23 SES 13 A, The Encounter between Homogenization and Heterogeneity: Increased standardization in a diverse world? Part 2
The encounter between standardization and diversity is one among the most relevant themes sociology of education is called to investigate (Dale 1999, Rizvi & Lingard 2010). The mix of standardized procedures and different students’ characteristics requires constant negotiation by individuals who populate the educational scenario, especially teachers. This paper addresses on the tension between homogeneization and heterogenization by analyzing teachers’ conceptions of social competences. Social competence, one of the eight Key Competences for Lifelong Learning listed in the 2006/962/EU Recommendation, is in this paper read as an attempt to standardize informal socialization processes. Socialization (Maccarini 2003) is considered as an in informal and diversified concept which is made homogeneous when transformed into social competences (Rose-Krasnor 1997). In the paper, the themes of socialization and social competences are analyzed in light of the two seemingly opposing forces: the cultural diversification of educational settings and the standardization of educational practices. In order to explore how these processes of diversification and standardization are introjected by teachers, the results of an empirical study conducted in the city of Milan (Italy) arepresented. The study is carried out in order to verify a specific hypothesis proposed byMangez et al. (Mangez et al. 2017) which connects contemporary normative indeterminacy to the way in which teachers experience socialization in educational systems. Methodologically vignette techniques (Spalding & Phillips 2007) are utilized in the framework of phenomenography(Marton & Booth 1997). Results from the project provide insights regarding two main aspects. On one hand, the different ways in which teachers expand on social competences and their reaction toward diversity and heterogeneity. On the other hand, the potential differences between teachers operating in diverse city areas. Results also represent theoretical and methodological interests. From a theoretical perspective, they highlight the problem of standardized means of conceiving sociality in increasingly diversified educational scenarios. Furthermore, results show how a specific norm is introjected by a community of practice (Eckert 2006) highlighting effects of standardization on informal practices. As for the methodological relevance, the analysis represents a practical contribution to the studies on normative indeterminacy by investigating conceptions. They also go in the direction of proposing a potentially fruitful starting point to consider the role of social competence in heterogeneous contemporary educational settings, in the context of Europeanization (Castells 2000) and in the direction of the European Education Space (Dale 2009, Grek 2014).
Castells, M. (2000). End of Millennium. Oxford: Blackwell. Dale, R. (1999). Specifying globalization effects on national policy: a focus on the mechanisms. Journal of Education Policy, 14(8), 1–17. Dale, R. (2009). Contexts, Constraints and Resources the Development of European Education Space and European Education Policy. In: Dale R., Robertson S. (2009). Globalization and Europeanization in Education. Oxford: Symposium Books. Eckert, P. (2006). Communities of practice. Encyclopedia of language and linguistics, 683- 685. Grek, S. (2014). OECD as a site of coproduction: European education governance and the new politics of ‘policy mobilization’. Critical Policy Studies, 8:3, 266-281. Maccarini, A. (2003). Lezioni di sociologia dell’educazione. Padova: Cedam. Marton, F. & Both S. (1997). Learning and Awareness. N.J. Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah. Spalding, N. J., & Phillips, T. (2007). Exploring the use of vignettes: From validity to trustworthiness. Qualitative health research, 17(7), 954-962. Rose-Krasnor, L. (1997). The nature of social competence: A theoretical review. Social development, 6(1), 111-135. Mangez E., Bouhon M., Cattonar B, Delvaux B., Draelants H., Dumay X., Dupriez V., Verhoeven M. (2017). Living together in an uncertain world. What role for the school? Les Cahiers de recherche du Girsef, 111. Rizvi, F., Lingard, B. (2010). Globalizing education policy. New York: Routledge.
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