23 SES 07 A, Diversity and Migration in Education
This paper describes and explains how global discourses of inclusion are able to affect local political discourses of cultural diversity and inclusion in education settings in Spain, by modifying and changing the sense of education in schools in an independent way on the participants and despite a persistent lack research support and even against the recommendations from research. This aspect of steering by ideological means also seems to be a European problem not only a national one (Beach, 2018; Beach & Dyson, 2016; Dyson, Jones and Kerr, 2011).
Spain has a decentralised school system that delivers education through pre- and elementary schools, secondary and upper-secondary schools, and vocational and special schools that are generally publicly owned, but with also a high number of private institutions that are partially funded by the state and partially fee paying. Up to 13,2% of pupils are from foreign backgrounds according to oficial statistics but with large variations withing and between different regions. Currently up to 80% of them are in the public system.
The paper is about inclusive education in this context. The Salamanca Declaration defines inclusive Education as ‘enabling schools to serve all children’, and Spain has historically developed education systems that embody different forms of attending to children in disadvantage. But as other European nations it has also had to deal with the consequences of moving to a post-industrial economy at the same time as there has also been heavy inward national migration from areas of unrest and poverty. And this has produced new demands for the education system and changing faces of management and professionalism.
This is often analysed as aspect of neoliberal ideology. But it is also an aspect of a growing internationalisation of education in terms of common policy approaches that are known to strike unevenly. Scientific knowledge for educational change towards inclusion and social development is ethically imperative given this condition and different investigations in Spain have been made (e. i. Rojas, Susinos and Calvo, 2013; Sales, Moliner, Amiana and Lozano, 2018; Vigo and Soriano, 2014, 2015; Vigo and Dieste, 2017, 2018) while laws seem to be further away from research and practices on inclusion.
As a theoretical framework for the paper we have turned to Althusser’s theory of ideology (2001) and his concept of "ideological state apparatuses” as a means to set a philosophical and theoretical framework for analytically and empirically exploring the ways in which ideology is pervasive and "material" in relation to assure the governing class’s domination in education. Using that, we understand that governments and laws represent an essential and important site for the reproduction of capitalist production relations (also Bourdieu and Passeron 1977) where education laws normalise the status quo and reproduce its existing power relations. In terms of Gramsci (1971), dominant class hegemony makes the ideology of the dominant class into an active force to mold and incorporate the needs and interests of subordinate groups. Foucault (1972) uses the concept of discourse from a genealogical perspective in a similar way, in relation to forms of domination through the control and the delimitation of discourses as systems of exclusion.
One question that can be asked of a paper like this is, can an analysis of inclusion and attention to cultural diversity in Spain still be effectively constructed and why this analysis is valuable and we attempt to prove this point based on a study of oficial texts about inclusion and the dicourses of politicians and bureaucrats. Our aim is to know how legislation, politicians and political discourses are managed for the purpose of the cultural diversity and inclusion.
The paper has been produced from ongoing research that will be concluded 2021. It is a national research project on ‘Cultural diversity in the school: discourses, policies and practices’(CSO2017-84872-R) and will be carried out by 15 researchers from research teams in Andalusia, Aragon, Cantabria, Catalonia, Balearic Islands, La Rioja and Madrid. The research involves two key stages. Stage 1, collecting documents that included official aims and policies of the school and inclusion considering the period between 1970 and 2018. Stage 2 focussing on data collection through in-depth interviews with 54 politicians and bureaucrats from 18 communities in Spain responsible for implementing the law. They were selected following a snowball sampling and as government representatives. The analyses are being carried out using political text analytical methods on legal documents and content analysis of transcribed interviews. The data were initially organised according to the approaches that had been used to produce them: i.e. as legal texts and interviews. We then analysed the coded information in terms of concepts, practices, theoretical frames. After this we discussed the extracted data, the main concepts that we felt were emerging and their interpreted meanings, read each other’s analyses, and then recoded and regrouped the data in relation to how cultural diversity was generally constructed and how politicians and bureaucrats interpreted the cultural diversity in schools.
The results show how the hegemonic structure (Gramsci) in educational laws that appear to change depending on the kind of government that is in power through decisions that are made independent of scientific research support and without considering the bureaucrats’ voices. Different discourses have been identified for motivating changes. One of them emphasises the relevance of active methodologies in the classrooms from a performative perspective and one recognizes the importance of the knowledge of space and familiarity with space; the value of students' lives outside of school; and the needs of teacher reflection. Neither of them make reference to the value of systematic scientific research for informing the politics and policies of education inclusion. Private schools and chains specialising in inclusive practices are highlighted in the discourses as of value for improving inclusion but there is no scientific evidence that this happens. Franchises and chains are emphasised in the oficial discourses of politicians instead of research into inclusive teaching practices. A useful way to rethink discourses on inclusion could be consider the conceptual apparatus of research as praxis, catalytic validy, conscientisation and ethnography as explanatory critique and as a means adopting a critical perspective that takes into account the participants’ life situations and the inherent social inequalities that characterise education and society today.
Althusser, L. 2001. Lennin and Philosophy and other essays. New York: Montly Review Press. Beach, D. (2018). Structural Injustices in Swedish Education. Singapore: Palgrave MacMillan. Bourdieu, P. and Passeron, J. C. 1977/1990. Reproduction in education, society and culture. London: SAGE Publications. Kerr, K., Dyson, A. & Jones, L., (2011). Inclusion, place, and disadvantage in the English education system. In A. Artiles, E. Kozleski, and F. Waitoller (ed.) Inclusive education: Examining equity on five continents, 69–88. Cambridge: Harvard Education Press. Foucault, M. (1972). The archaeology of knowledge and the discourse on language. Pantheon books: New York. Gramsci, A. (1971). Selections from the Prison Notebooks, Edited by: Hoare, Q. and NowELL‐Smith. London: Lawrence & Wishart. Ministerio de Educación y Formación Profesional (2018). Datos y cifras. Curso escolar 2018/2019. Madrid: Secretaría General Técnica. Rojas, S., Susinos, T. & Calvo, A. (2013) ‘Giving voice’ in research processes: an inclusive methodology for researching into social exclusion in Spain. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 17(2), 156-173, DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2011.629687 Sales, A., Moliner, O. Amiana, J.F. & Lozano, (2018). Inclusive Schooling: Resources and Strategies for Citizen Participation. Revista Mexicana de investigación, 23(77). Vigo, B., & Soriano, J. (2014). Teaching Practices and Teachers’ Perceptions of Group Creative Practices in Inclusive Rural Schools. Ethnography and Education, 9, 3, 253-269. Vigo, M. B., & Soriano, J. (2015). Family involvement in creative teaching practices for all in small rural schools. Ethnography and Education, 10, 3, 325-339. Vigo, M. B., & Dieste, J. (2017). Contradicciones en la educación inclusiva a través de un estudio multiescalar. Aula Abierta, 46, 25-32. Vigo, M. B., & Dieste, J. (2018). Building virtual interaction spaces between family and school. Ethnography and Education.
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