International Students, Reflection, and Employability


  • Mary Ryan Macquarie University, Australia
  • Georgina Barton University of Southern Queensland, Australia



employability, international students, reflexivity, reflection


The International Student Barometer indicates international students’ interest in work experience, career advice and employment post-study. A necessary skill for all graduates is the ability to be able to reflect on and in professional practice, yet there is limited research that explores reflection, the teaching of reflective thinking, and reflexivity for international students. Our research has shown that international students may approach the process of reflection differently due to their cultural differences so it is important that universities acknowledge and consider further ways in which to teach and assess reflection for international students. This special issue shares 7 papers related to international students and reflection by drawing on Rodgers’ four functions of reflection. We hope that the special issue is of value to the journal’s readership, particularly in regard to assisting both academic and support staff in universities with their work on reflection with international students.

Author Biographies

Mary Ryan, Macquarie University, Australia

MARY RYAN, PhD, is Professor and Dean of Education at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Her research is in the areas of teachers’ work in, and preparation for, diverse classrooms, reflexive learning and practice, writing pedagogy and assessment and reflective writing. She led a highly successful Australian Learning and Teaching Council grant (2010/11) on reflective learning across disciplines in higher education. Her current Australian Research Council Discovery projects are in the areas of classroom writing and preparing reflexive teachers for diverse classrooms. She is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK. Email:

Georgina Barton, University of Southern Queensland, Australia

GEORGINA BARTON, PhD, is a Professor and Associate Head – Research in the School of Education at the University of Southern Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Before being an academic, Georgina taught in schools for over 20 years including teaching English in South India with Australian Volunteers International. Georgina also has extensive experience in teaching the arts in schools and universities and often utilizes the arts to support students’ literacy learning outcomes. She has over 130 publications including as the lead editor of a book titled Professional Learning for International Students: Exploring Theory and Practice. She is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK. Email:


Adler, S. (1991). The reflective practitioner and the curriculum of teacher education. Journal of Education for Teaching, 17(2), 139-150.

Barton, G. & Hartwig, K. (2017). Professional learning in the work place for international students: Exploring theory and practice. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Barton, G. M., & Ryan, M. (2013). Multimodal approaches to reflective teaching and assessment in higher education: a cross disciplinary approach in Creative Industries. Higher Education Research and Development, 33(3), 409-424.

Barton, G. M., Hartwig, K., Bennett, D., Cain, M., Campbell, M., Ferns, S., Jones, L., Joseph, D., Kavanagh, M., Kelly, A., Larkin, I., O’Connor, E., Podorova, A., Tangen, D., & Westerveld, M. (2017). Work placement for international students: A model of effective practice. In G. M. Barton & K. Hartwig (Eds.), Professional Learning in the Work Place for International Students: Exploring Theory and Practice, (pp. 13-34). Springer Publishers.

Barton, G. M., & Ryan, M.E. (2017). Reflection and reflective practice for international students and their supervisors in context. In G. M. Barton & K. Hartwig (Eds.), Professional Learning in the Work Place for International Students: Exploring Theory and Practice, (pp. 93-110). Springer Publishers.

Calderhead, J. (1989). Reflective teaching and teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 5(1), 43-51.

Dewey, J. (1933). How we think: A restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process, vol. 8. Boston: D. C Heath

Gore, J. M., & Zeichner, K. M. (1991). Action research and reflective teaching in preservice teacher education: A case study from the United States. Teaching and Teacher Education, 7(2), 119-136.

Hatton, N., & Smith, D. (1995). Reflection in teacher education: Towards definition and implementation. Teaching and Teacher Education, 11(1), 33-49.

Mann, K., Gordon, J., & MacLeod, A. (2009). Reflection and reflective practice in health professions education: a systematic review. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 14(4), 595-621.

Moon, J. (2001). PDP working paper 4: Reflection in higher education learning. Higher Education Academy, 1-25.

Rodgers, C. (2002). Defining reflection: Another look at John Dewey and reflective thinking. Teachers College Record, 104(4), 842-866.

Schön, D. A. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books, Inc.

Schön, D. A. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Smith, E. (2011). Teaching critical reflection. Teaching in Higher Education, 16(2), 211-223.

Treleaven, L., & Voola, R. (2008). Integrating the development of graduate attributes through constructive alignment. Journal of Marketing Education, 30(2), 160-173.

Van Manen, M. (1977). Linking ways of knowing with ways of being practical. Curriculum Inquiry, 6(3), 205-228.




How to Cite

Ryan, M., & Barton, G. (2020). International Students, Reflection, and Employability. Journal of International Students, 10(S2), i-v.