A Source for News and Discussion on International Educational Exchange & Mutual Understanding
I'll reiterate what I posted on your Facebook group: I don't think it is something that can be standardized. Too many people, in countries across the globe, doing too many different kinds of research (even if all IE related). Definitions change from country to country, so who's to say one is preferable to another? It just seems such an overwhelming project. But, I recognize I'm being a bit pessimistic, so I'd love to find out if anyone has any suggestions...
The Forum has its glossary, which continues to evolve -- so that is an important contribution to the Education Abroad side of the house. . .But I also agree with Jessica -- and that's part of the joy of intercultural discovery and encounter. Once we start standardizing, we will lose perspectives that don't fit our definition. So I think it's OK.
Perhaps starting with a few schools at a time, a coalition can be started that standardizes terms and definitions. This may be between sister schools in the US and other countries. After all, if all of the countries can create a system that standardizes terms for money, trading, tariffs, etc... It would be interesting to be able to compare the schools between countries...apples to apples...to see what we, as educators in the United States, can learn from these schools, and what we can do to increase the quality of education for all students everywhere. Perhaps I am an optimist. However, I think if we start a little at a time, eventually more and more schools will join.
I think it is possible if we start small. Perhaps a group of schools in the United States can work with their sister schools in other country to create standardized definitions and such. Then, more and more schools can join in. It would be terrific if we could compare schools on an apples to apples basis, so we, as educators, can learn from other schools and continue to raise the quality of education for our students.
I think that it is important to make strides toward standardizing education so that those in third world countries can be just as marketable on a global market, as those educated in the United States and other developed countries. How to do this? Humm? I wonder...It will take a lot of collaboration and meeting of minds without any air of superiority...
Thinking globally requires us to recognize that there are a lot of different cultures around the world who are uniquely different from one another. Each of these cultures brings to the table their own background and experiences that help them define their reality. The importance of maintaining the individual cultures that make up our global community must be considered before we can come to a consensus as to how to standardize education, research, data, and definitions. How can all of these cultures come together and be represented without losing their own identity? Is the benefit of global standardization worth the potential loss of culture? Also, who would define the terms that would be used for global recognition? Will one or two super powers represent the global community? How do we make sure that we include everyone? As a current graduate student in education I am interested in others opinions on these matters.
I agree with Tara that maintaining individual cultures seems to take precedence when discussing standardized education and research. Yet, it is interesting to wonder if and how standardizing international education, research and data could be accomplished. Adult education has the potential to bring about change. Perhaps through education this task could slowly evolve!
With due concer for sounding too Illichian - I think the question might be differently asked as "Why would we standardize this kind of inquiry" - and, "Who is best served by doing this (and how)" and "Who isn't"? This process of globalizing and internationalizing education is essentially and necessarily amorphous and dynamic and 'standardizing' any and all asspects of it might suggest an attempt to disregard it's fundamental dynamism. I would suggest rather an initiative to create an accessible and centralized clearinghouse for research that both collects/collates and disseminates the broad range of modes engaging in international education.