15 SES 14, Symposium Globalization, Policy And Agency II
Symposium, Part 2
This is the second part of a larger symposium and aims to further understand the sociology of education with a sharp focus on issues of politics and power that impact upon global networks, education policies and identity in eight nation states including China, England, France, Israel, Italy, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, and Russia. The symposium presents original international comparisons and reflexive approaches to data, and knowledge production.
The problem that we are working together to address is the extent to which commonalities or differences exist between these multi-cultural nation states’ sociologies of education and the extent to which examining these provides opportunities for policy learning. We therefore ask five research questions. First, how does each nation state describe and understand the development of education policy since the Second World War? Second, to what extent are shifts in political ideologies revealed through this analysis? Third, to what extent do identified political ideologies impact upon participation in education policies as text and discourse? Fourth, to what extent do political ideologies impact upon the management of economic transitions, economic growth and human capital? Fifth, to what extent do the educational policies facilitate building tolerance between diverse educational stakeholders for equitable cultural diversity? Disseminating such policy learning is important so that nation states might learn from each other and develop global competences. It is important to compare educational policies as a source of mutual exchange of information between regions. Such an engagement with the evidence is what Olssen et al (2004) call policy-oriented learning. Here, policy learning means the ability of governments, or governance systems to draw lessons from the available evidence to shape policy formation, communication and implementation in the future. Further, these papers might facilitate professional educationalists to critique their own education systems, and they may be core texts on postgraduate research programmes. This is particularly significant if the potential for evidence informed policy is to play a greater role in policy formation (Pring, and Thomas, 2008).
Participants of the larger symposium engage with systematic enquiries using a mixed methods approach to critically analyse the social historiographies of nation states’ educational policies from the Second World War. The methods both describe education policy and address the questions of ‘how’ and ‘why’ these education policies developed as they did.
The findings reveal that each nation state identifies at least one of four themes. These four themes provide a conceptual framework to bring coherence to the collection of papers. The first theme is a shift from a planned education system underpinned by communitarian ideologies to the marketization of education underpinned by capitalist ideologies. A second them is the impact of these eras on stake-holder participation. A third is the management of economic transitions, economic growth and human capital. The third theme is coupled with the fourth which is the commitment to tolerance for cultural diversity and the transformation of identity. Further, these papers provide high quality socio-historiographical (Gale, 2001) backdrops to contextualize past and future research.
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