Transcultural Education in Practice: 'Writing China in Country'

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


In the spirit of John Dewey (1859–1952) whose educational philosophy is primarily concerned with interaction, reflection and experience, an in-country learning program was developed to send a group of Australian students to study Chinese literature in English in Beijing. Originally initiated by Nicholas Jose at the University of Adelaide, the educational model was then transferred and remodelled at the University of Western Australia. This change saw a diverse group of students embarked on a special educational journey in the Chinese summer semesters of 2017 and 2018 at Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU). Incorporating the learning practices of social interaction, self-reflection and cultural experience, the unit, titled ‘Writing China in Country’, provided a unique platform for Australian university students to learn by ‘doing’, and a ‘contact zone’ where students experience another culture through book-reading as well as physically living on campus at BFSU. The learning environment was both transcultural and transnational where students ‘cross’ the cultural boundaries, and live in an ‘inter’-cultural environment, and through reflective learning assignments ‘transcended’ their original limits. This chapter theorises the transcultural educational approach through an examination of students’ learning experience from the ‘Writing China In-Country’ program. It argues for a more conscious recognition that such boundary-crossing is part of an evolving transcultural pedagogical ‘imaginary’ which accounts for our transcultural and transnational world we live in, and such imaginary is only possible when educational practitioners are open to look beyond what constitutes knowledge and knowledge-making within the geographical borders.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTranscultural Connections
Subtitle of host publicationAustralia and China
EditorsGreg McCarthy, Xianlin Song, Youzhong Sun
Place of PublicationSingapore
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-16-5028-4
ISBN (Print)978-981-16-5027-7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021

Publication series

NameEncounters Between East and West (Intercultural Perspectives)


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