07 SES 02 C, Promoting Social Justice
The social, economic and demographic developments lead to several disparities in several country contexts in Europe. These disparities are aggravated with the political developments in and across nations. Recent developments in the Arab world and the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, the Brexist and its impact on the EU and the UK, the political crisis in Catalonia have various repercussion not only on their own country context but also on their broader regions. Although the impact of Brexist and the crisis in Catalonia on education are not evident yet; the crises in the Arab world have had tremendous impact on educational policy and practice in the Middle East and Europe. Like these developments, economic, social, political and demographic developments urge readjustment of their educational policies in order to serve the disadvantaged groups of the society better (Rizvi & Lingard, 2011; Norberg, 2017; Waite, 2016). As a result, scholarly discussions on the impact of international and external forces pushing governments in Europe and surrounding regions to adapt large scale change and reforms and the reactions of the schools to these reform efforts are essential for accomplishing sustainable change in school systems. Cyprus has been one of the contexts of political dispute in Europe. The political divide in the Island have had an immediate impact on education opportunities of the disadvantaged groups, particularly in the northern part of Island. The extension of longstanding political disputes results in creation of disadvantaged groups and deprivation of these groups from quality educational services, which results in low attainment of skills and poor life options. In such context, a total new understanding school, schooling, and community-school engagement is needed to guide education policy development.
Social Justice in Education
Recent movements in education have overly focused on student outcomes and have relatively neglected fundamental issues in education (Cochran-Smith 2004; Davis 2003; Woods and Woods 2008) such as equity, access and inclusion. Several scholars criticized the trends focusing on field-based student achievement and ignoring the immediacy integrating principles of democratic society into education serving every segment of the society (Pryor, 2008) and advancing a new understanding for school-community engagement (Miller, Wills & Scanlan, 2013). These scholars argued that social justice require both ensuring student rights (student attainment, aspirations and expectation) and granting community interest covering the fair and just practices (Pryor, 2008, p. 279). The key idea behind the social justice perspective denoted by these arguments is that inclusion of the key internal and external constituencies in educational processes will uplift the student outcomes (Woods, 2006). This understanding of social justice, democratic school leadership and community inclusion is advocated to be instrumental for creating a school climate particularly serving the underserved segment of the society (Marzano, Waters &, McNulty, 2005; Scheurich & Skyrla, 2003). This perspective argued that successful student outcomes in disadvantaged settings is related to school-community collaboration which counts on the contribution of all educational constituencies (Miller et al., 2013).
That said, while there is a great deal of scholarly literature related to the topic throughout the social sciences, and a substantial corpus of such research in education as a field, there has been relatively little attention that investigates how key constituency of the school (principal, teacher, student and parents) view and engage in schooling of the disadvantaged students. This study aims at investigating the perspective of teachers, principals and parents towards education of students in Northern Cyprus. The study particularly aims at revealing key obstacles hindering schooling of disadvantaged students and building key pillars of school-community engagement model serving the disadvantaged segments of the society.
This study was designed as a qualitative study. In order to obtain in-depth information on the perceived obstacles for the education of the disadvantages students and reveal the kind of community-school engagement serving the disadvantaged student interviews with teachers, school principals and parents were conducted. Eleven schools from five districts of Northern Cyprus were identified as sites of the study. To confirm the findings of the study, triangulation by data source was utilized (Miles, Huberman, & Saldana, 2014). The sample was a purposive sample method of snowball strategy. This strategy works as a chain referral and has a power to identify potential subjects in the study (Patton, 2015). To be able to reach the target public primary schools which have the disadvantaged students, the researchers obtained detailed information about the potential schools from the principals and teachers in the preliminary interview conducted with two teachers who were the members of teachers’ union. After determining the first school, the following schools were identified by the recommendation of the previous school's principal. The sample of the study was composed of 11 public primary schools’ teachers and principals yielded 33 teachers and 10 principals. Three interview protocols for each participant groups were prepared by the researchers. To provide the trustworthiness of qualitative research, Lincoln and Guba (1985) suggest member checks as a technique of establishing the credibility. Therefore, three parallel interview forms were developed and expert opinions on protocols were obtained. The pilot study was conducted in a public school with two teachers and one principal. After the pilot study, the necessary changes and revisions were made to the interview forms. The data were gathered in the main study in private interview sessions with teachers, parents, and principals to ensure the confidentiality of the interviews. Content analysis approach of Creswell, Plano & Clark (2007) was followed in data analysis.
The initial analyses of the data suggest that in general the disadvantaged status of the students and families is partly related to the cognitive categorization of school and schooling of the disadvantaged segments of the society. In other words, key constituencies in education express disbelief in instrumentality of education in changing the lives of disadvantages students. As a result, the necessary community-school engagement which is essential to address the obstacles in educational experiences of the disadvantages students is missing. Hence, any policy and practice aiming at serving disadvantaged students in schools should be guided with a "community-reform" rather than school-reform (Berliner, 2006). This seems essential to switch the negative cognitive categorization of schooling of the disadvantaged students. Once this cognitive switch is accomplished, then specific programs and actions can be put in practice to eliminate the achievement gap between student in schools.
Berliner, D. (2006). Our impoverished view of educational research. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 949-955. Cambron-McCabe, N. & McCarthy, M. (2005). Educating school leaders for social justice. Educational Policy, 19(1), 201-222. DOI: 10.1177/0895904804271609 Cochran-Smith, M. (2004). The problem of teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education 55(4), 295-299. Creswell, J.W. & Plano Clark, V.L. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousands Oaks, CS: SAGE Publications, Inc. Davis, O.L. (2003). Does democracy in education still live? Journal of Curriculum and Supervision 19, no. 1: 1–4. Lincoln,Y.S. & Guba, E.G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. Marzano, R.J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B.A. (2005). School leadership that works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Miles, M.B., Huberman, A.M., & Saldana, J. (2014). Qualitative data analysis: A methods source book. USA: SAGE Publications, Inc Miller, P. Wills, N, & Scanlan, M. (2013). Educational leadership on the social frontier: Developing promise neighborhoods in urban and tribal settings. Educational Administration Quarterly, 49(4), 543-575. DOI: 10.1177/0013161X12471531 Patton, M.Q. (2015). Qualitative research & evaluation methods: Integrating theory and practice. USA: SAGE Publications, Inc Pryor, C. (2008). Dilemmas of democratic thought for educational leadership: Considerations of social justice scholarship. Teacher Development, 12(4), 279-288. Rizvi, F., & Lingard, B. (2011). Globalizing education policy. London: Routledge. Scheurich, J. & Skrla, L. .(2003). Leadership for equity and excellence: Creating high-achievement classroom, schools, and districts. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin . Waite, D. (2016). The where and what of education today: A leadership perspective, International Journal of Leadership in Education, 19(1), 101-109. Woods, G.J., & P.A. Woods. (2008). Democracy and spiritual awareness: Interconnections and implications for educational leadership. International Journal of Children’s Spirituality 13,(2), 101-116. Woods, P.A. (2006). A democracy of all learners: Ethical rationality and the affective roots of democratic leadership. School Leadership and Management 26(4), 321–337.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
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