05 SES 09, Rights and Protections
Geographic dimension has a powerful influence on framing young people aspirations, educational decisions and mobility (Silva, 2014). Peripheral regions have constrains in accessing education (Bagley & Hillyard, 2015), citizenship and cultural rights, having higher levels of school underachievement and high rates of illiteracy when compared with urban centers. Young people growing up in those places are particularly affected by these disadvantages in their trajectories as youngsters and plans. At international level, legislative guidelines value the development of educational quality and equality in border territories. Similarly, equity in education and reduction in school failure are highlighted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (2003) as a high priority in all education policy agendas. However, and recognizing that there are economic, social, cultural and educational disadvantages in border regions, at the same time is also recognized the potential of national and local practices on the daily life of their populations (Stoer & Araújo, 2000; Carmo, 2011; Silva, 2013; Silva, 2014). Since the internationalization of some guidelines, rules, or policies come along with national interpretations for its implementation (Popkewitz, 1996; Lingard & Rizvi, 2000), this paper focus on identifying how the national context re-work and re-think policy implementation in order to fulfil external demands concerning young people.
Grounded in national level research project (GROW.UP - Grow up in border regions in Portugal: young people, educational pathways and agendas – PTDC/CED-EDG/29943/2017), conducted in border regions of Portugal, this paper will focus on policy analysis in order to map priorities toward young people and to identify regional sensitive aims and recommendations.
Assuming that national policy-making is inevitably a process of bricolage (Ball, 2001) led by international commitments, it is important to analyse policy recommendations at a European and National level regarding young people living in border areas. In Portugal, recent data suggest that young people from these regions value the role of school in their pathways (Silva & Silva, 2016), although the fact that there is a higher dropout and retention rates when comparing results from the majority of schools located in border regions with those located in coastal areas (DEEGC, 2017). In addition, there are municipalities that are not providing access to compulsory education (12 years or up to 18 years old) as secondary education is not offered. This is due to regional dyssemetries and depopulation causing for inequalities of opportunities to have access and conditions to educational success. Therefore, not only some young people needs to leave their home regions to fulfill compulsory education but also the majority of them need to leave their region to continue studies for higher education (Silva & Silva, 2016). Moreover, not only formal education but also social and educational pathways in general (cultural, social, and participation opportunities) are experienced within a combination of constrains, being some related with socio economic status and other with geographic location and, therefore, an unequal distribution of opportunities.
Following a place-sensitive approach, this contribution will discuss how EU and National youth policies are addressing young people needs and documenting priorities with a particular attention on the integration in those policies of issues related to regional development and young people from border regions specific needs. We are interested in policies and measures enhancing opportunities for young people to grow up in border regions, participating at community and global level, and dealing with inequalities (e.g. prevent early school leaving) and, at the same time, have an overview about policies that are being implemented to support and engage young people in positive educational pathways and prospect their future.
We recognize that it is essential to take into account that political documents are limited to a certain temporal dimension and social context that can favor (or not) the access to information about the evolution processes of individuals, groups, concepts, knowledge, behaviors, mentalities, practices, among others (Sá-Silva, Almeida & Guindani, 2009) and one aspect can not be separated from the other. Bearing this in mind, documental analysis allows us to produce or re-elaborate knowledge and create new ways of understanding phenomena (Sá-Silva, Almeida & Guindani, 2009; Pimentel, 2011). In this documental analysis, we attempted to organize and interpret the documents according to the main aim of this paper. 52 documents were selected and divided by 3 typologies, namely, (1) international and national, (2) soft laws and effective laws (3) and recommendations and technical reports focused on youth. Each document was analyzed through the process of content analysis (Bardin, 2011; Krippendorff, 2004) supported by NVivo software. The texts from these documents were codified and categorised. The unit senses/references were sentences, although in some circumstances entire paragraphs were also considered. In the coding process, the rule of mutual exclusivity of categories was not followed (L’Écuyer, 1990). As a result, the analysis was based on different categories, namely: (1) Policies encouraging youth participation – at local, national and European level; (2) Policies encouraging young people to stay/live in border regions; (3) Concerns about young people future: education, job, higher education; (4) Actions and Programs for youth development
With this paper we expect to develop an analytical framework that contribute to a deeper understanding about the importance and impact of policies and programs that promote young people educational pathways in Portugal border regions. At an European Level, the youth strategies aims to provide more and equal opportunities for young people in education and the job market and to encourage young people to actively participate in society. There is an effort to strengthening the special protection of young people rights and in supporting evidence-based European cooperation in the field of youth development. At a National level, there are different phases of policy implementation that contribute to the development of national documents setting out a comprehensive strategy in the field of youth. More recently, the first National Youth Plan (2018) was launched, framed in the European priorities and in the needs of young people. However, it seems to exist a lack of regional/local sensitive contextualization of this policies concerning, that urge to prioritize as the geographic dimension which is not only a matter of geography as a strong influence in young people experiences, opportunities and pathways design. Although there are different actions and programs for youth development, participation and concerns about their future, the policies encouraging young people to stay/live in border regions rely more on the adaptation of this strategies to the local reality than the national purpose.
•Bagley, Carl & Hillyard, Samm (2015). “School choice in an English village: living, loyarly and leaving, Ethnography and Education, 10, 3, 278-292. •Ball, Stephen (2001). Diretrizes políticas globais e relações políticas locais em educação. Currículo sem Fronteiras, 1(2), 99-116. •Bardin, Laurence (2011). Content analysis. Lisboa, Portugal: Edições 70. •Carmo, Renato (Org.) (2011). Entre as Cidades e a Serra Mobilidades, capital social e associativismo no interior algarvio. Lisboa: Editora Mundos Sociais, CIES, ISCTE-IUL. •Krippendorff, Klaus (2004). Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology. London, England: SAGE. •L’Écuyer, René (1990). Méthodologie de l’analyse développementale de contenu. Québec, Canada: Presses de l’Úniversité. •Lingard, Bob & Rizvi, France (2000). “Globalisation and the Fear of Homogenisation in Education.” In Sociology of Education: Major Themes edited by S. J. Ball. London: Routledge/Falmer. •OECD (2003). Education policy analysis: Overview. Paris, France: OECD Publishing. •Pimentel, Alessandra (2001). O método da análise documental: seu uso numa pesquisa historiográfica. Cadernos de Pesquisa, 114, 179-195. •Popkewitz, Thomas (1996). Rethinking decentralisation and state/civil society distinctions: the state as a problematic of Governing. Journal of Education Policy, 11 (1), 27-52. •Sá-Silva, Jackson; Almeida, Cristóvão & Guindani, Joel (2009). Pesquisa documental: pistas teóricas e metodológicas. Revista Brasileira de História e Ciências Sociais, 1, 1-15. •Silva, Sofia Marques da (2013). Disinheriting the heritage and the case of Pauliteiras: Young girls as newcomers in a traditional dance from the Northeast of Portugal. In J. Baldacchino & R. Vella (Eds.), Mediterranean art and education: Navigating local, regional and global imaginaries through the lens of the arts and learning (43-58). Rotterdam, NL: Sense Publishers & Mediterranean Journal of Educational Studies. •Silva, Sofia Marques da (2014). Growing up in a Portuguese Borderland. In Spyros & Miranda Christou (Eds.), Children and Borders (62-77). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. •Stoer, Stephen R., & Araújo, Helena (2000). Escola e aprendizagem para o trabalho num país da (semi)periferia Europeia (2a ed.). Lisboa: Instituto de Inovação Educacional.
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