ISJ April 2014: International education and national education – can they co-exist?
Once upon a time ‘international education’ was thought of as the specialised province of ‘international schools’, catering for students from different nationalities. Increasingly, however, it is seen as relevant to all young people – including those being educated in national state systems – preparing them to play a part in a globalised economy. However, ‘national education’ also appears to be on the increase, with many countries publishing educational strategies or national curricula which explicitly aim to make their young people patriotic citizens. Many countries want the best of both worlds – to develop, in the words of the Australian National Curriculum, ‘responsible global and local citizens’. Is that possible, or desirable?
This paper will start by examining some of the terms used in the debate. It will then consider whether the two are necessarily in conflict, and suggest an approach where each can inform and improve the other.