Embedding learning abroad as part of the curriculum has become popular in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US and European countries. In Australia, the government has actively promoted and committed to funding students’ learning abroad in the Indo-Pacific region which is considered to be strategic to the nation’s prosperity and public diplomacy. The majority of the literature on outbound student mobility has concentrated on its benefits to students’ development of global competence and employability. However, little is known about how students are engaged in curriculum-specific learning and development of discipline-specific knowledge through short-term mobility experiences. This article responds to this gap in the existing literature. It aims to examine how a short-term mobility program to Japan affects Australian undergraduate students’ curriculum-specific learning. The article draws on 45 interviews with science students across three rounds (pre-departure, in-country, and re-entry). It uses Barnett and Coate’s framework of curriculum and Tran’s concept of mobility as becoming to analyse whether and how the short-term mobility program engages students in their knowing, acting and becoming whereby they are able to construct, organise and build on what they know and can do to arrive at new knowledge, skills and ways of being/becoming. Based on the findings of the study, we discuss implications for how learning abroad in the Indo-Pacific can potentially enhance Australian students’ deep and meaningful learning in not only cultural and social but also academic aspects. Practical principles for optimising students’ curriculum-specific learning through short-term mobility programs are generated.
Tran LT, Phan HLT, Bellgrove A (2022) Knowing, acting and becoming: Australian students’ curriculum-specific learning through a New Colombo Plan short-term mobility program to Japan. Educational Review:1-18. doi: 10.1080/00131911.2022.2069678
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