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Article

Freedom and Education Revisited  

Pedro Tabensky

There is an influential and highly diverse tradition of philosophers and philosophically inclined educational theorists who argue that education should aim at freedom, indeed that education, properly understood, is the practice of freedom. On the one hand, there is the movement that neither commences nor ends with John Dewey (active during the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century), but of which Dewey’s philosophy of education is the neuralgic point. On the other hand, there is the movement, inspired to some extent by Dewey but quite distinct from it, launched by Paulo Freire in the second half of the 20th century—known as critical pedagogy. Freire and his followers—bell hooks and Henry Giroux, among them—explicitly claim that education is the practice of freedom and think of this practice as emancipatory in its aims. Dewey never explicitly describes education as the practice of freedom, but Richard Rorty, one of Dewey’s most influential followers, does so, and he correctly attributes the view to Dewey.

Article

Institutional Dis/Continuities in Higher Education Changes During the Soviet and Post-Soviet Periods in Kazakhstan  

Gulzhan Azimbayeva

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) higher education system has undergone radical change since the perestroika period—the Gorbachev period (1985–1991). Perestroika means restructuring in Russian. In this period, the institutional context of higher education was fundamentally transformed by the major upheavals of the political and socioeconomic institutions of the USSR. The changes in the USSR higher education had a major impact on the higher education of Kazakhstan—a former Republic of the USSR. Thus, to understand the changes in higher education in Kazakhstan, it is important to locate them in the stages of the collapse of the USSR. It could be argued that the “institutional dis/continuities” theory would allow a careful examination of the educational changes in the postsocialist context. The “institutional dis/continuities” of the perestroika period draw on path-dependency and critical juncture concepts within historical institutionalism theory. Perestroika period can be seen as a critical juncture in the historical development of higher education. Also, the policy choices which were made during the perestroika period could establish further path-dependencies in policy-making.

Article

Experiences of Gender and Sexual Minority Students and Teachers in Catholic Schools  

Tonya D. Callaghan and Jamie L. Anderson

Caught between the religious edicts of the Vatican and the secular laws of the state, Catholic schools around the world respond to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) students and teachers in contradictory and inconsistent ways. The oppression of nonheterosexuals in Catholic schools is incongruous in democratic nations such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, which value and protect the individual rights of equality, freedom, and justice. In Canada, Britain, and some Australian states, governments have even offered apologies for historical acts of discrimination against LGBTI people, such as the criminally convicted and those purged from public service and the military for being nonheterosexual. Despite these governmental apologies and other progressive acts of legislation related to student-led gender and sexual orientation alliances and the banning of conversion therapy, Catholic schools still exist in these nations and continue to receive government funding while violating the basic human rights of LGBTI students and staff members. The intolerance toward gender and sexual minority groups could be due to the church’s decree to “love the sinner, hate the sin,” which is untenable for many Catholic students and teachers. As they struggle with how to respond to LGBTI people in their schools, Catholic education leaders tend to abandon the tradition of Catholic teaching involving justice for the weakest and turn instead for guidance to the formidable canonical law on the topic of homosexuality and gender identity. In so doing, they also disregard secular human rights legislation in their jurisdictions. Many people saw great hope in Pope Francis’s welcoming tone toward LGBTI people in 2013, but since then he has made unambiguously anti-LGBTI statements. If this kind of religiously inspired heterosexism in Catholic schools is to be challenged and changed, then it is important to examine how it operates and how widespread it is on a global scale.

Article

School Tourism in Southern Africa  

Kathleen Smithers and Joanne Ailwood

Philanthropic funding is commonplace in schools in Southern Africa and is shaped by philanthropic offerings through philanthropic foundations or for-profit low-fee private school chains. In particular, some schools are funded by tourism ventures. Tourism in schools takes two main forms: the introduction of tourist funds into schooling, and the introduction of tourists themselves to schooling. Tourist funds in schooling arise from a number of different forms of tourism such as community-based tourism, sustainable tourism, developmentourism, and philanthropic tourism. These terms encompass various forms of tourism in which funding of a community is a byproduct of tourism. In terms of tourists in schools, there are various forms of such tourism including volunteer tourism, service-learning tourism, or “slum” reality tourism. School-based tourism has developed as a version of tourism which incorporates elements of all these forms of tourism. One form of school-based tourism is the school tour. In the school tour, tourists are guided by children to visit and enter every classroom in the school and are permitted to engage with students in a range of ways, from taking photographs of the children, classrooms, and grounds to helping with schoolwork or teaching an impromptu lesson. While school-based tourism can be viewed as a valuable economic undertaking for schools, for example, through funding of capital works and teacher salaries, such tourism can also create contradictions and dilemmas for the teachers and children.

Article

Urban Inequalities in Swedish Schools  

Nihad Bunar

Segregation, aspects of school choice policy, and symbolic representations are principal structural traits, although not the only ones, that generate and sustain the system of differences and urban inequalities in Swedish schools. Pertinent to all three traits are objectively and symbolically constructed boundaries between places, institutions, and groups. Segregation in an urban context means not just a physical separation of groups with unequal access to material resources and the means of their acquisition (education, network), but also a symbolic collapse of a society into place-making dichotomies: we and them, Swedes and immigrants, suburbs and inner-cities. Assets ostensibly appreciated in the school market, such as a good school and a positive school culture, express the arbitrary nature of their symbolic construction. What is recognized as a good school is equally a matter of statistical figures proving its competitiveness and the assumed qualities of its student composition. Major policy interventions for reducing urban inequalities in schools could be divided into two segments: (a) the reinforcement-oriented policy provides additional support to schools and students in structurally disadvantaged areas, for example, more school personnel, higher salaries for teachers, more teachers in Swedish as a second language; (b) the close down and disperse-oriented policy identifies the very existence of schools with persistently low results in urban contexts as an inequality generating factor. Consequently, in the name of integration and reducing inequalities, those schools are increasingly being closed down and their students dispersed elsewhere. Neither policy has proven its capacity to unwaveringly address urban inequalities in Swedish schools.

Article

Dino Pacio Lindín and “The School in Apartments,” and a Learning-Service Program in Loisaida, New York  

Xosé Manuel Malheiro-Gutiérrez

In the early 1970s, a University of Rochester sociology professor of Galician origin carried out an interesting experiment in the Lower East Side of Manhattan with a group of university students. This experiment consisted of a solidary exchange through which the students taught English to the members of a marginalized community of Hispanic immigrants with few economic opportunities and who did not speak the English language. In exchange, the immigrants lodged the students in their houses. “The school in apartments,” a community learning-service program, was the basis for subsequent projects.

Article

Inclusive Education as a Human Right  

Ignacio Calderón-Almendros and Gerardo Echeita-Sarrionandia

Inclusive education has been internationally recognized as a fundamental human right for all, without exception. This international recognition seeks to address the dramatic inequality in current societies, since the enjoyment of the right to education for many disadvantaged people depends on it being inclusive. The recognition and enjoyment of this right requires a detailed analysis of the meaning and scope of inclusive education, as well as of the barriers and the main challenges faced. The consideration of inclusive education as a right, with its moral and legal implications, has been achieved to a large extent thanks to the political impact of diverse association movements of people with (dis)abilities. Paradoxically, many students with disabilities continue to be systematically segregated into special schools and classrooms, which violates their right to inclusive education. There is therefore much to learn from this contradiction. A lot also needs to be done to ensure the equal dignity and rights of people that experience exclusion and segregation associated with gender, social class, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, ability, etc. To this end, it is important to conceptually delimit the neoliberal domestication of a profoundly transformative term. The historical evolution of the recognition of inclusive education as a human right needs to be understood. There is also a need to consider the strength of the scientific evidence supporting it in order to counter certain views that question its relevance, despite them having been soundly refuted. Untangling these knots enables a more situated and realistic analysis to address some of the problems to be tackled in the implementation of inclusive education. This is a social and political endeavor that must break away from the market-oriented logic in education systems. It involves accepting that it is a fundamental right to be guaranteed through collective responsibility.

Article

Language Planning and Education in Asia  

M. Obaidul Hamid and Md Maksud Ali

The relationship between language planning and education is described by terms such as language in education planning (LEP), which is a subtype of language policy and planning (LPP). Although LEP is limited in scope because of its association with education only, it has attained special significance because the broader societal language policies are usually enacted through the mechanism of LEP. A survey of LEP in theoretical and empirical terms is reported. Theoretically, the examination of the nature, context, purpose, and process of LEP with reference to a framework for policy translation is followed by a discussion of various directions of research in LPP and LEP to provide an understanding of what questions have driven the field, and what theoretical and methodological resources have been deployed for research. The empirical examination focuses on language in education policy in Asia to provide an understanding of what languages have been prioritized, what types of language programs have been implemented, what linguistic perspectives have underpinned those languages and programs, and what linguistic and social outcomes have been reported for this linguistically and culturally diverse region in the world. The review of selective studies shows that LEP in Asia has prioritized national language and English, giving limited attention to local minority languages. Although there is a growing recognition of linguistic diversity and multilingualism across the world, Asia seems to be still dominated by monolingual ideologies as reflected in the language programs. The continued dominance of English, which is brought to schools and higher education institutions as a language subject and/or a medium of instruction, is another observation. Language testing, which works as de facto language policy, also endorses the hegemony of English given its perceived instrumental value as a global lingua franca in a neoliberal world. An overview of where LEP with reference to Asia currently stands and how it may evolve in the future marks the conclusion.

Article

Slow Violence and Schooling  

Leanne Higham

The concept of slow violence has broadened understandings of violence in ways that capture its spatial and temporal complexity, and that draw attention to its often-hidden operation. Since the 1960s and 1970s scholars of schooling and education have asked questions about power relations, inequalities, and injustices in schools, and in the early 21st century have turned their attention to affect and materiality. Although its conceptual predecessor, structural violence, has informed past education research, slow violence has not been widely taken up. This article explores the concept of slow violence, considering its relevance and use for education scholars concerned with the various mundane forms of violence enacted in schools, sometimes unintentionally, and often unnoticed. While the concept of slow violence is useful for thinking about everyday violence in this way, its real strength as a concept is lifted to view when considered in relation with affect in schooling and education.

Article

Women and Education in the Middle East and North Africa  

Shahrzad Mojab

Education as a right has been integral to a more than a century-long struggle by women for liberation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The region is vast and diverse in its history, culture, politics, language, and religion. Therefore, in the study of women and education in the MENA region, it is imperative to consider particularities of each nation’s different historical and political formation in tandem with universal forces, conditions, and structures that shape the success or failure of women’s access to and participation in education. Historically, the greatest leap forward in women’s education began from the mid-20th century onward. The political, social, and economic ebb and flow of the first two decades of the 21st century is reflected on women’s education. Thus, the analysis of the current conditions should be situated in the context of the past and the provision for the future. It is crucial to make references to earlier periods, especially where relevant, to anticolonial and national liberation struggles as well as modern nation-building and the women’s rights movements. The empirical evidence aptly demonstrates that in most of the countries in the region, women’s participation in secondary and higher education is surpassing that of men. However, neither their status nor their social mobility have been positively affected. Women’s demand for “bread, work, democracy, and justice” is tied to education in several ways. First, education is a site of social and political struggle. Second, it is an institution integral to the formation and expansion of capitalist imperialism in the MENA region. Last, education is constituted through, not separated from, economic and political relations. The absence of some themes in the study of women and education reflects this structural predicament. Topics less studied are women as teachers and educators; women and teachers’ union; women and religious education and seminaries; women and the missionary schools; women in vocational education; women and the study abroad programs; girls in early childhood education; women and mother tongue education; women and the education of minorities; women and continuing education; women and academic freedom; and women and securitization of education. To study these themes also requires a range of critical methodological approaches. Some examples are ethnographical studies of classrooms, institutional ethnographies of teachers’ unions, analysis of memoirs of teachers and students, and critical ethnography of students’ movements. The proposed theoretical and methodological renewal is to contest the tendency in the study of education in the MENA region that renders patriarchal state and capitalism invisible.