23 SES 01 D, Marketisation in Education
This study targets to examine the specific characteristics towards the educational practices of "protectionism" of parents in Greece in public and private education. Particularly, we want to elucidate their complex rationalization system in relation to the practices they use for the successful schooling of their children and also to illustrate how they give meaning to the implications deriving related to the development of various forms of socio-educational inequalities, such as the configuration of pupils' school map through “school choice” and the strengthen of extracurricular activities (tutorials) through the intensification of students.
The socio - political conjuncture in Europe is characterized by a prolonged economic crisis and simultaneously a crisis of social institutions. In Greece, this continued situation has further distorted social cohesion, leading privileged groups into economical and social-cultural capital to develop strategies of "protectionism" as a "counterbalance" to the inadequacy of social state and a reflection of "parental anxiety". This is depicted through practices developed by parents who uncover parental involvement in school choice by excluding specific schools (Maloutas, 2006) seeking to obtain a cultural and social capital through them (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1970), and by resorting to private education using a variety of tutoring organizations (Kassotakis & Verdis, 2013), creating in this way plenty of educational and social - spatial inequalities (Van Zanten, 2009).
According to the current legislation the distribution of students in public schools depends on their proximity to the pupil’s residential address. However, empirical evidence highlight that families bypass this criterion by changing residence, ie "they develop specific spatial practices seeking the accessibility of their children in schools with students of good performance and avoid those who have a poor reputation (Tsakiris 1999, p.410).
Despite the general economic hardship parents invest continuously to their children's education. Studies show that in times of economic recession and unemployment, education is transformed into a defensive tool which works as a competitive advantage (Duru - Bellat, 2009) of choice which involve commitment both in time and money. Therefore, this constructed school time (curriculum, homework study, tutorials) often works as a "workload" for students who disregard the social norms of its construction.
The existing "symbolic violence"(Bourdieu, 2004) invites students to adapt their biorhythms to a suffocating context determined by both the curriculum and parental investment which reflects the educational and professional expectations of parents for their child (Ball, Bowe & Gewirtz, 1997), disrupting student's contribution to the social construction of this time.
“School burnout” has been defined as the emotional exhaustion and chronic fatigue due to excessive school demands (Salmela-Aro et al, 2009). An important factor relevant to its emergence, is the socio-economic background and the burden derived on students who have to cope with the "cultural deficit" (Bourdieu - Passeron, 1970). However, students of an advantage cultural background, show symptoms of stress and exhaustion too, resulting from their hyper-intensification (Zaralidis, 2015).
The question arises is how a student, under the circumstances of a strictly predetermined daily timetable, will be able to develop the required social skills and abilities to join the 21st century society, where a state of justice, social justice and intercultural solidarity and coexistence (Lavdas & Chrysochou, 2008) remain open challenges, especially for the younger generation.
These salient issues towards the global scientific community, in Greece, although they do exist as practices of widespread acceptance and despite the fact of being key issues that traditionally concern the public discourse (restructuring of the Greek school, overloading of students, quality of schooling), they are not to be included in the agenda of educational policy makers, instead they are systematically degraded through silence.
An overview of the international research bibliography on issues related to parental educational practices, such as school choice and private tutoring support, suggests the conduction of empirical research. In this context, the qualitative research method is proposed to explore the issue as it allows a fuller understanding and analysis of the dimensions of the subject under study (Robson, 2007). In this respect, the methodological approach, which is proposed, is a semi-structured interview which allows the researcher to get in-depth information, while contributing to understanding social behaviors, attitudes and perceptions of respondents. Therefore, it is proposed to conduct interviews with parents to explore the issue of educational practices and expectations in the context of school choice and extra-curricular support and, by extension, the configuration of the school map. Furthermore, our aim is to highlight the peculiarities of the parental sample in the context of such "sensitive" issues. The fact that we are exploring issues related to subjective attitudes and perceptions requires the use of a qualitative methodology. Particularly, we use interviews in order to illuminate how social subjects perceive and give meaning to their actions, on issues that at the same time can create them feelings of guilt or embarrassment. The size of the sample will constitute a product of combining and reconciling a variety of research factors. The sampling mode will ensure the coverage of both urban and semi-urban areas and the coverage of different types of Secondary schools such as Public, Professional, Model Experimental and also Private schools. More specifically, semi-structured interviews will be held with parents in order to fully explore the issue of educational practices, school options and tutorial support from parents of different social categories.
As mentioned above, under a scientifical research in Greece, there are sporadic studies about deviation of school map and parental strategies of school selection, as well as extra-curricular support. The research approach of the issues mentioned above, will highlight the social dimensions and significations of educational practices of parents regarding school choice and tutoring in the context of ensuring their children's successful educational course. Additionally, the impact of these practices will be impressed on the socio-educational field, and their varied dimensions will be emerged in a context where the country is undergoing a prolonged economic and social crisis. Subsequently, we will highlight the impact of these practices in relation to the global level, where neo-liberal policies are dominant in educational field (Ball, 2010, Van Zanten, 2005), while, research and education policy underlines the importance of inclusive education (Slee, 2013) in order to promote social cohesion (European Commission, 2007). This study is part of a broader research project. Therefore, the results of this study can be used in the educational policy of our country and they will contribute to the awareness of issues related to school inequalities as well, which do exist, but are not recognized as real in the public discourse. We also expect empirical evidence to be useful in international surveys, which are dealing with similar issues.
Ball, S., (2010). New Class Inequalities in Education: Why Education Policy May Be Looking in the Wrong Place! Education Policy, Civil Society and Social Class, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol 30,Iss 3/4, p. 1-19 Ball, S., J. Bowe, R. Gewirtz, S. (1997) Circuits of Schooling: A Sociological Exploration of Parental Choice of School in Social-Class Contexts, in: Halsey, Lauder, Brown, Wells (eds), Education Culture, Economy Society (pp. 409-421), Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bourdieu, P. (2004). The forms of capital. In Ball., S.J. (ed), The RoutledgeFalmer Reader in Sociology of Education, (pp.15-26), London: Routledge Falmer Bourdieu, P. and Passeron, J.- Cl. (1970) La reproduction : éléments pour une théorie du système d’enseignement. Paris : Editions de Minuit. Duru-Bellat, M. (2009). About qualification inflation. Paper presented at the Key Note Talk, Workshop Transition in Youth, Dijon, September 17-19. European Commission (2007). Progress towards the Lisbon Objectives in Education and Training – Indicators and Benchmarks, SEC (2007) 1284, Brussels: European Commission, 2.10.2007 Kassotakis, M. & Verdis, A. (2013). Shadow Education in Greece: Characteristics, Consequences and Eradication Efforts. Ιn Bray, M., Mazawi, AE., Sultana, G. (Eds.). Private tutoring across the Mediterranean: power dynamics and implications for learning and equity. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. Lavdas, K. & Chrysochou, D.(2008). For a Common Public Culture in: Balias, S. (ed.), Active Citizen and Education, Papazisis, Athens, pp.234-262. Maloutas, Th. (2006) Educational strategies of middle classes and housing separation in Athens, Social Research Survey, volume 119,175-119 Robson, C. (2007). Real-world research: a tool for social scientists and professional researchers, Athens: Gutenberg Publications Salmela-Aro, K., Kiuru, N., Leskinen, E. & Nurmi, J.-E. (2009). School Burnout Inventory (SBI). European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 25(1), 48-57. Slee, R. (2013). Meeting Some Challenges of Inclusive Education in an Age of Exclusion, Asian Journal of Inclusive Education, Vol. 1, No. 2,8-17 Tsakiris,D.(1999). «The imaginary game in the process to assessment school:news approach», Nea Pedia,92, pp 64-78 Van Zanten,A., (2009). Choisir son école. Stratégies familiales et médiations locales. Presses Universitaires de France. Van Zanten, A. (2005) New Modes of Reproducing Social Inequality in Education: the changing role of parents, teachers, schools and educational policies, European Educational Research Journal, No3, Volume 4, (pp.160-161). Zaralidis, V. (2015). Stress and Burnout in Senior High School Students in a Greek High School. (Unpublished bachelor thesis, University of Sheffield). Retrieved from www.researchgate.net
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