Education, Learning and Participation (FERA 50 Years Anniversary - Celebrating with Colleagues)

Wednesday, 23 August, 15:30 - 17:00
Location: K1.02 Auditorium 2

Speakers: Raisa Ahtiainen; Ninja Hienonen; Jonas Andreasen Lysgaard; Sofia Marques da Silva
Chair: Petri Nokelainen

The Finnish Educational Research Association (FERA) is celebrating its 50 years anniversary in 2017. To celebrate the anniversary FERA will publish in Finnish an edited book on education, learning and participation. The session is based on the ideas expressed in the book adding voices from our colleagues from other countries. The focus of the session will be on participation.

The grounding idea of Finnish compulsory comprehensive school since its establishment in 1970s has been to educate every child. This has gathered children with various abilities to study together, and it has been supported by creating and developing special educational practices. Ahtiainen and others discuss the normative concepts used in naming “the special”. Thus, the concepts used when the student does not fit within the boundaries of normality. At conceptual level, these practices can be interpreted as forming participation or non-participation.

The second presentation on participation by Jonas Andreasen Lysgaard will address different takes on participation in learning, particularly those informed by critical educational theory and sociocultural theory of learning. The focus will be on the tensions between the normative and transformative on the one side and the discursive and transcendental on the other. Drawing on a Lacanian perspective the key argument is that although participation as an educational ideal cannot be fully reached, or measured, it nevertheless holds significance as an organizing principle of the pedagogical practice.

The third presentation by Sofia Marques da Silva will report on a multinational research project (PIDOP- Processes Influencing Democratic Ownership and Participation), which involved Belgium, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Italy, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Sweden and Turkey. PIDOP, with a multidisciplinary approach, departure from the idea that European citizens’ levels of participation had declined, giving place to a political disengagement, lack of trust in democratic institutions, and, thus, to a democratic deficit. The project investigated civic and political engagement and participation of European Citizens, particularly  among young people and young adults, also by analysing people‘s concepts of citizenship, sense of belonging and ownership.

The project had a particular interest and focus on groups that are more at risk of becoming disengaged such as minorities, groups with a migrant background, and women. Among others, PIDOP contributed for a multi-level theoretical understanding of processes underlying civic and political engagement and participation and produced new evidence-based policy and practice recommendations for key stakeholders at regional, national and European levels.

Future ECERs

ECER'24, Nicosia
ECER'25, Belgrade
ECER'26, Tampere
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The aim of the ‘European Conference on Educational Research’ is to create an inclusive platform for initiating, reporting, discussing and promoting high quality educational research ...
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