Theorizing the spatial dimensions and pedagogical implications of transnationalism

Doris Warriner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The construct of transnationalism has been used to describe and examine how people maintain connections with their homeland while learning about and participating in the practices of the receiving context. This notion has influenced a great deal of research that seeks to capture how transnational connections are created and sustained–and also how participation in an adopted society's practices might coexist with continued engagement with the people and practices in another space. In recent years, social scientists across disciplines are bringing increasingly nuanced perspectives to the study of transnationalism and globalization–for instance by distinguishing the society from the nation-state (Glick Schiller, 2005) and culture from territory (Appadurai, 1996/2003), and by taking into account the dangers of what has been named “methodological nationalism” (Wimmer & Glick Schiller, 2002). Yet, widely circulating discourses of how movement and mobility influence teaching and learning often lack such nuance, complexity and texture, with consequences for educational policy and practice. Here, I describe the key tenets of transnationalism, interrogate what we mean by the “social contexts” of teaching and learning, and argue for rethinking the spatial dimensions of teaching and learning in a time of transnationalism and globalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-61
Number of pages12
JournalCurriculum Inquiry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • culture and literacy
  • Educational practices
  • English language teaching
  • language
  • socio-political conditions
  • transnationalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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