About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5065-5074
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

EXPERIMENTATION AND INNOVATION: CURRICULAR ISSUES IN INTERNATIONAL STUDIES

G. Muller

University of Maine at Farmington (UNITED STATES)
After extensive review of existing programs in International Studies and analysis of secondary literature dealing with the theoretical aspects of curricular design, the University of Maine at Farmington just recently transformed its interdisciplinary program in International Studies into a full-fledged major in International and Global Studies, approved this July by the University of Maine System’s Board of Trustees. This shift from an interdisciplinary concentration to a major in International Studies was not only the natural evolution of a program that has existed since the 1990, but also a significant step in the overall restructuring of our institution. As Full Professor of French and Chair of International Studies I have had a privileged view of this transitional process and would like to share in this paper how we created and successfully reformulated this aspect of our curriculum. That this was done at a time of obvious financial constraints, affecting all and everyone, reveals serious institutional commitment to our field and testifies to effective faculty collaboration, both on the national and the international level. Given the amorphous nature of International Studies—just look at the numerous heterogeneous programs in the US—it is clear that this area of study lacks the disciplinary focus as well as a more homogeneous theoretical foundation of let’s say French, History, or Political Science. Yet it is precisely this situation that makes International Studies enticing and relevant in our post-modern world not only to an ever increasing number of students, but also to the faculty that contributes its creative and disciplinary energy. As we wrestled in many committee meetings with the unwieldy nexus of ideas that constitutes International Studies, we often reached consensus only after heated disagreements, and just as often agreed to disagree. An analysis of our methodology and of disciplinary factors that impacted the creation of our major, this paper should consequently be of interest to academics in similar situations and to professionals concerned with the internationalization of their institution. The issues dealt with thus go well beyond traditional curriculum design, encompassing educational philosophy and theory of organizational change. Where are we in International Studies, particularly in the State of Maine? Where does International Studies fit within a university that trains teachers as well as students in non-professional programs? How can we assure efficient program delivery within a university that during these uncertain times needs to reinvent itself? These are some of the fundamental questions we needed to address and that will be dealt with in my presentation.




@InProceedings{MULLER2009EXP,
author = {Muller, G.},
title = {EXPERIMENTATION AND INNOVATION: CURRICULAR ISSUES IN INTERNATIONAL STUDIES},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {5065-5074}}
TY - CONF
AU - G. Muller
TI - EXPERIMENTATION AND INNOVATION: CURRICULAR ISSUES IN INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 5065
EP - 5074
ER -
G. Muller (2009) EXPERIMENTATION AND INNOVATION: CURRICULAR ISSUES IN INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 5065-5074.
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