07 SES 06 C JS, Overcoming School Failure & Enhancing Social Cohesion in Diverse Communities
Joint Paper Session NW 07 and NW 14
Recently the social impact of research has emerged as one of the most pressing demands to all scientific fields. The social sciences, in particular, have been affected by this trend and questioned more lately on impact than have other sciences. This recent but powerful debate claims for the accountability of research in terms of social impact to lead for social improvements. Social impact has been defined as “social improvements achieved as a consequence of implementing the results of a particular research project or study” (IMPACT-EV, 2014-2017).
Educational research cannot be not left out of this debate. If our knowledge should go beyond the Ivory Tower and improve children’s learning and development, then advancing knowledge for its own sake is not enough (Ball, 2012). This common concern about how research contributes to improve peoples’ lives and provide concrete benefits to educational practices and policies is present in all dimensions of the public sphere. This paper aims at examining the social impact of the EU-funded research INCLUD-ED, Strategies for Inclusion and Social Cohesion in Europe through Education (2006-2011) achieved in schools and communities, and particularly its extension with the ChiPE project (2013-2015) in Spain and the UK as a result of implementing two interventions named: Interactive Groups and Dialogic Literary Gatherings. Following up this project, two ERASMUS+ grants (SEAs4All, 2016-2018; STEPS4SEAS, 2017-2019), and one Spanish National Grant, IMP-EXIT (2016-2018) have been successfully funded and are now on-going.
The theoretical underpinnings of these interventions, IG and DLG, include Flecha’s theory of Dialogic Learning (Flecha, 2000) articulated though seven principles on the basis that “learning primarily depends on the interactions and dialogues that the students have, not only with teachers but also with the other students, their families and other members of the community’ (Flecha, 2015, p. 71). This approach is eminently transformative building on Vygotsky’s socio-cultural theory wherein development is seen as a process of transformation (Stetsenko, 2016) or Freire’s dialogic action theory for overcoming oppression and injustice (Freire, 1970), amongst others.
Interactive groups (IG) and Dialogic Literary gatherings (DLG): DLGs were identified firstly as a Successful Educational Actions for improving achievement and social cohesion in the INCLUD-ED project, the only Social Science and Humanities (SSH) research selected among the ten success stories highlighted by the European Union. This project has been shown to achieve social impact according to the criteria defined by the Social Impact Open Repository (SIOR), launched by the European Commission and recently published in Nature (Flecha, Soler & Sorde, 2015). INCLUD-ED provides evidence on metrics such as social improvement, transferability to diverse populations or social contexts.
Through the analysis of the research results published in papers, reports and further research projects generated we aim to answer the following research question: in what ways can the social impact of educational research be measured, widened and expanded to benefit schools and communities in Europe?
Ball, A. (2012). To Know Is Not Enough: Knowledge, Power, and the Zone of Generativity. Educational Researcher, 41, 283-293. Flecha, R. (2000). Sharing words: Theory and practice of dialogic learning. Rowman & Littlefield. Flecha, R. (Ed.) (2015). Successful educational actions for inclusion and social cohesion in Europe. Springer. Flecha R., Soler M. & Sorde T. (2015). Social Impact: Europe must fund social sciences. Nature 528 (193). doi:10.1038/528193d Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum. IMPACT-EV (2014-2017). Evaluating the impact and outcomes of European SSH Research. 7th Framework Programme. European Commission. Accessed at: http://impact-ev.eu/ IMP-EXIT (2016-2018). Impacto de los Entornos Interactivos de Aprendizaje en el Éxito Académico y Social. Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad. Accessed at: http://imp-exit.deusto.es/ INCLUD-ED (2006-2011). Strategies for inclusion and social cohesion from education in Europe. INTEGRATED PROJECT Priority 7. 6th Framework Programme. European Commission. Accessed at: http://creaub.info/included/ SEAS4ALL (2015- 2017). Schools as Learning Communities in Europe: Successful Educational Actions for all. ERASMUS +. European Commission. Accessed at: http://seas4all.eu/ Stetsenko, A. (2016) ‘Vygotsky’s Project: From Relational Ontology to Transformative Worldview’, in The Transformative Mind: Expanding Vygotsky’s Approach to Development and Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 115–155
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