“I Never Meant to Say That”: Rhetoric in Education Abroad
Keywords:Ideologies, nationalism, elitism, rhetoric, education abroad
We function in an increasingly politicized environment, hostile to Socratic discourse and the pedagogies of education abroad. The classroom has become a battleground in which ideologies of right and left collide, making debate and dissent problematic. These pressures have distorted the ways in which we talk about our endeavors. We believe that international education is a social good with benefits that transcend individual interest and those of any single country. Yet, if we scratch beneath the surface of the rhetoric of education abroad, we unearth ideas that, inadvertently and unconsciously, mimic neo-conservative elitism and ultra-nationalism. The intent of this essay is to deconstruct those notions and to suggest that an urgent imperative is to revise our agenda, to use language that better reflects the principles that have motivated us to commit to education abroad. The issues analyzed here suggest that, in short, we do not believe what we say, nor do we say what we believe.
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