05 Nov Macquarie University’s Classroom of Many Cultures
Like many universities worldwide, Macquarie University has embarked on an ambitious plan of international work-integrated and community-based service-learning placements through its Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) program. As part of their undergraduate degree program, all students are required to participate in a PACE activity within Australia or abroad, where they learn by engaging with diverse communities and applying knowledge developed in the classroom to a real situation. Specifically, the PACE International community development stream partners with organisations that work towards addressing community-identified priorities and long-term sustainable outcomes.
All PACE International activities and relationships are developed collaboratively between PACE International staff, unit convenors and partners so that they are reciprocal and respectful of diverse ways of doing, being and knowing. Over a two-year period, staff and students from Macquarie University partnered with eleven international community development organisations from seven different countries to cooperatively produce or ‘co-create’ a curriculum that would better prepare undergraduate students for international work-integrated learning activities.
This project, ‘Classroom of Many Cultures’ (CoMC), was inspired by conversations with long-term international partners who felt that they could contribute directly to the educational program, not merely as hosts for students involved in work-integrated learning, but also as co-teachers in the university classroom. Funded by a strategic priority grant from the Office for Learning and Teaching this project produced over thirty-five activities and forty-five supporting videos divided into six modules.
These are all open access available through www.classroomofmanycultures.net and we encourage others to use and adapt them to support international mobility in their own contexts.
To learn more about the project, the team and how to engage with the material, please feel free to contact them via the website.