07 SES 16 A, Cultures of Schooling and Educational (In-)Equity. Comparative Perspectives from Germany, Norway and the USA
The objective of the session is to juxtapose case studies from the USA, Norway and Germany to understand how cultures of schooling affect schools’ and educators’ practices in the context of equity. Educational (in-)equity has been discussed and pushed forward on an international level (e.g., OECD, 2012; UNESCO, 2017). At the same time, approaches and programs to improve educational equity are designed and implemented in the specific context of individual education systems and individual schools. Helsper (2008) argues that cultures of schooling are the result of educators engaging in and dealing with overarching policies and structural problems in the context of historically as well as socio-culturally charged situations of schooling. As a result, educators are faced with specific hierarchies of meaning that define which school practices are desirable or at least tolerable, and which practices are marginalized or even unwanted. Accordingly, educators are situated within specific local and institutional cultures of schooling that affect the perspectives they have towards (in-)equity, inclusion and exclusion, and performance.
The culture of schooling in Germany, Norway and the USA can be seen as contrastive in several dimensions. This is true, for instance, with regard to the role of managerialism and performativity in schools (e.g., Mintrop, 2015; Mintrop & Klein, 2017) or to practices of exclusion and inclusion (e.g., Powell, 2009; Sturm, 2018). The session therefore combines presentations of three research projects that address practices in the context of educational (in-)equity in Germany, Norway and the USA from different angles and with regard to different relevant actors.
Two presentations use reconstructive methodology to understand how teachers approach dimensions of (in-)equity in their practice. The first presentation focuses on perceptions of race and immigration in Germany and the USA and how these are (not) addressed in the classroom. The second presentation focuses on constructing and addressing achievement differences in Germany and the USA and how this leads to inclusion and exclusion or forms of marginalization of (groups of) students. The third presentation addresses organizational approaches to deal with (in-)equity in schools serving disadvantaged communities in Germany and the USA and discusses how cultures of schooling affect the strategies taken.
After that, the discussant will reflect on the relevance of cultures of schooling for educational practices in the context of (in-)equity. The symposium closes with an open discussion with the audience.
Although educational (in-)equity is a topic of relevance all over the world, very little is known about how the cultures of schooling in individual education systems with specific historical and socio-cultural biographies and structures affect the practice of educators. By juxtaposing two education systems with diverging antecedents, structures, and socio-cultural constraints, the symposium can help unravel this association and lead to a better understanding of preconditions for educators’ practice in the context of (in-)equity.
Helsper, W. (2008). Schulkulturen - die Schule als symbolische Sinnordnung. Zeitschrift für Pädagogik 54 (1), 63-80 Mintrop, R. (2015). Public Management Reform Without Managers. The Case of German Public Schools. International Journal of Educational Management, 29(6), 790-795. Mintrop, R. & Klein, E. D. (2017). Schulentwicklung in den USA. Nützliches Lehrstück für die deutsche Praxis? In V. Manitius & P. Dobbelstein (Eds.), Schulentwicklungsarbeit in herausfordernden Lagen (pp. 63-83). Münster: Waxmann. OECD. (2012). Equity and Quality in Education: Supporting Disadvantaged Students and Schools. Paris: OECD Publishing [Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264130852-en]. Powell, J. J. W. (2009). Von schulischer Exklusion zur Inklusion? Eine neoinstitutionalistische Analyse sonderpädagogischer Fördersysteme in Deutschland und den USA. In S. Koch & M. Schemmann (Eds.), Neo-Institutionalismus in der Erziehungswissenschaft. Grundlegende Texte und empirische Studien (pp. 213-223). Wiesbaden: VS-Verlag. Sturm, T. (2018). Constructing and addressing differences in inclusive schooling - comparing cases from Germany, Norway and the United States. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 22, 1-14. UNESCO. (2017). A guide for ensuring inclusion and equity in education. Paris: UNESCO [Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002482/248254e.pdf].
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