Michele Schwietz’s book, Internationalization of the Academic Profession: Faculty Attitudes, Beliefs, and Involvement at Public Universities in Pennsylvania, was recently published by VDM Verlag. The book summarizes research that describes faculty members’ role in the internationalization of higher education, which is defined as the process of integrating an international or intercultural dimension in the teaching, research and service functions of an institution (Knight, 2004).
Data collected from nine public universities in Pennsylvania (n=3599) were used to provide a descriptive and correlational analysis that explores faculty attitudes, beliefs and experiences related to internationalization; reviews the extent to which faculty incorporate an international perspective into their teaching, research and scholarship; determines what relationships exist between faculty characteristics, campus climate, and their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors; and examines patterns that are used to describe or predict a faculty members’ “orientation to internationalization” (Morris, 1996).
Research findings show that important differences in internationalization exist among the faculty by gender, tenure status, discipline, academic rank, and teaching/research preferences. Faculty with higher levels of international experiences at different educational stages have higher levels of involvement in internationalization as faculty members, and they also have more favorable attitudes and beliefs towards internationalization. A factor analysis of data about “Attitudes and Beliefs about Internationalization” revealed three factors related to the scholarship of research and teaching, instruction and curriculum, and the impact of curriculum on students.
A definition for the construct of “Orientation to Internationalization” is provided. Several of the research findings replicate findings from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s Study of the International Academic Profession (Altbach, 1996) and build upon previous research conducted by the American Council on Education and other university-based researchers interested in internationalization.
The research was supported by a grant from the University of Pittsburgh and received an award from the Association of International Education Administrators in 2006. The book is available through Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
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