1st Edition

Developing Cultural Capability in International Higher Education A Narrative Inquiry

By Sheila Trahar Copyright 2011
    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    To function in the diverse world of the twenty-first century requires a crucial ability to navigate its international and interconnected environments effectively. Such a skill may be defined as cultural capability and developing it is at the forefront of this book, as it guides readers in considering their own experiences of learning and teaching in culturally varied contexts of higher education.

    Using information that builds upon data gained from several years of practice, across a range of countries and institutions the author considers in detail four main themes:

    • Learning, teaching and assessment as a cultural product of higher education
    • Personal and professional interactions between staff and students
    • The political and personal dimensions of the internationalisation of higher education
    • Methodological and ethical considerations when conducting research across cultures

    These themes provide for rich opportunities to learn from and about others, about our similarities and differences. In this way, Developing Cultural Capability celebrates a world that is multicultural and interdependent, encouraging operation beyond local and national perspectives.

    Conducting cross-cultural research is not new, but this book shows how narrative inquiry may be a particularly rich – and sensitive - approach in such research in higher education.

    By writing as a practitioner researcher who has reflected, extensively and critically, on her own practice, the author here gathers together empirical research, case studies and personal reflections, beliefs and assumptions into an innovative account of cultural capability. Through these rich accounts, this book stimulates researchers or practitioners grappling with the cultural complexity of higher education today to reflect on their own practices, proposing some ways to create environments that are more inclusive.

    1. Introduction  2. Uneven Landscapes of Higher Education in the 21st Century  3. Learning and Teaching in Higher Education  4. Researching across Cultures  5. Letters to Cheng-tsung  6. Developing Cultural capability in Higher Education  7. Academic Adventures  8. A White Girl from the North Country  9. Fellow Travellers  10. Developing Cultural Capability in International Higher Education


    Sheila Trahar is Senior Lecturer in Education at the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol and Director of the Master in Education taught at the City University of Hong Kong.