Thursday, 15.09, 13:30 - 14:30
Urban education as a field of research revolves around contrasts; on the one hand the urban associations with poverty, marginalisation and problems, and on the other thelinks to opportunities, high culture and capital. This urban - urbane problematic also takes the form of physical segregation as people with low income/education and immigrant backgrounds are grouped together in certain areas – inner city or suburban, depending on which part of the world we focus on – whereas those with more capital dwell elsewhere. Young people in the respective areas face different conditions for schooling and respond to schooling in different ways.
This presentation draws especially on contemporary Swedish research to discuss the differentiation between and within schools in urban areas, and the interplay between processes within individual schools and the relations and conflicts in their neighbourhoods. In particular, the presentation focuses on schooling in marginalised areas, typically associated with problems and challenges, to explore young people’s responses to their schooling and social positions. Such responses include individual acts, such as rejecting further schooling or dismissing the local school for more prestigious ones, as well as the development of shared understandings and collective formations through aesthetic practices, informal education and political actions. The various responses, including their goals, means and resources, are explored in the presentation.
Elisabet Öhrn is Professor of Education at Department of Education and Special Education, University of Gothenburg in Sweden.
Her research focuses on power processes and democratic participation, and gendered and classed relations at different levels of education. This includes studies of sub/urban schooling, the importance of local context for relations in school, patterns of segregation, and young people’s understandings of power and how they would act to create change. She is presently leading several national research projects in the areas of democratic education and achievement.
At the ECER 2011 conference she will focus on the segregation between and within schools in urban areas and in particular, the responses from various groups of young people to their social positions.