ERG SES D 04, Parallel Session D 04
International studies, like IALS (OECD, 2000a) and ALL (OECD, 2005), show that literacy profiles present strong geographical differences: “Both the average performance levels and the distributions of skills among adult populations differ substantially between countries” (OECD, 2005). The lack of long formal schooling of a significant part of Portuguese and Italian population seemed to have had a negative impact in literacy skills, not compensated by non-formal and informal learning, through life, in other social contexts. In the opposite side, Finland and Sweden show high levels of schooling and high levels of literacy This should be an issue to be reflected about, given the current context of generalization of Validation of skills systems in Europe, that certificate skills acquired out of the school system. It is important to understand what influences - actually - individuals to acquire literacy skills throughout life experiences, in informal and non-formal contexts.
The purpose of this research is to understand witch individual dispositions and concrete contexts potentiate, or inhibit, the acquisition, development and activation of literacy skills, throughout the paths of life of individuals with low educational resources.
The aim is, thus:
- To examine in detail the life histories of a group of individuals selected, crossing the natural structural changes that cut across societies (Bertaux, 1981);
- To understand how people relate to structural constraints;
- To explore, through analysis of individual trajectories, the concept of provision, as a dynamic and updated conception of the habitus (Bourdieu, 1979) due to the heterogeneity of socializing experiences;
- To discuss the concept of non-school education in their relationship with literacy, through the analyzes of learning processes that occur at times and places different of those of the traditional school paradigm;
- To enrich the sociological debate in this area, seeking to produce new developments that enable the (re) formulation of education and training European policies and methodologies in the field of validation of skills
Lying at the confluence of several fields of knowledge, this research has its main theoretical framework within the sociology of education. According to Afonso (2005) "the sociology of education must be sensitive, increasingly, to the emergence and the centrality of social contexts and new educational processes in order to take account of other forms of education, training and learning, unsubordinated and not subodinable to the schooling paradigm".
Literacy, understood as “the capacity of using printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential” (OECD, 2000), results of the efficacy of (formal, informal and non-formal) educational practices in specific historical times and spaces. Avila (2008) emphasizes the centrality of literacy, which makes it a key competency in today's societies.
The concept of disposition (Lahire, 2002), as a dynamic and updated vision of the habitus, is central to the theoretical framework of this research. The disposition derives from the diversity of experiences and socializing groups individuals have been exposed throughout their life. It is essential here to analyse and understand how individuals relate to structural constraints and how these constraints interfere in the activation or inhibition of learning dispositions and literacy dispositions.
AFONSO, Almerindo (2005), “A Sociologia da Educação em Portugal” in: Teodoro, A. e Torres, C. (orgs.), Educação Crítica & Utopia. Porto. Afrontamento. ÁVILA, Patrícia (2008), A Literacia dos Adultos - Competências-Chave na Sociedade do Conhecimento, Lisboa, Celta Editora. BENAVENTE, Ana, et al (1996), A Literacia em Portugal. Resultados de uma Pesquisa Extensiva e Monográfica, Lisboa, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. BERTAUX, Daniel (1981), Biography and Society. The Life History Approach in Social Sciences, Beverly Hills, Sage. BOURDIEU, Pierre, La Distinction, Critique sociale de jugement. Paris, Éd: de Minuit, 1979. COMMISSION EUROPEENNE (2000), Mémorandum sur l’éducation et la formation tout au long de la vie, Bruxelles. DALE, R. (2006), “Construire l'Europe en bâtissant un Espace Européen de l'Éducation”, Education et Sociétés, 18, 35-53 EUROPEAN SOCIAL SURVEY (2007) European Social Survey - Monitoring attitude change in over 30 countries - Centre for Comparative Social Surveys, City University, London: Centre for Comparative Social Surveys GOMITZKA, Å. (2005), Coordinating policies for a "Europe of knowledge" - Emerging practices of the "Open Method of Coordination" in Education and Research. http://www.arena.uio.no/publications/working-papers2005/papers/05_16.xml. LAHIRE, Bernard (2002). Portraits sociologiques - Dispositions et variations individuelles, Paris, Nathan LAHIRE, Bernard (2001), L'homme pluriel - Les ressorts de l'action, Paris, Nathan.LAHIRE, Bernard (1995). Tableaux de familles. Heurs et malheurs scolaires en milieux populaires, Paris, Gallimard/Seuil. Organization for Economic Co-operation (OECD) and Development & Statistics Canada. (2000 a). Literacy in the information age: Final report of the international adult literacy survey. Paris, France, and Ottawa, Canada OECD (2000 b), Knowledge management in the learning society. Paris: CERI. OECD (2010), Education at a Glance 2010: OECD Indicators, www.oecd.org/edu/eag2010 OECD (2005), Learning a Living, First results of the Adult Literacy and life skills Survey, Statistics Canada, Minister of Industry/Canada and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Paris Teaching and Learning Research Programme (2010), Learning Lives Learning, Identity and Agency in the Life-Course, Universities of Exeter, Brighton, Leeds and Stirling, http://www.learninglives.org/
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