ERG SES H 04, International Contexts in Education
Educational researchers and practitioners in the United States continue to focused on the increasing securitization of schools. Securitization includes ideologies of constant threat and danger which are produced and reproduced through the formal curriculum, as well as manifestations of specific measures and protocols in various educational contexts. In A Curriculum of Fear: Homeland Security in U.S. Public Schools, Nicole Nguyen (2016) contends that following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, education became part of an agenda to prioritize national security. Securitization includes ideologies of constant threat and danger which are produced and reproduced through the formal curriculum, as well as manifestations of specific measures and protocols in various educational contexts. A perceived need to secure schools in the US is only further reinforced by a continuing epidemic of school shootings. Large room numbers on the exteriors of school buildings are intended to enable first responders to know where to access the building in future massacres. Active shooter drills and school lockdowns have become the norm, albeit disturbing, for school children, teachers, and families. The rhetoric of risks and threat allow these practices, along with cameras, metal detectors, guards, and other measures to be implemented with little concern for the educational impact.
Post-secondary education in the US is not immune from this phenomenon of securitization. Of particular concern, are the ways in which this is impacting the field of study abroad. In the 2016-2017 academic year, more than 330,000 US post-secondary students pursued credited academic experiences outside the US (Institute of International Education, 2018). While these numbers have increased substantially in the past two decades, the post-September 11 trend of securitization seen in US schools has also manifested within the study abroad context. US students continue to overwhelmingly study abroad in Europe. With a perception among many in the US that there is a “terrorism problem” in Europe, the focus on security is only further amplified in the European context. Much like in the schools context, little attention is given to the impact that this securitization has on the educational experience.
Cultivating global citizenship is a putative aim, at least in part, of almost every US study abroad program. What exactly global citizenship means is a moving target. I draw upon Martha Nussbaum’s (1997) discussion of a compassionate imagination as a requirement for what she calls world citizenship. Compassion is one of Nussbaum’s (2013) political emotions, emotions that are threatened by fear. Philosophers of education such as Biesta, Masschelein, and Simons provide us with some conceptions of educational spaces that allow the cultivation of such emotions to happen. These are spaces of vulnerability and risk and are therefore undermined by the emphasis on securitization. Engaging with these and others enables us to problematize the ways in which US study abroad practices in Europe are working against the interests of global citizenship. It also enables us to conceive of ways in which to foreground education, rather than security. This paper engages conceptual and theoretical scholarship to speak directly to real and current educational practices. It utilizes philosophy of education and other educational scholarship to address policy and practice of US educational programs in Europe. It is intended to bridge the gap between research and practice, enabling professionals in international education to draw upon philosophical concepts to inform the development and management of programs. It also enables scholars of education to understand the importance of educational research, especially philosophy of education, in the post-secondary and international education sectors.
This paper draws on the author's interdisciplinary background in the social and cultural foundations of education. It applies theoretical concepts derived from the texts to interrogate actual educational practices. This is primarily a humanities-based conceptual analysis.
The paper seeks to provide a conceptual framework from which practitioners can interrogate their own practices and policies regarding educational programming for US students in Europe.
Ahmed, S. (2015). The cultural politics of emotion (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge. Biesta, G.J.J. (2017). The rediscovery of teaching. New York, NY: Routledge. Masschelein, J. and Simons, M. (2013). In defence of the school: A public issue. Leuven: E-ducation, Culture & Society Publishers. Retrieved from: https://lirias.kuleuven.be/bitstream/123456789/400685/1/Jan+Masschelein++Maarten+Simons+-+In+defence+of+the+school.pdf Nguyen, N. (2016). A curriculum of fear: homeland security in U.S. public schools. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. Nussbaum, M. (1997). Cultivating humanity: A classical defense of reform in liberal education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Nussbaum, M. (2013). Political emotions: Why love matters for justice. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
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Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
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Network 4. Inclusive Education
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