Developing and institutionalising the ‘Internationally-Minded School’: The role of the ‘Numerous Fs’

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The concept and theory of ‘international mindedness’ has been much discussed and debated in recent years. The conceptualising of the character of ‘international mindedness’ as practiced by schools has begun to attract some scholarly attention, but one especially under-theorised aspect involves the often-derided ‘Several Fs’ (flags, festivals, food etc.). This paper aims to give credibility and importance to the day-to-day aspects of the ‘Several Fs’ and draws attention to the broader range of activity, identifying upwards of 15 ‘Fs’ in practice. The broader framework of the ‘Numerous Fs’ is then placed at the centre of identifying the nature and form of the school, as a deliverer of ‘international mindedness’. In a ‘low-culture context’, where collective-identity is undermined by transient and relatively distanced stakeholders, the ‘Numerous Fs’ can be viewed as acting as significant ‘purveyors of organisational identity’. At another level, the ‘Numerous Fs’ give considerable legitimacy to a school’s claim to be ‘Internationally-Minded’, acting as ‘carriers of institutionalisation’. Put simply, they give the school a distinct set of norms, activities, artefacts and routines, characterising it as a specific type of educational institution. As well as acting as practical every-day tools for developing the ‘Internationally-Minded School’ they arguably help to give the school a considerable degree of legitimacy both as an organisation, and as an institution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-198
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Research in International Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


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