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Politics of Education in Latin America

Reforms, Resistance and Persistence

Series:

Edited by Carlos Ornelas

Politics of Education in Latin America: Reforms, Resistance and Persistence portrays complex situations of education change policies in Latin America from Argentina and Chile, the southernmost part of the continent, to Mexico, the northernmost. The analyses tour through Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Cuba to conclude with a chapter that scrutinizes why the big teacher unions reject most attempts at education reforms. In these, teachers are the target of criticism and, at the same time, the focus of the expectations for progress and better educational quality.

Readers will find a variety of contentious issues such as inclusion, equity, privatization, uses of power, and dialectics between the indications of intergovernmental organizations and the rejection of their recommendations by local political actors. They will also find narratives to raise public education participation, improve the quality of life of teachers, and put local education systems to dialogue with the global world. The politics of education in Latin America is a territory that groups and institutions continue to dispute since the establishment of their education systems.

Developing Teachers’ Assessment Literacy

A Tapestry of Ideas and Inquiries

Series:

Kim Koh, Cecille DePass and Sean Steel

Since the turn of the 21st century, developing teachers’ assessment literacy has been recognized as one of the key levers for improving instructional practice and student learning in light of the education reforms worldwide. A substantial body of literature is focused on teachers’ assessment literacy or teachers’ capacity in assessment, and teachers’ continuing professional development in assessment. As we approach the third decade of the 21st century, developing teachers’ assessment literacy needs to be more responsive to the need of both preservice and inservice teachers who come from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds. The authors concur that both preservice and inservice teachers in today’s complex educational contexts require a deeper level of understanding of assessment. Additionally, teachers are highly encouraged to appreciate the history of educational assessment in different sociocultural and political contexts, as well as to know how to determine the merits of a range of assessment practices best suited for their lesson planning and classroom teaching. In this book, the authors discuss significant aspects of developing teachers’ assessment literacy in different sociocultural and political contexts. Based on their respective educational backgrounds, academic experiences, and applied fields of study, each of the authors presents a critical response to the topic of assessment. Their accounts represent the complexity of the subject through a breadth and range of content and perspectives. By expanding the terms of reference regarding assessment, the authors have developed a book with a far richer panorama on assessment as a springboard for inquiry.

PISA and Global Education Policy

Understanding Finland’s Success and Influence

Series:

Jennifer Chung

PISA and Global Education Policy: Understanding Finland's Success and Influence provides an in-depth investigation for the reasons behind Finland’s success in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Finland’s high performances in every administration of PISA since 2000 have captured worldwide attention. This volume offers a comprehensive exploration into the context of Finland, uncovering its historical, cultural, political, and societal nuances. Furthermore, it delves into the history of Finnish education, providing a strong foundation from which to view the system that produced so much success in PISA. The book analyses empirical data from Finnish professors of education, ministers of education, head teachers, and teachers for the reasons behind Finland’s consistently high outcomes in the survey. It includes viewpoints from OECD officers with direct responsibility for PISA. In addition, it uncovers the impact of Finnish influence on education policy worldwide. Thus, the text presents an analysis of the growing politicisation of international achievement studies such as PISA. The increasingly globalised educational context surrounding PISA calls for an analysis of policy transfer and the already-apparent uncritical policy borrowing of Finnish education policy within the UK context.

Obstinate Education

Reconnecting School and Society

Series:

Gert Biesta

What should the relationship between school and society be? Obstinate Education: Reconnecting School and Society argues that education is not just there to give individuals, groups and societies what they want from it, but that education has a duty to resist. Education needs to be obstinate, not for the sake of being difficult, but in order to make sure that it can contribute to emancipation and democratisation. This requires that education always brings in the question whether what is desired from it is going to help with living life well, individually and collectively, on a planet that has a limited capacity for giving everything that is desired from it.

This book argues that education should not just be responsive but should keep its own responsibility; should not just focus on empowerment but also on emancipation; and, through this, should help students to become ‘world-wise.’ It argues that critical thinking and classroom philosophy should retain a political orientation and not be reduced to useful thinking skills, and shows the importance of hesitation in educational relationships. This text makes a strong case for the connection between education and democracy, both in the context of schools, colleges and universities and in the work of public pedagogy.

Keywords in Radical Philosophy and Education

Common Concepts for Contemporary Movements

Series:

Edited by Derek R. Ford

While education is an inherently political field and practice, and while the political struggles that radical philosophy takes up necessarily involve education, there remains much to be done at the intersection of education and radical philosophy. That so many intense political struggles today actually center educational processes and institutions makes this gap all the more pressing. Yet in order for this work to be done, we need to begin to establish common frameworks and languages in and with which to move.

Keywords in Radical Philosophy and Education takes up this crucial and urgent task. Dozens of emerging and leading activists, organizers, and scholars assemble a collective body of concepts to interrogate, provoke, and mobilize contemporary political, economic, and social struggles. This wide-ranging edited collection covers key and innovative philosophical and educational themes—from animals, sex, wind, and praxis, to studying, podcasting, debt, and students.

This field-defining work is a necessary resource for all activists and academics interested in exploring the latest conceptual contributions growing out of the intersection of social struggles and the university.

Contributors are: Rebecca Alexander, Barbara Applebaum, David Backer, Jesse Bazzul, Brian Becker, Jesse Benjamin, Matt Bernico, Elijah Blanton, Polina-Theopoula Chrysochou, Clayton Cooprider, Katie Crabtree, Noah De Lissovoy, Sandra Delgado, Dean Dettloff, Zeyad El Nabolsy, Derek R. Ford, Raúl Olmo Fregoso Bailón, Michelle Gautreaux, Salina Gray, Aashish Hemrajani, Caitlin Howlett, Khuram Hussain, Petar Jandrić, Colin Jenkins, Kelsey Dayle John, Lenore Kenny, Tyson E. Lewis, Curry Malott, Peter McLaren, Glenn Rikowski, Marelis Rivera, Alexa Schindel, Steven Singer, Ajit Singh, Nicole Snook, Devyn Springer, Sara Tolbert, Katherine Vroman, Anneliese Waalkes, Chris Widimaier, Savannah Jo Wilcek, David Wolken, Jason Wozniak, and Weili Zhao.

The High Stakes of Testing

Exploring Student Experience with Standardized Assessment through Governmentality

Series:

Amy L. Kelly

Standardized assessments have long been part of the educative experience for students around the world. The high-stakes nature of these tests can have damaging and enduring effects for public school systems, particularly the youth. With the adoption of Common Core State Standards and mandated state-wide accountability measures, high-stakes tests, like the PARCC, gained quick and controversial notoriety.

The high-stakes discourse has been dominated by politicians, educators, and parents. Notably absent from this dialogue are the voices of those whom are impacted the most: students. Largely influenced by Critical Pedagogy, this research sheds light on the negative, punitive, and often arbitrary nature of testing in schools. The paramount intention of this publication is to raise awareness of student experiences and perspectives of standardized testing.

The High Stakes of Testing analyzes the experiences, relationships, thoughts, ideas, and opinions students have with standardized assessment measures. Interviews with seven students in Grades 3, 5, and 8 are examined through a governmentality lens to reveal the ways in which the youth are manipulated, regulated, and disciplined to view standardized testing as a natural part of what it means to be a public-school student. It is only when we can begin to see and appreciate how our youth interact with the omnipresent testing in our public schools can we begin to envision changing these accountability practices.

The Imaginationless Generation

Lessons from Ancient Culture on Regulating New Media

Nachshon Goltz and Tracey Dowdeswell

In the present-day Tower of Babylon—the all-encompassing virtual world built of image layered upon image—children are the most vulnerable users. If we permit them unfettered access to media that promotes corporate and consumer values, while suppressing their cognitive development and creative imagination, then an ‘imaginationless generation’ may be our grim and inevitable future.
This book takes the reader, whether an academic, a parent or an educator, through a startling journey from the harms lurking in the virtual worlds—to children’s health and well-being, to how they deal with representations of violence and sexuality, as well as exposure to cyberbullying, advertising, Internet Addiction Disorder, and even exploitation. The most dangerous harm is unseen, and affects the innermost realm of a child’s psyche: the imagination. The authors discuss the current global regulatory framework that makes the protection of children ever more challenging. They discuss lessons learned from the ways that courts have negotiated free speech issues, as well as the research on parental mediation of children’s Internet use in the home. Finally, they move towards a bold new attempt at understanding regulation, by drawing lessons for new media from ancient culture.
In The Imagionationless Generation, the authors pioneer an attempt to address the real harms that children face in virtual realities by presenting a new and paradigm shifting theory—the Media Engagement. They follow the theory’s insights and predictions to offer a new perspective on a burning question of our time—how to protect children online. This multidisciplinary intellectual voyage and its insights are only possible by standing on the shoulders of scholars who have gone before, such as Ellul, Baudrillard, McLuhan, Postman and Piaget, to name a few.
As academics, parents and concerned human beings, the authors present here the results of more than twenty years of research in a way that should appeal to a wide variety of readers, as they stretch our understanding of the human-machine interface beyond right and wrong. This book shapes our understanding of media in the digital age in much the same way that McLuhan’s Understanding Media did for a previous generation.

Preparing Students for Life and Work

Policies and Reforms Affecting Higher Education’s Principal Mission

Edited by Walter Archer and Hans G. Schuetze

In Preparing Students for Life and Work: Policies and Reforms Affecting Higher Education’s Principal Mission the editors assemble works by scholars of higher education who address various aspects of the policies and reforms that affect the education and ultimately the lives and work prospects of students. Chapter topics include the social and government policy context of higher education in various countries, including Canada, Mexico, the USA, Japan, Germany, Europe generally and the Bologna process specifically. Aspects of teaching and learning in higher education, including MOOCs, student services, and treatment of international students are also addressed. Finally, how students themselves have had major impacts on higher education in various countries is touched upon in several chapters.

Yvette V. Lapayese

In every corner of the world, children are learning languages at home that differ from the dominant language used in their broader social world. These children arrive at school with a precious resource: their mother tongue. In the face of this resource and the possibility for biliteracy, majority language educational programs do nothing to support primary language competence. To counter monolingual education, there are significant albeit few initiatives around the world that provide formal support for children to continue to develop competence in their mother tongue, while also learning an additional language or languages. One such initiative is dual language immersion education (DLI).

Interestingly, most (if not all) research on DLI programs focus on the effectiveness of bilingual education vis-à-vis academic access and achievement. The ideologies embedded in the research and guidelines for DLI education, albeit necessary and critical during the early days of DLI schooling, are disconnected from the present realities, epistemologies, and humanness of our bilingual youth.

A Humanizing Dual Language Immersion Education envisions a framework informed by bilingual teachers and students who support biliteracy as a human right. Positioning bilingual education under a human rights framework addresses the basic right of our bi/multilingual youth to human dignity. Respect for the languages of persons belonging to different linguistic communities is essential for a just and democratic society. Given the centrality of language to our sense of who we are and where we fit in the broader world, a connection between linguistic human rights and bilingual education is essential.

Youth Work

Global Futures

Edited by Graham Bright and Carole Pugh

There is on-going debate in youth and community work regarding its future. Driven by processes of neo-liberal governmentality, youth work has been bent in new and uncomfortable directions. For many, this threatens the very telos of praxis. However, despite this, a passionate commitment to youth work’s values and approaches doggedly remains.

This edited volume invites academics working in different continents and contexts to move beyond a critique of youth work’s current state, towards imagining different professional futures. Rooted in the profession’s historic values, and drawing on the distinct political and cultural environments that have shaped youth work practice in different global locations, the authors explore possible new routes and approaches for the profession. These discussions are located geographically (in a devolved United Kingdom, Europe, United States, Australasia, and the Developing/Majority world) as well as across different sectors and approaches (voluntary sector, faith sector, online, young women’s work). The result is a rich picture of global practice. This provides both depth and perspective from which to gain new insights regarding possibilities for future practices, which imagine fairer and more participative societies.