About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 235-243
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

INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION IN MADAGASCAR: MAKING THE IMPLICIT EXPLICIT

J. Pavletich

University of Houston-Downtown (UNITED STATES)
This paper offers a case study of international collaboration within the Departement d’Etudes Anglophone at the Université d’Antananarivo, Madagascar as it attempted to move from a version of the traditional French system to the LMD structure advocated in the Bologna Declaration. The focus in this study is on the source of the conflicts that arise when academics from diverse national and cultural backgrounds collaborate on pedagogical and curricular reforms in a context where resources are minimal, faculty expertise is limited, and the post-colonial power dynamics are pervasive and complex. In this case, Malagasy, French, English, and American perspectives on appropriate pedagogies and curricular goals heavily, if implicitly, informed the process, making decisions and acceptance of those decisions by the larger faculty difficult and sometimes even contentious. Analysis of this collaborative endeavor will show that while curricular and institutional reform is badly needed at Madagascar’s flagship university, and many of the tenets of the Bologna process would be highly beneficial, such reform need not have as its primary goal alignment with the institutions of the developed world and the student mobility that is a major focus of the Bologna movement. Some African scholars rightly fear this alignment and believe it will result in further brain drain of the third world. Rather, the reforms must focus on invigorating indigenous pedagogical strategies and institutional structures for the benefit of the Malagasy students who face enormous obstacles on their educational paths, the vast majority of whom will never live outside of their country.

International collaboration in education is no longer the exclusive province of first-world scholars who study the subjects of other nations or of donor nations whose “collaboration” is a one sided affair. Rather, it is now a necessity for the continued development and production of knowledge that is fully available to all scholars and students. Therefore, we must come to understand how our specific cultures provide us with certain values that we then bring into the collaborative experience, most frequently in an unconscious manner. This paper’s analysis of one particular collaboration will identify some of those powerful connections between culturally/politically-shaped subjectivities and institutionally accepted pedagogies and demonstrate their impact on the collaborative process. I argue that an explicit understanding of these connections would offer important knowledge for the development of more successful collaborations, and, ultimately, for improving learning experiences in universities. Whereas “cultural sensitivity” to others as it is discussed in much current scholarship is important, it is not sufficient. Academics must become more fully and precisely aware of the manner in which the specific pedagogies and curricular structures they value are representative of as well as a result of the broader cultural and political dynamics and values that have shaped them as scholars and teachers. The ability to understand these implicit connections explicitly can empower the collaborative process as it can work to mitigate the inevitable conflicts that will arise.
@InProceedings{PAVLETICH2009INT,
author = {Pavletich, J.},
title = {INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION IN MADAGASCAR: MAKING THE IMPLICIT EXPLICIT},
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 = {235-243}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Pavletich
TI - INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION IN MADAGASCAR: MAKING THE IMPLICIT EXPLICIT
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 - 235
EP - 243
ER -
J. Pavletich (2009) INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION IN MADAGASCAR: MAKING THE IMPLICIT EXPLICIT, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 235-243.
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