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African Centered Education  

Kmt G. Shockley

African centered education (ACE) is a type of pedagogy and educational practice that centers the needs and interests of Black children and communities by requiring educators to become familiar with the issues, problems, and perspectives that exist within Black communities. Pedagogically, it involves including ideas and practices that come from African cultural groups (such as Ashanti, Zulu, Wolof, etc.) into the educational process. Several theories provide the major constructs upon which ACE is articulated, namely: (a) an understanding that Black people are, in fact, Africans; (b) an understanding that all people identified as being of African descent are Africans with a common aim and destiny, a sentiment called Pan Africanism; (c) the practice of re-Africanization, which relates to adopting aspects of indigenous African cultural practice into one’s life; (d) the adoption of traditional/indigenous African values, such as the ancient concept of Maat, into one’s life; (e) the practice of Black nationalism, which relates to believing that people of African descent constitute a nation that must be built for survival and sustainment; (f) an understanding and belief that educational institutions for Black children must be fully controlled by people of African descent; and (g) an understanding that there is a difference between education—which is the type of knowledge transmission process that Black youth need in order to solve problems and build institutions within their own communities, and schooling—which relates to the culturally mismatched training process that Black children are receiving in schools which prevents them from being able to use their “education” to solve problems and build institutions within their own communities.

Article

Higher Education Equity and Justice  

Ulpukka Isopahkala-Bouret

The higher education (HE) equity and social justice agenda is primarily concerned with inequalities in the participation of underrepresented groups. The main purpose of this agenda is to widen access to the social privileges that HE offers. Transnational policy agencies and national governments have advised higher education institutions (HEIs) to deploy relevant indicators and implement inclusive practices, such as financial assistance, nondiscriminatory admission mechanisms, and student guidance and counseling. HEIs have also been funded to provide outreach and widening participation programs in several countries. In the early 21st century, the conceptualization of HE equity and justice has broadened from fair access to more holistic, procedural, and intersectional approaches. Still, the lack of reliable, relevant, and feasible policy indicators and data make it a challenging objective to measure and follow up. Furthermore, research has pointed out the need for contextualized definitions of equity and justice because the specific social and cultural challenges differ from one country to another. Equity and justice manifest themselves in the broader design of national and regional HE systems. Some HE systems have stronger institutional stratification and financial barriers than others, hence restraining the fairness of access and social inclusion. The application of Pierre Bourdieu’s sociological theory has dominated much of the research on structural constraints of HE equity and justice. An understanding of the connection between structure/agency and the cultural reproduction opens up new avenues for the development of HE equity and justice in both policy and practice.

Article

Dialogic Pedagogies  

Christine Edwards-Groves

Dialogic pedagogies, contrasted with more monologic approaches to teaching, constitute a broad field of study concerned with classroom talk and interaction and its influence on student learning, knowledge building, and disciplinary competence. Classroom talk and interaction matter, and what constitutes their efficacy in the dialogic classroom has been the subject of intense research across the globe for many decades. In particular, research interest lies in the role and influence of teacher’s and student’s routine interactional work for facilitating student learning, engagement, and participation. Spanning several decades, the detailed and systematic study of the nature of classroom talk in lessons has intensified, with attention being drawn to ways that dialogic approaches to pedagogy can enhance learning through changed teacher–student exchange patterns. In many ways, focusing on classroom talk, and the patterns of interaction that support it, may seem to be a relatively trivial idea, in that teachers at all levels routinely engage in talk in their pedagogical interactions with students. But herein lies the central issue: Talk and interaction is so commonplace that its purposes, its power, and its position in pedagogy is taken for granted, and it is rarely a focus of deliberate professional reflection, critique, and development. Thus, in the main, classroom dialogue is frequently underplayed as fundamental to efficacy in practice, and so its centrality for teaching and learning drifts into the background. It is in this vein that dialogic researchers across the globe have sought to give prominence to classroom talk and interaction beyond its everyday taken for grantedness. Drawing on a range of theoretical, methodological, and analytic paradigms, classroom talk and interaction is foregrounded as it relates to pedagogical dialogism. Proponents of dialogic pedagogies make a strong case for renewing an emphasis on classroom talk and interaction through identifying, describing, representing, and changing lesson talk through more dialogically enriched lesson practices. Taken together, the research argues for sustained emphasis on the dialogic, directing educators to the efficacy of everyday encounters in classroom lessons by focusing on the nature and influence of dialogicality, how it works—and what it affords—in the everyday unfolding of teaching and learning. In ranging educational contexts, it has been shown that a dialogic sensibility emerges when teachers and students explicitly attend to and manage the lesson talkscape, where their pedagogical dialogues are learning focused and a shared responsibility. Proponents of dialogic pedagogies argue for the promotion of “academically productive discourse” by focusing on the impact of opening up the communicative space in classroom discussions in ways that promote student engagement and participation. Yet against a burgeoning body of work from diverse national contexts, research traditions, and analytic approaches heralding its merits, it seems more restrictive discourse structures and more limited discursive opportunities have prevailed in classrooms across the world. In fact, as some researchers have indicated, changing the nature of talk in lessons has proven to be difficult as typical patterns of talk appear to be resistant to change. Ultimately, enduring issues concerning methodology, scalability, focus, and impact on dialogic practice provide grounds for increased larger scale and longitudinal research.

Article

Navigating Change: Pacific Islanders, Race, Sport, and Pipelines to Higher Education  

Keali'I Kukahiko

Tagata Pasifika (Pacific People) is a transnational affiliation whose collective colonial experiences provide island nations of Oceania a means for contestation over local discourses of power and race. Employing the principle of Tagata Pasifika within higher education necessitates recognition of how postsecondary institutions are significant sites of conflict that engender the collective resistance among Pasifika communities for the following reasons: (a) to close the educational opportunity gap between Pasifika communities and spheres of influence—positions of power that dictate policies, social circumstances, and human living conditions; (b) to affirm Pasifika participation in the knowledge production process by developing ontological self-efficacy and decolonizing spaces in higher education that erase and marginalize Pasifika ontologies; and (c) to engage action research as opportunities that enact various forms of sovereignty, such as the ability to participate in cultural practices as authentic and legitimate ways of knowing and being or recognizing Pasifika intellectual participation as a process of action, or inaction, informed by cultural and experiential values. A salient college access point for Pasifika communities is the phenomena of college athletics because Pasifika college football players are 56 times more likely to matriculate to the National Football League. However, low graduation rates—only 11% of Pasifika college football players graduated from the Football Championship Series college division in 2015—have made this “untraditional” pathway an extractive pipeline that provides the National Collegiate Athletic Association membership institutions with athletic labor. Although college athletes continue to have the conditions of their admissions leveraged against them to prevent student resistance/activism, student-athletes have an unprecedented potential for influence in the “post-COVID” landscape of college athletics.

Article

“Race,” Inequality, and Education in the Czech Republic  

Dana Moree, Alena Kosak Felcmanova, and Magdaléna Karvayová

“Race” and education are profoundly interconnected in the Czech context, and this is especially visible with respect to the issue of the Roma population. The communist regime of the former Czechoslovakia made use of the educational environment to strengthen its ideology through teacher training, discriminative legislation, and changing the content of education. “Race” issues in society were “solved” by segregating most Roma children into what were called “special schools” for the mentally disabled. The fall of communism introduced freedom and changes to all of society, particularly in the education system, but new education legislation was not passed until 15 years after the fall of communism, and it did not address issues around discrimination sufficiently. In 2007, the European Court of Human Rights ruled against the Czech Republic for having discriminated against a group of Roma children during the 1990s. This means a discriminatory situation and its consequences were still visible almost 30 years after the fall of communism. In response to this ruling, inclusion policy began to be promoted in Czech schools as of 2016. The situation from the perspective of legislation has been becoming more equal—the Act on Education has been amended, the financial support for disadvantaged children in education has become more transparent, and so on, but data from research conducted after amendment of the Act on Education show that the situation in or near what are called “socially excluded areas” has become much more difficult. Roma children are segregated not just by the official decisions of school establishers (municipalities) but also through parents, teachers, and head teachers from the majority population who interpret the applicable rules in such a way that Roma children, pupils, and students are concentrated into specific schools and do not attend school together with majority-society (non-Roma) children. “Race” issues, in combination with poverty, are drawing new borders around access to education. Roma children are not always welcome in the schools. These are reasons why the interconnectedness of the education system with issues related to racism in the context of a transforming society should be carefully analyzed. There are several facets of the topic, which we should take into consideration: First, terms like race, culture, and ethnicity are very often used without a deeper discussion of their meaning. It is necessary to use them precisely and reflectively. Second, this interconnectedness between race and education works on individual and interpersonal levels, the cultural level, and the structural level. They all should be taken into consideration while planning research, changes, or interventions. Finally, the interplay between these three levels is visible when we analyze real examples from the field (e.g., an intervention initiated by a nongovernmental Roma organization, Awen Amenca, in the city in the Czech Republic with the highest concentration of socially excluded localities).

Article

Racial Violence in the United States  

Darius D. Prier

Since the “discovery” of the so-called New World, The U.S. has carried a history of a violent past. It is a past in which genocide toward Native Americans and enslavement of Black Americans are uncomfortable truths in the annals of history. The racial legacy of such a violent past has its roots in the ideology of White supremacy. This is an ideology in which racialized “others” are cast as subordinate and inferior to persons socially constructed as “White.” It is not just a designation of ideology but can inform discriminatory practices toward communities of color, with even fatal outcomes for this population. Subsequently, racial violence has become an empirical fact of the U.S. social reality. The U.S. legacy of racial violence continues to proliferate in the 21st century, albeit in different forms than genocide and slavery. African American, Latino(a)(x), Jewish, Asian/Pacific Islander, and the LGBTQIA+ communities have been subject to targeted acts of racial violence. In addition, women have been the victims of gender violence. The event that signified White America’s animus toward communities of color came to a crescendo happened when White nationalists went to war against democracy through a violent insurrection on Capitol Hill, January 6, 2021. The documented mass murders toward many of the aforementioned groups and the insurrection on Capitol Hill belie and challenge the notion and ideal of progress toward a “color-blind” society. The resurgence of racial violence since the 2010s has been coupled with many legislators of the nation-state rejecting all forms of anti-racist pedagogy, particularly in K–12 schools. This political movement to cancel discussions of race and racism in schools began with the Trump administration’s executive order to eliminate critical race theory in all areas of the workplace before he left office. While the executive order was rescinded by the Biden administration, several states have passed laws, rejecting any form of anti-racist pedagogy in K–12 schools. Proponents of the rejection of critical race theory argue that groups cannot be marked or stigmatized as morally incompetent or superior to other groups. In addition, they assert that no group should feel discomfort because of their history and that groups should not be discriminated against because of their race. Furthermore, proponents insist education should not be taught in an ideological or political manner. Critics offer that political efforts by far-right ideologues to reject anti-racist pedagogy can hinder students’ understanding of race, violence, and inequality. They also argue that these efforts are unethical, as they silence a critical education, in which students can read of the world of violence as a means to critique issues of racism, discrimination, and inequitable treatment toward communities of color. Debating, critiquing, and responding to racial violence in U.S. society are critical to the maintenance and preservation of democracy. Advocates for social justice education argue that the political is pedagogical, that racial violence toward communities of color requires an ethical and moral interrogation of our values as educators. Therefore, critics of those who decenter anti-racist pedagogy in a culture of racial violence suggest that their claims to a neutral education rest on unethical terms for social justice.

Article

Theater, Drama, Education, and Pasifika Youth in Aotearoa New Zealand  

Michelle Johansson

Pasifika people constitute a young, diverse, and growing portion of the population of Aotearoa New Zealand, with multiple cultural identities originating in the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Tuvalu, Tahiti, and Kiribati. Pasifika people are also subject to both new and historical disparities in income, employment, education, housing, and health in comparison with other ethnic groups. Significantly, education in Aotearoa continues to fail Pasifika youth, reporting a persistent long brown tail of underachievement in standards-based assessment. Multiple government interventions have been implemented to address these increasing disparities, but these have been ineffective in achieving the widespread systemic change necessary for true equity. Pasifika youth are regularly required to code-switch between Western colonial worldviews, systems, and structures and those of indigenous-Oceania. Theater in Aotearoa provides a powerful site in which to navigate these multiple cultural identities, advocate for societal change, and negotiate the heritage literacies associated with storytelling and the performing arts. South Auckland, in particular, is a crucible for nurturing young Pasifika creative artists interested in re-storying their world.

Article

Education Research Beyond Cyborg Subjectivities  

Annette Gough and Noel Gough

The term “cyborg,” as a combination of “cybernetics” and “organism,” was coined by Manfred Clynes and Nathan Kline in 1960 in a paper presented at a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conference on space exploration as a representation of a particular challenge of space travel: physically adapting a human body to survive in a hostile environment rather than modifying the environment. Soon after, NASA commissioned “The Cyborg Study” to investigate the theoretical possibilities of incorporating life support–related technologies into future spacecraft design. From the beginning, cyborgs were seen as the realization of a transhumanist goal—liberating humans from the limitations of the body and its environment by means of mechanization. Outside of space exploration, the term “cyborg” has evolved to encompass an expansive mesh of the mythological, metaphorical, and technical. Initially mainly taken up by science fiction writers to create superhumans, the notion entered cultural studies in the 1980s, particularly through Donna Haraway’s feminist “cyborg manifesto,” which argues that we are all cyborgs. Since then, terminology has shifted, and cyborgs are more likely called “posthumans,” “more-than-humans,” “other-than-humans,” or “companion species.” Discussions of cyborg and posthuman subjectivities in educational research have taken two main directions. The first argues that with equipment like tablets, smartphones, and laptops, students and teachers are already cyborgs—hybrids of human and machine—accessing information, resources, networks, groups, personal relations, libraries, and mass media through the Internet. Other research has investigated how the construction of cyborg and posthuman subjectivities changes the relationships between humans and their surroundings, devising new social, ethical, and discursive ways of thinking and representation.

Article

Race and the Educational Experiences of Multicultural Families and Biracial Children in Korea  

Eun-Jeong Han and Ellen Kang

Since the mid-1990s, Korea has been transitioning from an ethnically homogenous nation to a multicultural society, mostly due to the growing number of multicultural families. There are a number of issues associated with students from multicultural families (SMFs) in education: (a) lack of Korean language proficiency; (b) lower academic performance; (c) higher rates of mental or psychological issues; (d) higher rates of being bullied, discriminated against, and school dropout; and (e) lack of knowledge of support programs, the stigma of utilizing them, and program efficacy. Existing governmental programs utilize an assimilationist approach, which implies the problems reside in SMFs, when the emphasis should also be applied to an orchestrated shift in cultural values that would embrace multiculturalism.

Article

The Destructive Long-Term Impact of Disasters on Black and Brown Schooling Communities in the United States  

Cassandra R. Davis

Recent research shows that hurricanes, tropical storms, and flooding are likely to increase in quantity and intensity. Yet, despite the frequency of these hazards, there is little work that documents the relationship between disasters, low-income communities of color, and schooling. There is a dearth of literature documenting how these communities in high-impacted areas are affected, recover, and remain resilient following a storm.