23 SES 03 B, Globalization, Europeanization and Education (Part 1)
Paper Session: to be continued in 23 SES 04 B, 23 SES 05 B
Acting as “a spatial frame within which policy discourses and policy formulation are now set” (Ball, 2013: 28) globalisation has allegedly contributed to the internationalisation of educational trends. According to Giddens (1996: 367) “globalisation is not just an “out there” phenomenon. It refers not only to the emergence of large-scale world systems, but to transformation in the very texture of everyday life”. In light of the above and more precisely within the education field, ideas, policies and programmes that are being applied and enacted within the setting of a country tend to ‘flow’ around the globe and be transferred to other settings. This is what Stone (2001) calls “policy convergence” and “policy transfer”. Within this broad setting of mobile education policies, we are focusing on the International Baccalaureate schools (henceforth called IB schools). Established in 1968 as a non-profit educational foundation, the International Baccalaureate is hardly new. Nevertheless over the past few years the programme has met an unprecedented growth, especially in Greece. Although originally the aim for the IB schools was to respond to a set of operational needs, they gradually seemed to gain high levels of credibility and to foster the ground for the development of a certain culture, i.e. the tomorrow’s cosmopolitans, or what is also called the tomorrow’s elites.
What are we exactly interested in? The reproductive role of education (Bourdieu; 1984; Bourdieu and Passeron 1970) as well as the construction of elites within the school setting have triggered a large amount of studies. The school culture of tomorrow’s elites and its reproduction has generated a voluminous body of literature (Daverne and Dutercq, 2009; van Zanten, 2010). However, to an extent the focus of school choice studies was hitherto driven towards the school choices made by the parents (Crozier et al, 2008; Ball et al, 2004; Ball and Vincent, 2007), on one hand, and on the other hand, towards the trajectories and the choices of students in tertiary education (Rizvi, 2005; Brooks and Waters, 2009). In addition to this, many of the studies were localised and centralised (Crozier et al, 2008; Ball and Vincent, 2007). Nevertheless, according to Wagner (2007) the reproduction and construction of social classes is now extending beyond the national borders. In light of the above it appears that this study was an attempt to shift away from the parental school choice issues and focus on the representations of students while they are still within the secondary school setting, as well as on the construction of a school and social elite (see Merle, 1998). Calling students to elaborate on how they see themselves in the future, the study aimed at delineating the representations of children who are following the IB programme. The overarching research question was, primarily, if a certain social imaginary (Castoriadis, 2005) is being developed in IB schools, one which differs from that of the common schools in relation to the educational and vocational choices of children. To a further extent, we aimed at eliciting the elements of this particular social imaginary. To reiterate, what is the rationale of these schools and what are the main characteristics of the elites being fostered within them? Ultimately, we aspired to identify if and to what extent the representations of the children, in the way they are expressing themselves, link to the development of the IB programme within a global student elite.
Ball, S. J. (2013). The education debate, 2nd edition. The Policy Press. Ball, S. J., Vincent, C., Kemp, S. and Pietikainen, S. (2004). Middle class fractions, childcare and the ‘relational’ and ‘normative’ aspects of class practices. The Sociological Review, 52: 478–502. Ball, S.J. and Vincent, C. (2007). Education, Class Fractions and the Local Rules of Spatial Relations. Urban Studies, 44: 7. 1175-1189. Bernstein, B. (1971). Class, Code and Control: Theoretical studies towards a sociology of language, vol.1. London: Routledge. Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction, A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Harvard University Press. Bourdieu, P. and Passeron J.-C. (1970). La reproduction. Eléments pour une théorie dy système d’esneignement. Les Editions de Minuit. Brooks, R. and Waters, J. (2009). A Second Chance at ‘Success’: UK Students and Global Circuits of Higher Education. Sociology, 43: 1085-1102. Castoriadis, C. (2005). The imaginary institution of society. Polity Press. Crozier, G., Reay, D. James, D., Jamieson, F., Beedell, P., Hollingworth, S. and Williams, K. (2008). White middle-class parents, identities, educational choice and the urban comprehensive school: dilemmas, ambivalence and moral ambiguity. British Journal of sociology of Education, 29:3, 261-272. Daverne, C. & Dutercq, Y. (2009). Les élèves de l’élite scolaire : une autonomie sous contrôle familial. Cahier de la recherche sur l’education et les savoirs, 8. http://cres.revues.org/527?lang=en#entries (Accessed : 31.01.2014) Giddens, A. (1996). Introduction to Sociology. New York, NY: W.W. Norton. Katsis, A., Limakopoulou, A. (2005). The determination of the optimal sample size for reliability scales in social sciences. Proceedings of the 18th Hellenic Statistics Conference. http://stat-athens.aueb.gr/~esi/proceedings/18/pdf/435-440.pdf (Accessed: 30.01.2014). Merle, P. (1998). Sociologie de l’évaluation scolaire. ParisM PUF. Rizvi, F. (2005). International education and the production of cosmopolitan identities. Transnational Seminar Series at the Univeristy of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. p. 1-11 Stone, D. (2001). Learning Lessons, Policy Transfer and the International Diffusion of Policy Ideas. CSGR Working Paper No. 69/01. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR), University of Warwick, Coventry, UK. van Zanten, A. (2010). The sociology of elite education, in M. W. Apple, S. J. Ball and L. A. Gandin (eds) The Routledge International Handbook of the Sociology of Education. London: Routledge. Wagner, C. (2007) Les classes sociales dans la mondialisation, Paris, La Découverte.
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