23 SES 01 C, Politics of Equity and Inclusion
This paper is included into Educational Policy Studies on Equity, through an analytic methodology based on the principles of sustainable change and improvement (Fullan, 2005; Hargreaves, 2006). From this approach, we believe that policies aimed at promoting equity in education allow training young people so that they can meet the challenges posed by the Knowledge Society (Hargreaves, 2003; Bindé, 2005). It advocates the importance of States in their role to ensure the "genuine right to learn" (Darling-Haammond, 1997), taking into consideration sustainable criteria and the creation of mechanisms to inform us of the possible appearance of inequalities reinforced or promoted from the educational system (CEC, 2006). Thus, equity is a moral imperative (Ainscow et al. 2007) to take into account in the design and implementation of educational policies, while it can become a framework from which to pool the efforts of participation, collaboration and leadership so that students may achieve the required competences (CEC, 2006) At this point, an assessment process that accounts for these issues turns out essential.
We are aware of the fact that equity in education, and specifically concerning inclusion, is not free from resistance (Brantlinger, 1997) nor from the natural tensions between equity-excellence in some contexts (Dyson, Ainscow & Kerr, 2006; Hess, 2005), and also that it is a concept with some degree of complexity and non-unitary, both for its implementation and its measurement. Our stance upholds that it is not only necessary, but it is also possible to meet what is known as "legitimate inequalities", allowing a balance between equity and excellence. And in this regard, we believe that any educational policy that seeks to promote sustainable equity in schools from this viewpoint should address three basic dimensions: justice (Sen, 1992), inclusion (OECD, 2007a; UNESCO, 2009) and cohesive diversity (Hargreaves & Shirley, 2009).
Since 2009 we have been carrying out an exploratory research to provide us with substantive data of Spanish educational policy on equity, which has undergone profound changes in recent years, so that it would help us to set the current state of affairs of this issue around: how has the equity concept in Spanish legislation evolved and what is it its actual impact in schools. Furthermore, this research seeks to obtain a series of recommendations that could serve to guide political decision making (OECD, 2007b) about this issue. Therefore, the preliminary results, from a perspective of sustainable change and improvement in education (Fullan, 2005, Hargreaves & Goodson, 2006), will allow us to identify the degree of commitment to Education Policy on Equity in Spain as a preliminary step to understand the effects of these policies on the promotion of quality education for all students. All these related to European policies on this issue (CEC, 2006).
Ainscow, M., et al. (2007). Towards a methodology for enhancing equity within education systems. American Educational Research Association Annual Conference: The World of Educational Quality. Retrieved Sept. 7, 2009, from http://www.education.manchester.ac.uk/research/centres/cee/publications/ Bindé, J. (Dir.) (2005). Towards knowledge society. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved Dec. 12, 2009, from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001418/141843e.pdf Brantlinger, E. (1997). “Using ideology: Cases of non recognition of the politics of research and practice in special education”. Review of Educational Research 67 (4), 425-459. CEC (2006). Efficiency and equity in European education and training systems. Communication from the Commission to the Council and to the European Parliament. Retrieved Oct. 26, 2009, from http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/education_training_youth/general_framework/c11095_en.htm Darling – Hammond, L. (1997). The right to learn: A blueprint for creating schools that work. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Dyson, A., Kerr, K. and Ainscow M. (2006). A ‘Pivotal Moment’? Education policy in England 2005. In L. Bauld, M. Clark, T. Maltby (Eds). Social Policy Review 18. Bristol: Policy Press. Fullan, M. (2005). Leadership and sustainability. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Hargreaves, A. & Fink, D. (2006). “Estrategias de cambio y mejora en educación caracterizadas por su relevancia, difusión y continuidad en el tiempo”. Revista de Educación, 339, 43-58. Hargreaves, A. & Goodson, I. (2006). “Educational change over time? The sustainability and non-sustainability of the three of secondary school change and continuity”. Educational Administration Quarterly, 42, 3-41. Hargreaves, A. & Shirley, D. (2009). The fourth way. London: Gorwin-Sage. Hargreaves, A. (2003). Teaching in the Knowledge Society: Education in an age of insecurity. New York: Teachers’ College Press. Hess, R. (2005). Excellence, equity and efficiency. USA: Scarecrow Education. OECD (2007a). No more failures: ten steps to equity in education. Paris: OECD. OECD/CERI (2007b). Evidence informed policy. Paris: OECD. Sen, A. (1992). Inequality reexamined. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. UNESCO (2009). Policy guidelines on inclusion in education. Paris. Retrieved Nov. 9, 2009, from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0017/001778/177849e.pdf
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