Exploring, negotiating and responding: international students' experiences of group work at Australian universities.

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Date: May 2021
From: Higher Education(Vol. 81, Issue 5)
Publisher: Springer
Document Type: Report
Length: 9,435 words
Lexile Measure: 1580L

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Abstract :

While the prevalence of group work in higher education in Australia can be construed as a cultural or institutional practice, it has become a site of struggle for many international students who must negotiate the normative practices embedded in group work. This paper aims to investigate how six Japanese international students at Australian universities explore, negotiate and respond to the normative practices of group work through group projects. The findings reveal that students actively sought and negotiated hidden and implied normative practices of group work. Their responses to the norms were underpinned by the norms being inculcated into their dispositions or, namely, habitus, in the form of beliefs and values, which enabled them to critically examine their group practices. Additionally, when they identified a mismatch between their perceived norms and the responses of their peers, which is realised through Bourdieu's concept of 'hysteresis', they were found to take leadership opportunities. We contend in this paper that when their practices or group practices are at odds with the perceived or identified norms, it induces their hysteresis encounters, which represent initiation of alternative actions and capacity to embrace learning opportunities. We also argue that the investigation into this phenomenon is vital in identifying practices that reproduce fallacies and missed opportunities or prevent students from embracing true virtues of group work.

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Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A660358200