07 SES 12, Is There Social Justice and Intercultural Dialogue in a Neo-Liberal Educational Policy?
According to Spring (2003) educational policy is a mix of different educational ideologies: the three most important are a nationalist ideology with a focus on national cultural tradition; the second is oriented to the knowledge society, it stresses competition, common standards and technological rationality; the third ideology Spring calls global morality, with a focus on values like democracy, social justice, dialogue, and intercultural understanding and appreciation. According to Spring the ‘knowledge society’ ideology is dominant in many countries. The neo-liberal hegemony in most parts of the world enhance this educational ideology and policy. In a globalizing world both the global and the local is relevant. In the local the neo-liberal ideology is mixed with a nationalist ideology. This mixture limits the experiences of youngsters and give not much space to a education that focus on social justice and intercultural dialogue. Hegemony however is not always complete, there are spaces for more justice oriented and transformative practices, for more empowerment and humanity (Veugelers, 2011). Goodson ( 2010) developed the concept of refraction, refraction means that dominant and international movements and ideologies are refractioned in each national state, and you can say in each community and each educational institution.
In this symposium four papers will be presented by researchers who work together in the Erasmus Programme Education for Democratic Intercultural Citizenship. The first paper by Goodson and Rudd shows how refraction works. Their paper explores questions about the purpose and role of education in the current political and economic climate and considers the implications this may have for social justice, cohesion and equity. They argue that this ‘refraction’ of policy is often based on pre-figurative practice, beliefs and oppositional discourses are increasingly being overlooked because of the dominance of ideologically informed narratives.
The second paper by De Groot reports a qualitative study intothe diversity issues that twenty-seven adolescents aged sixteen to twenty in an urban area in the Netherlands identified. In particular, we studied the type of diversity issues that prevailed in their narratives, their interpretation of these issues and the personal distress that they experiences, and if narratives and interpretations varied among different student categories.
In the third paper Moree shows how transition processes in Eastern Europe are a refraction of the global neo-liberal ideology. People have to deal at the same time with the communist legacy, the process of developing democracy and this neo-liberal policy. In her research she used different research methods to let students explore their beliefs.
The fourth paper by Veugelers concentrates of educational possibilities for the kind of citizenship that will be developed. Is contemporary policy more focused on an adaptive type of citizenship, an individualistic type or a critical-democratic type of citizenship that stress both autonomy and social commitment and values diversity? What are the possibilities for a more critical-democratic type of citizenship and citizenship education in contemporary society? And how relates these different type of citizenship with educational practices.
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