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Article

Embedding Sustainability in Teacher Education in Australia  

Lisa D. Ryan and Jo-Anne L. Ferreira

The role of education in addressing environmental and sustainability concerns has been recognized since the 1960s, with contemporary education for sustainable development (ESD) approaches seeking to prepare students to be active citizens with the knowledge, skills, and capacities to successfully address sustainability challenges. Given the focus on education as a key strategy, there have also been numerous international initiatives seeking to reorient teacher education for sustainability (TEfS), including providing curriculum resources for teacher educators, upskilling teacher educators, building communities of practice, and developing ESD competency frameworks. Despite these efforts, few teacher education institutions embed such work, resulting in limited skills and capabilities among teacher educators to teach active citizenship for sustainability. Barriers to effective TEfS include compartmentalization of disciplines and the prioritization of other curriculum areas such as numeracy and literacy, and this has compounded the problem. A case study of a decade-long project, Embedding Teacher Education for Sustainability in Australia, demonstrates how systems approaches to change that build common visions, identifying and working with all stakeholders within a system, can lead to positive TEfS outcomes. There are key lessons to be learned from this project, which might inform a future model for embedding sustainability in teacher education in other countries. Using a systems approach to change that recognizes key drivers of teacher education, such as governmental policy and teacher accreditation, and that advocates for the inclusion of ESD into teacher standards should be a key priority action if ESD is to be successfully embedded within teacher education.

Article

The Philosophy of Mathematics Education  

Catherine Henney and Kurt Stemhagen

The philosophy of mathematics education (PoME) is a field of inquiry that pursues questions arising from the long tradition of mathematics as a school subject. An integrated area of study, PoME draws on other established disciplines such as philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of education. However, propositions and theses within PoME also have implications for the theory and practice of mathematics education. Rather than actively blurring boundaries among contributory disciplines, PoME is a subdiscipline that reflects their inherent interdependence. Many of PoME’s core questions address the very nature of mathematics, how we come to learn it, and the historical and contemporary aims of mathematics education. Though not the first to address these individual lines of inquiry, Paul Ernest’s The Philosophy of Mathematics Education (1991) may be regarded as PoME’s inaugural text. His landmark publication also demonstrated how philosophical inquiry may guide critical analysis of educational practices and policies. Questions about what mathematics is are not disentangled from those about its teaching and learning. Thus, PoME demonstrates a kind of internal elasticity: how we answer one question has a bearing on how we might answer another. For example, is mathematics something “found” or “made”? The perception of mathematics—how we tend to characterize its nature—can underscore beliefs about mathematics pedagogy. The view of mathematics as a cultural construct (rather than an absolute body of knowledge and related skills) likely dovetails with a constructivist pedagogical approach. But at the same time, such a view of mathematics may encounter ideological tension, if not outright resistance, in sociopolitical arenas. Reconceptualizing mathematics and mathematics education may be considered philosophical endeavors that challenge dominant assumptions and build frameworks with the potential to make mathematics fundamentally more inclusive. The story of PoME is the story of its genesis, its role in imagining a more equitable and humanistic school math experience, and the need to make room for new, alternative approaches and viewpoints that honor the radical spirit in which PoME was developed.

Article

Critical Policy Discourse Analysis in Higher Education  

Jane Mulderrig

Critical Policy Discourse Analysis (CPDA) is a method for critically investigating the linguistic mechanisms by which education policy is constituted and contested in specific contexts. It involves a systematic methodology for textual and contextual analysis, designed to explore historically specific policy problems and their ideological significance. The analytical procedures involved in this approach are illustrated by means of a case study examining the introduction of quality-assurance governance practices and market-oriented reforms to U.K. higher education (HE). Specifically, the “Teaching Excellence Framework,” introduced in 2017, has two core purposes: to audit and rank universities by teaching quality and to open up the university market to private (for-profit) providers. The two main government documents which introduced this policy are examined in order to explore the prominent themes within this policy, as well as the linguistic strategies that contribute to its ideological framing. A critical investigation of the language through which this policy was introduced and legitimated reveals the neoliberal principles which underpin it and demonstrates how it operates as a dehumanizing technique of calculation and surveillance, while subordinating universities’ societal role to the needs of the economy. Corpus-aided methods are combined with a framework for close textual analysis of policy data, focussing on presuppositions, evaluation, modality and pronouns. The analysis shows the systematic linguistic processes by which student-consumer subjectivities are constructed and the rhetoric of “choice” and “value for money” is (mis)represented as the key to greater access and social mobility for students. This policy takes a significant step toward recasting educational relations in extrinsic, exchange-value terms, which are deeply damaging to universities’ original purpose of building communities of critical reflection, intellectual freedoms, and trust.

Article

Early Jesuit Visions of Education  

Rosa Bruno-Jofré and Ana Jofre

Founded by Ignacio de Loyola, the Society of Jesus was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540 and suppressed by Pope Clement XIV in 1773. The Jesuits’ vision of education, which was transformative and student centered, thus showing awareness of the rise of individuality, was framed by The Spiritual Exercises (1548), Chapter IV of their Constitutions (1558), and, especially, the Ratio Studiorum (1599). Their conception of education integrated humanism and medieval scholasticism, embraced Aristotelian conceptions, and adopted the theology of Thomas Aquinas. It intersected humanism and confessionalization. A major aim was to prepare a male Catholic leadership for the new order of things; hence, the emphasis was on the creation of colleges and also universities. Funding of their colleges and universities often led to questionable practices such as slavery. Their educational work was framed by a developing geopolitical context of coloniality, and the ministry followed colonization and trade involving the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Europe, generating powerful networks and embodying a form of globalism with precursory transnational characteristics. The Jesuits often acted as cultural brokers and interlocutors with local cultures. See interactive map. There was an interplay between the Jesuits’ educational work and their research in math and areas of science with the contextual intellectual and political configurations of emerging ideas and discoveries, particularly in the 16th and 17th centuries, and they tried a degree of articulation with new ideas. The 17th century witnessed the dispute of the Jesuits with the Jansenists around human freedom and divine grace, as well as the decline of scholasticism and Aristotelianism, but also a spiritual renewal that opened the Church to the needs of the people, resulting in basic education for poor children as a response to the Reformation, while the 18th century brought a scientific and philosophical movement. Within the patriarchal setting of the Church, there was a realization that women were needed outside the cloister in the educational enterprise. The 18th-century scenario was not easy for the Jesuits, who could not articulate their thinking within new emerging configurations of political and intellectual ideas as they had done in the 16th century. Interaction with location, the historicity of experience, and the Jesuits’ search for knowledge and the role the schools played in the formation of thinkers of modernity give reasons, among others, to decenter the analysis of the Society. See concept map of contexts.

Article

Imaginative Ecological Education: Evolution of a Theory and Practice  

Gillian Judson

Imaginative Ecological Education (IEE) is an emerging cross-curricular and cross-grade pedagogical approach that seeks to address the neglect of emotional and imaginative engagement in Place-based learning. Its dual aims are to engage learners emotionally with the natural world and, ultimately, to transform how learners understand their relationship within the natural world. Understanding ecologically or the development of ecological understanding is the main goal; this represents a deep understanding of human connectedness within the living world. To achieve this goal, Imaginative Ecological Education acknowledges the central role of emotion in all learning and considers the value of emotional engagement not just for learning, but for supporting connections to nature that inspire environmental values and action. This pedagogical approach brings imagination from the sidelines to the centre of theory and practice, acknowledging that imagination is essential for engaging in learning and transforming human-nature relationships. Envisioning the possible, the not-yet, requires imagination. The central focus on emotional and imaginative engagement of learners within Place-focused teaching is what sets Imaginative Ecological Education apart from other approaches to outdoor learning. Imaginative Ecological Education theory and practice is evolving based on practitioner feedback and research.A Walking Curriculum: Evoking Wonder and Developing Sense of Place (K-12) is the most practical and accessible book on Imaginative Ecological Education. It contains a series of walking-focused activities that engage the principles of Imaginative Ecological Education in order to support emotional connections in learning. To date this approach has been most employed in the elementary school context. Research suggests that Imaginative Ecological Education practices support learners in forming emotional connections with and in the natural world.

Article

Researching Relationships Between Rural Education, Space and Social Justice  

Hernan Cuervo

The relationship between rural schooling, space, and theories of justice is important to understand the challenges and opportunities faced by individuals (e.g., students, teachers, principals) learning and teaching in rural places. To understand these challenges and opportunities, social justice needs to be comprehended at the level and setting where it is being enacted. This need for a contextualization of social justice, rather than universal and impartial notions of the concept, contributes to make visible the structures and relationships that constitute the space of rural schooling. This is important because the entrenched inequities experienced by rural school participants (e.g., students, staff, and the community) can only be fully addressed through a plural conceptualization and practice of social justice. This plurality needs to include a politics of distribution and a politics of recognition if it aims to make rural school spaces equitable and just. The work of Iris Marion Young, Nancy Fraser, and Axel Honneth has been key to theorize the plural conceptualization of social justice in the intersection with space and rural education. Their scholarly work has been crucial because traditionally, a politics of distribution has tended to be the main social justice dimension applied in educational policies to redress perennial inequalities, such as shortage of staffing. This has produced a shortcoming and one-size-fits-all approach that can homogenize the diversity of rural spaces and schools. Against this dominance of distributive justice, a politics of recognition, through the work of Young, Fraser, and Honneth, is key to enhance the resignification and value of the rural space, knowledge, and schooling. To illustrate the need for a plural approach to social justice, two issues in rural education are particularly important: the constitution of the rural school curriculum and the perennial problem of recruiting and retaining school staff. While distribution of resources is important, at the core of both issues is a need for the social respect and cultural resignification of rural knowledge, experiences, and ways of life. This approach that takes recognition theory seriously into account, as well as distributive justice, helps to better understand how rural schooling can be socially just.

Article

Teacher Education in Poland  

Joanna Madalinska-Michalak

Teacher education in Poland is viewed as a lifelong journey, encompassing preservice training, induction, and ongoing professional development. The primary emphasis is on empowering teachers as perpetual learners and tailoring their education to meet individual needs, as well as the needs of educational institutions and students. In Poland, teacher education is deeply integrated with higher education and has been shaped by substantial reforms. The current landscape of teacher education in Poland is a result of significant reforms initiated by the state, aligning with the Bologna process. The Bologna process aims to harmonize higher education systems across Europe by establishing the European Higher Education Area. This facilitates student and staff mobility, enhances inclusivity and accessibility, and boosts the competitiveness of European higher education globally. The changes in teacher education in Poland have also emphasized quality assurance, qualifications frameworks, recognition processes, and more. The overarching objective is to elevate the quality of teaching and learning. Comparative analysis of Poland’s teacher education system and international findings suggests several policy initiatives that should be implemented. These initiatives can be broadly categorized into two sets: strategies aimed at improving the status and competitiveness of the teaching profession, and targeted approaches for attracting and retaining specific types of teachers, particularly in specific schools. To enhance teacher education in Poland, recommendations include limiting the number of teacher education candidates based on demand, increasing funding, and implementing more selective admission processes within higher education institutions. Moreover, strengthening support for teacher mentors and improving the socioprofessional position of teachers is seen as essential. Attracting and recruiting the best teachers in Poland is a critical challenge, particularly in the face of emerging trends and teacher shortages. To address this issue effectively, it is essential to improve the image of the teaching profession, enhance working conditions, and provide incentives for aspiring educators. Additionally, more flexible teacher education programs that accommodate a diverse range of candidates and prepare teachers for the changing educational landscape are necessary to ensure a continuous supply of high-quality teachers.

Article

Biotypology, Body, Sex, Gender, and Sports in the Formation of Physical Education Teachers in Uruguay, 1948–1967  

Paola Dogliotti Moro and Evelise Amgarten Quitzau

Biotypology was the Latin branch of eugenics. In Uruguay, biotypology had mainly instrumental and practical implementations in physical education and sports. Between 1948 and 1967, it was part of the Academic Programmes incorporated into the Higher Institute of Physical Education teacher training curricula and influenced other subjects taught at the institute. The work of Italian physician Nicola Pende was highly influential on Uruguayan biotypology. Many Higher Institute of Physical Education students produced degree theses explicitly based on Pende’s ideas. In these theses, there is an articulation between biology and psychology to determine and adapt physical education to different stages of individual development. Biomedical knowledge, mainly based on endocrinology, was used to determine the most suitable bodily practices for men and women. This knowledge was also used to assess normality standards for men and women, establishing the “normal” behavior, exercises, and physical performances that should be observed and trained by physical education teachers. Thus, the most practical and evident expression of eugenics in the field of physical education and sport in Uruguay was developed based on biotypological premises through a specific local and instrumental translation shaped by a mixture of measuring instruments and techniques, rates, and coefficients of Latin origin (influenced by Nicola Pende’s ideas), complemented with anthropometric measurements of Saxon influence. These premises directly impacted the students’ ideas on physical exercise, health, sport, and gender. Uruguayan biotypology’s postulates promoted a differentiated, binary, exclusionary physical education between men and women. It delineated specific body types for each one and particular ways of being, behaving, and moving that placed women in a lower hierarchy, which was reinforced and articulated with other social inequalities.

Article

Pedagogical Renewal and Teacher Training in Spain in the Early 20th Century  

Jordi Garcia Farrero and Àngel Pascual Martín

What type of institutions prevailed in teacher training in Europe during the first decades of the 20th century? What was the reception of the German, French, or English models in Spain? What type of dialogue did Spanish teachers establish with the Escuela Nueva movement? What pedagogical elements were adopted to configure a new type of teacher, accounting for the different situations of the time? There is no doubt that teacher training, throughout the period mentioned, became one of the main educational and political issues. Teachers were among the fundamental actors, together with the pupils and the contents to be transmitted; the aim was that educational practices typical of the pedagogical renewal movement would take place in schools. Thus, a generation of innovative teachers had the opportunity, thanks to a scholarship from the Junta para la Ampliación de Estudios e Investigaciones Científicas (1907–1939), to attend different teacher training colleges in Europe. This is fundamental for understanding the creation of the Escuela de Estudios Superiores del Magisterio (1909–1932) and, of course, the Plan Profesional of the Republican government (1932–1939). In short, the main innovations coming from the European movements of pedagogical renewal in the field of teacher training are those related to the incorporation of a non-encyclopedic general culture and pedagogical training, either theoretical, as in the history of education courses, or practical, by learning a wide range of new teaching methods.

Article

Reforming Approaches to Persistent Bullying in Schools  

Deborah M. Green, Barbara A. Spears, and Deborah A. Price

Bullying remains a global issue, and persistent bullying among students in schools has become of increasing interest and concern. Extensive research has provided insights into the developmental trajectories of those who bully; however, less is understood about why they either continue to engage in bullying behavior or desist over time. Persistent bullies, those who seem to continue or increase their bullying behaviors over time, not only negatively impact individuals and communities both during their schooling and long after graduation but also experience negative life outcomes as a result of their behavior. It is therefore important to understand what contributes to, supports, or motivates their ongoing bullying behavior: especially when interventions and preventative approaches employed by schools to reduce bullying, have to date, been found not to be universally successful. This is particularly important, as interventions and approaches to reduce bullying behavior, have until the early 21st century been largely measured against and are relevant to Olweus’s traditional bullying definition, which references power imbalances, repetition, and intent to harm and rests largely within the developmental psychology domain. In the early 21st century, debates to contemporize the definition, however, involve contributions from other paradigms designed to bring a more holistic, nuanced understanding of the whole socio-educational context of bullying. This may eventually bring different insights to the issue of persistent bullying, as it would include, for example, an understanding of the broader notions of societal power, individual agency, privilege, and bias-based bullying, potentially resulting in better preventative and intervention outcomes to address bullying more generally, and persistent bullying specifically. Whereas school reform often refers to the process of making changes in educational policy or practice, usually in response to concerns about student academic achievement, behavioral issues such as bullying, which impact wellbeing, engagement, and, ultimately, achievement, also require similar “reforms” to policy and practice. Significantly, such reforms demand evidence to ensure there are no unintended or iatrogenic consequences, such as, for example, the escalation or continuation of bullying behaviors. Reforming approaches to understanding, preventing, and effectively intervening with those who persist in bullying others, a unique subset who seem resistant or immune to bullying prevention and intervention approaches used in the early 21st century, are therefore necessary and timely given the extant knowledge about bullying and victimization derived from the past 30-plus years of research. Knowing more about those who appear immune to intervention and prevention approaches used in the early 21st century, their lived experiences, the contexts that may serve to support and maintain their behaviors, and the community’s view of them, is imperative if approaches are to be reformed in response which subsequently bring about change in schools to reduce bullying. Reforming approaches at the whole-school level are considered, which simultaneously employ a multi-tiered system of behavioral support within the school setting for all students: where specific supports are targeted and enacted for those who persist in bullying, alongside strategies for those victimized, in a climate where all bullying is universally rejected. This approach sits alongside the notion of a whole education approach recommended by the UNESCO scientific committee on school violence. This recognizes that a wider community approach is needed, which acknowledges the interconnectedness of the school, the community, and the technological, educational, and societal systems.