tip
of some giant academic icebergs.
This very thorough book begins
with definitions-it is always

unwise to assume that people have
shared definitions of such terms as
"curriculum" or "internationalization
of the curriculum." Her definition
(p. 9) is a useful one for the
field: "Internationalization of the
curriculum is the incorporation of
international, intercultural, and/or
global dimensions in the content
of the curriculum, as well as the
learning outcomes, assessment
tasks, teaching methods, and support
services of a program of study."
She distinguishes between the
process of internationalizing the
curriculum, as described above,
and the product, which she defines
as follows: "An internationalized
curriculum will engage students
with internationally informed
research and cultural and linguistic
diversity and purposefully
develop their international and
intercultural perspectives as global
professionals and citizens" (p. 10).
The first and largest section of
the book describes concepts and
processes, with chapters devoted to
the rationale for internationalizing



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - March/April 2016

Contents
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Cover1
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Cover2
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Contents
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 2
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 3
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 4
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 5
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 6
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 7
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 8
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International Educator - March/April 2016 - Cover3
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