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Article

Gender and Technologies of Embodiment  

Heather Greenhalgh-Spencer

Defining gender through the exploration of technologies of embodiment opens the door for analysis of the ways that gender functions in our complex world. While there are multiple scholars that analyze gender and embodiment, that scholarship falls short when it either erases or creates too heavy a boundary around what it means to be gendered and embodied. There are several key scholars that draw attention to the ways that gender, and technologies of gender, enflesh our understanding of how gender operates. These key scholars include Donna Haraway, Judith Butler, Elizabeth Grosz, Robert McRuer, Irene Dankelman, and Chandra Mohanty. Donna Haraway, Judith Butler, and others tend to enact an erasure of physical bodies by either insisting on a subversion of physicality and the physical in general, or defining physical embodiment so narrowly that some embodied experiences suffer an elision. In the desire to erase boundaries of normativity and essentialism, Haraway and Butler erase the physical and material lived experiences of embodiment. These positions do not get at the complex nature of embodiment. On the other hand, the works of Elizabeth Grosz, Robert McRuer, Irene Dankelman, and Chandra Mohanty reflect the complexities, localizations, and materialities of gendered embodiment. These scholars argue for resistance to oppressive societal norms, ideologies, and practices, while also highlighting the eminent physicality of embodiment, as well as its contingent positionality in society.

Article

Approaches to Education for Sustainability  

Robert B. Stevenson

Approaches to education for sustainability, or education for sustainable development, have diversified since the normative concepts of sustainability and sustainable development came into common international policy discourse in the late 1980s. These terms and their conceptualization, somewhat controversially, largely replaced environmental education in international rhetoric and policies. The dominant goal of approaches to environmental education to this point had been promoting environmentally responsible individual behavior through increasing awareness and knowledge of the natural environment and issues related to its protection. This approach began to be critiqued as inadequate for understanding, accounting for, or responding to the complexity, unpredictability, and contestation of sustainability issues, as well as the sociocultural, economic, and political influences shaping such issues as climate change and loss of biodiversity. More discursive and collaborative approaches were conceptualized, such as engaging students in critical issue- or problem-based inquiries, including into the influence of institutional arrangements, social structures, and cultural features on unsustainable practices that characterize socially critical approaches. Action competence approaches provide a conceptual and pedagogical model for developing student capacities to engage in individual and collective local issue-based inquiries and civic actions on urgent socioecological issues to contribute to a more sustainable community. Social and sociocultural learning approaches offer a framework for and emphasize the potential meaningful learning that occurs from bringing individuals or communities together to share, discuss, and reflect on cognitive and normative understandings of local and global socioecological issues. Expanding on the identified positive elements of the previously mentioned approaches, an extension of a socioecological approach in the form of a critical socioecological justice approach embraces the development of a critical and transformative responsiveness to issues of people and place. In such an approach, sociocultural, ecological, and economic sustainability, as well as socioeconomic and environmental justice, could be addressed in grappling with the challenge of rebalancing human–environment and human–human relations. This perspective acknowledges that beyond the ecological imperative, there is a moral imperative to alleviate human suffering and provide basic material well-being for all humankind, such that sustainability has a concern for the human condition as well as the environmental condition.

Article

Interpreting and Using Basil Bernstein’s Sociology of Education  

Henry Kwok and Parlo Singh

For four decades, Basil Bernstein developed a distinct and original contribution to the sociology of education. Despite his death in 2000, Bernstein’s theories still attract attention, not just in the United Kingdom, but all over the world, beyond Anglophone academic circuits. Yet, his work is sometimes regarded as too theoretical with minor significance to current educational issues and problems. Is Bernstein’s sociological theory relevant to the challenges of the 21st century? How should his work and research approach be understood and better utilized? While not claiming an orthodox interpretation, we do suggest that three crucial principles should underpin any engagement with t Bernstein’s theory for educational research. First, the researcher’s encounter with a specific problem in empirical reality is pivotal. Concepts which carry sociological sensibilities should be assembled around the problem. Second, while Bernstein has developed a bewildering array of concepts, it is better to use them lightly, for the sake of a more accurate description of complex, open, dynamic social systems such as education and schooling. Third, the gaze of Bernstein’s sociological theory is relational not only towards the object of inquiry but also to other theoretical frameworks. This relational gaze means that the theory can be used to dialogue with other theories as well as open dynamic social systems. Such relational capacities enable the theory to grow through the refinement and extension of existing concepts and the introduction of additional concepts. Three examples of research drawing upon these principles are provided as an illustration.

Article

Critical Discourse Analysis and Information and Communication Technology in Education  

Cheryl Brown

Critical discourse analysis (CDA) is a cross-disciplinary methodological and theoretical approach. At its core CDA explores the intersections between discourse, critique, power, and ideology which hold particular values for those teaching in developing contexts. CDA has emerged as a valuable methodological approach in cultural and media studies and has increased in prominence since the 2010s in education research where it is drawn on to explore educational policy, literacy education, and identity. This research has intersected with the field of information systems which has explored the dominant discourses and discursive practice of how information and communication technologies (ICTs) are viewed in policy and the contradictions between rhetoric and reality. It has also been drawn on in research in developing contexts to critique the role of ICTs in education. A brief historical background to CDA and overview of the key components of the approach will be provided. How CDA has been drawn on in educational studies will be examined and research on CDA will be highlighted to explore discursive practices of students and the influence of students’ digital identities on their engagement with and experience of online learning. By focusing on four key constructs of CDA—namely meaning, context, identity, and power—the potential of CDA to critically investigate how students’ are constructing their technological identity in an increasingly digital world will be demonstrated, particularly as examples of research emanating from developing contexts will be drawn.

Article

Autism, Neurodiversity, and Inclusive Education  

Sara M. Acevedo and Emily A. Nusbaum

A brief history of the emergence of the inclusive schools movement demonstrates its reliance on the pathologizing paradigms that are both the foundations and frameworks of traditional special education. Throughout this recent history, the utilization of a positivist approach to research and practice for autistic students, both those who are segregated and those who have access to mainstream classrooms, has maintained a person-fixing ideology. Instead, a neurodiversity framework adopts an integrative approach, drawing on the psychosocial, cultural, and political elements that effectively disrupt the systematic categorization of alternative neurological and cognitive embodiment(s) and expressions as a host of threatening “disorders” that must be dealt with by cure, training, masking, and/or behavioral interventions to be implemented in the classroom. Centering the personal, lived experiences and perspectives of autistic and otherwise neurodivergent activists and scholars affiliated with the U.S. neurodiversity movement offers an emancipatory lens for representing and embodying neurological differences beyond traditional special education’s deficit-based discourses and practices. This emphasis on political advocacy and cultural self-authorship effectively challenges unexamined, universalizing assumptions about whose bodyminds are “educable” and under what auspices “educability” is conceptualized and written into special-education curricula.