Schwille pens book on international education at MSU

February 6, 2017
Jack Schwille and wife Sharon (center) joined by Bella Tirtawalujo (right) and Dwi Yuliantoro (left), both from Indonesia.

Jack Schwille and wife Sharon (center) joined by MSU alumni Bella Tirtawalujo (right) and Dwi Yuliantoro (left), both from Indonesia.

John “Jack” Schwille, professor emeritus and former assistant dean for international studies in education, has written an in-depth book about internationalization in the Michigan State University College of Education over several decades.

“Internationalizing a School of Education: Integration and Infusion in Practice” details the “integration and infusion” approach that Schwille and other colleagues took to step away from the more “traditional” approach of having a largely separate comparative education program.

This integrated strategy, Schwille says, was an attempt to challenge the ethnocentric orthodoxy of education study in the U.S., allowing international perspectives to influence education research, policy and practice as widely as possible. The book, published by the MSU Press, ranges from accounts of personal and historical experience in the college to sociological theory.

Featured channels of internationalization include:

  • building faculty strengths to break through international and domestic barriers;
  • engaging internationally oriented students as major assets;
  • undertaking international research of interest to scholars outside the comparative education community;
  • breaking down ethnocentric barriers to international content and world languages in K-12 schools and teacher education;
  • collaborating on projects to improve schooling in developing countries; and
  • forming institutional partnerships to link with educational research and practice in other countries.

According to Schwille, no claim is made that the goals of the approach have been or ever will be completely realized. However, the MSU experience provides evidence that it is a viable alternative to more traditional structures.

The book has been in the works since 2011-12, when Schwille wrote a paper preceding the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) annual meeting. Schwille sent the paper, which turned out to be the first cut of the book, to colleagues across the country who encouraged him to further develop the topic.

The book is separated into two parts, giving readers insight into the general landscape of international education in the United States at the time, and the steps the college took to pursue innovative policies and practices. There is a timeline from 1942-2012, as well as profiles of faculty members and students who were leaders in the efforts.

“I took [the assistant dean job in 1984] as a mandate to get the college more interested and committed to the education of all the world’s children,” Schwille wrote in the book. “In the years since … I have seen a lot of progress at MSU in pursuing the internationalization that has become the prerequisite for excellence in all of today’s higher education, and a way to emphasize education for all.”

Internationalizing a School of Education,” now available online, is part of the International Race and Education Series at MSU Press.

On the web

Learn more about Jack Schwille’s legacy at the MSU College of Education in “Unfamiliar Places” in the New Educator.

Coming soon

Join Schwille, Dean Robert Floden and Assistant Dean Lynn Paine as they celebrate the launch of Schwille’s book on Feb. 14, 2017. Schwille will give a lecture on the book, his history at MSU and more, followed by a reception and book signing.
Schwille is currently at work on another book highlighting the MSU College of Education: “Legacy of an Unfinished Revolution.” Schwille describes MSU as a “leader in a teacher education revolution;” the book will explore some of the “unorthodox” ways that MSU changed the field.