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Embracing prior professional experience in meaning making: views from international students and academics
journal contributionposted on 2010-05-01, 00:00 authored by Ly TranLy Tran
This paper explores the views of international students and academic staff on the use of prior professional experience in disciplinary academic writing in Australian higher education. The main finding of this case study indicates that disciplinary practice related to the issue of whether, and how, students should represent aspects of their prior professional experience in disciplinary writing seems to be differently reproduced from the lenses of international student and lecturers. Within the current higher education practices, the diverse dimensions of prior professional experiences that international students bring into the learning context appear to count more in oral class discussion than in academic writing and in formal assessment. Furthermore, despite the rhetoric of internationalization of the curriculum and “inclusivity”, the valid academic practices of international students seem to be marginalized and delegitimized due to the very subtlety and inconsistence of the lecturers’ expectations. The paper concludes with the implications for institutions to more effectively address the needs of international students in terms of knowledge construction in the process of implementing diversity principles within the internationalization agenda.