ERG SES H 06, Policies and Education
We must begin by identifying the role and the level of recognition that scientific knowledge has regarding other domains of study and knowledge, such as pedagogy, which influence the processes of teacher training. It starts with the division of responsibilities between the education and science faculties, moves on to the relationship between State and science (Feyerabend, 1970), as is the case in the financing of research projects, and further on to the creation and publication of public policies that orient educational processes. Policies can generate social and cultural coercion that leads education to be a part of and respond to "public sector discourses of excellence, effectiveness and quality and the logic of the culture of new managerialism” (Ball, 2006, p.12) where it is favored and is motivated to be better and produce quality, to generate efficiency and effectiveness, ultimately generating a competitive profession and not collective work (Ball, 2006, Höfling De Mattos, 2001).
However, despite the fact that the guidelines established by public policy on education have an impact on daily practice, we note that the actual execution of these practices depends on the questions and critical thinking of individual teachers as well as universities in such a way that education can influence social transformation.
In certain cases, the scientific component is granted a higher status and given greater power over the pedagogical, didactic and environmental education components, thus generating, in some cases, a subordination which is unconscious and uncritical of hegemonic positions, and which would directly influence teacher training processes. This could result in the generation of a worldview characterized by the instrumentalization, verification, and devaluation of other knowledge different from science. In this context, Environmental Education can facilitate a dialogue between scientific and pedagogical knowledge, as well as dialogue with other types of knowledge during the training process.
In the Universidad del Valle, in the "Bachelor in Basic Education with Emphasis in Natural Sciences and Environmental Education" program, Environmental Education is included in the curriculum by means of compulsory disciplines in the curricular matrix despite being in a program that has an emphasis on natural sciences. It is necessary to reflect on the social function of science education and how teacher training can contribute to a more equitable education in the context of a country with socio-environmental problems but is also rich in cultural and biological diversity.
Therefore, the need to identify the political orientations, discourses and hegemonic scenarios that influence the process of training science teachers is justified which leads us to the guiding question for this paper:
Which are the political discourses that influence the processes of teacher training in science in Colombia?
Our paper aims to recognize which political guidelines operate at the educational level and influence teachers training in science. This will subsequently allow the recognition of how discursive practices of political and institutional subjects influence the construction of discourses during teacher training. Furthermore, it will help to identify dialectical strategies within the domains of social practice that allow the construction of emancipation scenarios through environmental education.
Our study uses a qualitative methodology based on the interpretation of the meanings of the actions of the subjects and institutions. Hence, it is important to understand the dialectical relationship between the social and natural world, as well as culture and discourse. Within the scope of this presentation, we will now explain the stages of our methodology: Identification of the political orientations of the aforementioned Bachelor’s Degree - In order to analyze the macro-political process oriented by the state-government for its development during this phase, we propose using the analysis of the policy cycle put forth by Ball (1992, 1993). Firstly, the context of influence was taken into account. This refers to the scenario in which political discourses are constructed. For the collection of data a bibliographic review is made and the conception of the context of Van Dijk (2012) is restated, establishing that, at the general level, the social and political domain will be addressed, at the superior level the field of control and collective control through laws and public policy and, at the lower level, the control of actions. Secondly, the context in which the text was produced is characterized. A description of official texts such as laws, decrees and resolutions related to teacher training from 1886 to 2015 is given in order to establish this. The third part corresponds to the context of practice i.e. where the policy is subject to interpretation. For this research it corresponds to the Bachelor in Basic Education with Emphasis in Natural Sciences and Environmental Education which corresponds to a political micro-process. Therefore, the analyses were made by examining the Context of Influence of the Bachelor’s Degree at the micro level by interviewing stakeholders who are involved in it. In order to achieve the aim of the study, a semi-structured interview guide was created for its validation. This guide, translated from Portuguese to Spanish and English, was sent to a review committee of experts. Of the 10 teachers invited to participate in the evaluation, five accepted the invitation within the stipulated time.
Public policy on education is important because it allows us to understand how State and government establish hegemonic relations through public regulation and the centralization of decision making, with the way forward of the universities and institutions responsible for training teachers. Moreover, it is important to address them because many problems are the result of ideological, structural and historical contradictions in educational policies (Grace 1995 cited by Ball, 2006) which is evidenced by a review of the laws, decrees and resolutions that have been passed by the Ministry of National Education of Colombia. It can be interpreted that the university’s autonomy in relation to the process of teacher training is guided by the Ministry. This allows us to recognize the is a conception of education in terms of the mechanization process where the academic work of the educational field "is not captured for assumptions and inscriptions of policymakers (Ball, 2006, page 25). In addition, the concept of value in social relationships does not account for all the possible inter-relationships of reality, thus leaving training in a process of reproduction in place of the formation of ideologies for social transformation. Hence, it is important to recognize that the political constitution guarantees the University’s autonomy through Articles 28 and 29 of Law 30 of 1992 granting the power to modify, create and organize. Thus, the critical thinking behind the program is important in order to re-appropriate educational policy.
Ball, S. (2006). Sociologia das políticas educacionais e pesquisa crítico-social: uma revisão pessoal das políticas educacionais e da pesquisa em política educacional. Curriculo sem Fronteiras, 6(2), 10–32. Ball, S.J., Bowe, R. (1992). Subject departments and the implementation of National Curriculum policy: an overview of the issues. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 24, 97–115. Feyerabend, P. (1970). Consolations for the Specialist. In I. Lakatos & M. A (Orgs.), Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge University Press. Finch, K. (2008). Extinction of Experience: A Challenge for Environmental Education. New England Journal of Environmental Education., 1–5. Höfling De Mattos, E. (2001). Estado e Políticas (Públicas) Sociais. Cadernos Cedes, XX!(55), 30–41. Van Dijk, T. A. (2012). Discurso y Contexto. (G. S.A, Org.). Barcelona.
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