Particularities of Practices and Sites: How Animations in Teaching International Students (TIS) Projects become Public Pedagogy.

Year: 2019

Author: Snepvangers, Kim, Rourke, Arianne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In the Australian Higher Education (HE) context the undue influence of foreign countries can induce moral panics and make any discussion of International education fraught and contentious. Many institutional responses to such global education challenges tend to reinforce highly suspect models of deficit educational dependence.

To counter deficit discourse, local nuances of art, design and media practice and sites of enactment and reflection feature strongly in the Teaching International Students (TIS) project. Storyboards and animations are created that involve all stakeholders in conception, delivery and reception of a professional outcome. In these visualisations of localised spaces of habitation, TIS projects contextualise, bring forth and value student perspectives and cultural particularities. In these projects paradoxically acknowledgement of specific TIS student cohorts and socially just pedagogy illuminates how the needs of all learners can be addressed rather than just some.

To ensure that learning is not haphazard, academics work with ‘Students as Partners’ for academic credit to develop co-designed Professional Experience Projects (PEP). Students’ making practices are prioritised so that they lead the design process and transformation of their films/animations into ‘Visual Learning Artefacts’. By experiencing real-world Australian business contexts, future creative careers are anticipated by working alongside mentors, business and organisations. This ‘Ecology of Practice’ (Kemmis & Heikkinen, 2011, Snepvangers & Rourke, 2017), situates shifts in student learning by documenting transfer of media and communication skills to a wider audience.

Student’s move from individual media practice to a public facing pedagogy by producing creative and adaptive artefacts. Underpinned by Kruger’s iceberg theoretical model (1996; 2013), students’ narrative animations explore contested themes ‘below the waterline’. Design of counter-dependent film and media artefacts act as ‘catalysts for conversation’ in teaching environments to empower learning with International students.

By prioritising visual media ecologies TIS counters regionalism utilising synergistic community-based approaches to develop independent educator case-based knowledge to enhance student professional learning. In this interdependent emergent ecosystem, students and educators work iteratively developing reciprocal relationships to make shifts in practice visible, whilst simultaneously documenting educator professional development.