22 SES 14 C, Mariganisation and Co-created Education
This section of the symposium will consider the concept of equality in relation to education and wider life courses. It will compare the equality apparent in the educational contexts in three countries and argue for the importance of educational capital in social justice. There is a common sense acceptance that everyone world over should have equal access and opportunity to education. Indeed this has been the basis of legislation and development work for the past century. A less understood but equally important concept is that people will need different approaches to education to give them an equitable chance of success (Chapman and West-Burnham, 2010). Whist teachers may differentiate within classrooms, there is little differentiation within some school systems. As a result of narrow and restrictive ‘equal’ systems, many young people are ‘Early School Leavers’, ‘Drop Outs’, or ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET)’. Some commentators point out that it is the education system itself that has quit children, pushed children out and not been fit for young people (Fine, 2018). We propose that ‘equalities literacy’ reveals such tensions and power struggles and can inform an alternative approach to education in its broadest sense. The three countries collaborating in this project have markedly different education systems. Differences occur in the ages of schooling, the status of schooling, the curriculum, and pedagogical approaches. These are aligned to broader differences in the political and economic structures of the countries, with Norway and Denmark experiencing a narrow gap between rich and poor than the United Kingdom (Wilkinson and Pickett, 2009). This demands situating the study of educational equality into a broader assessment of equality within and between each nation. With inspiration from French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, we use the concepts of the habitus and the capitals to shed light on the core concepts of inequality, equity and marginalization. We discuss how students’ insight into such phenomena – also in relation to the three different national contexts – can develop both individual and mutual comparative understandings and reflections. In the presentation, we also reflect on how the students can use the core concepts, the Bourdieu terminology, and their comparative understandings, as key perspectives to gain better insight into their own educational trajectories. We explore bumps and challenges in those trajectories and analyse how they can be refined and used as assets when the students approach practice and research in relation to marginalized youth.
Bourdieu, P. (2011). “The Forms of Capital”. IN Szeman, I. & Kaposy, T. (eds.) (2011) Cultural Theory. An Anthology. Wiley-Blackwell. Chapman, L. and West-Burnham, J. (2010). Education for Social Justice. Achieving Wellbeing for All. London: Continuum. Fine, M. (2018). Just Research in Contentious Times. New York: Teachers College Press. Wilkinson, R. & Pickett, K. (2009). The Spirit Level. London: Penguin.
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