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Namrata Jain

Childhood is for every child. It is marked by age and being. However, it is also the turning of a child into a gendered subject. The privileges of innocence and ignorance also bring in tow the hegemony of the adult and its ideology. Concordantly, children become the miniature ground for adult politics. In other words, turning children into gendered subjects, the society ensures its own longevity in terms of norms and codes of behaviour and social status or space. As a result, childhood becomes a prey of gender politics. On the other hand, class politics operate upon a child, declaring childhood to be a luxury. The coupling of gender and class brings to fore the marginalised state of a working class girl child.

Mhairi Cowden and Joanne C. Lau

The terms capacity and competence play a central role in moral and political philosophy by determining the moral status of a subject. More specifically, they play a primary role in the determination of rights, especially in the literature on children’s rights. Despite their importance, these terms are often used interchangeably, or not defined at all. This leads to confusion regarding their application and significance, particularly when using the terms to determine the rights of the child. In this chapter, we propose a distinction between capacity and competence that will help to address and clarify the debates in the literature. We then introduce the additional concepts of ableness. Finally, we argue that these concepts, distinguished in this way, can help to address future research within the field of children’s rights.

Vicky Anderson-Patton

‘Children enter schools as questions marks and leave schools as periods.’ As this quote indicates, schools are entrenched in boundaries and rules which undermine students’ natural curiosity for learning, risk taking, and creative expression. Educators have recognised the need for social and emotional boundaries in the classroom since Maslow and Rogers’s writings. If a student does not feel psychologically safe in the classroom then it is unlikely that s/he will open up to answer questions, take risks, or even participate in the learning process. American students are frequently subjected to one standardised curricula, where teachers must be on the same page simultaneously, indifferent to students’ learning needs, multiple intelligence strengths, cultural/linguistic/socioeconomic diversity, and interests. Clearly these rigid curricula boundaries are ineffective. They undermine students’ confidence and self-esteem, forcing their creativity underground. Students become focused on extrinsic motivation - teachers’ feedback and the copious test scores inundating them (PSSAs, Terra Novas, Bench mark, SATs), which reinforce inflexible boundaries. Conversely, innovative thinking, and problem solving skills are considered the essential workplace qualities American workers currently require to remain forefront in the competitive job market. This demands students’ education be scaffolded utilising flexible curricula boundaries, where teaching can be individualised to maximise each student’s potential. Educators must understand students’ strengths, weaknesses and cultural boundaries, and how these may impact individual and group learning. Additionally, educators must recognise their own teaching and learning strengths, multiple intelligence profiles, as we all teach from our strengths. Furthermore, through careful observations, data collection, feedback, self-study and reflection educators must be aware of their own boundaries, and how these affect classroom climate. They must distinguish between boundaries that support academic and social growth and those that undermine intellectual curiosity, creative expression/problem solving, and consider how boundaries affect student learning. Educators must stretch themselves beyond their teaching comfort zones, thus modelling flexible boundaries to students.

Phenomenology and Education

Cosmology, Co-Being, and Core Curriculum

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Michael M. Kazanjian

Phenomenologists or Continental thinkers argue for the subject-object continuum. For phenomenology, subjectivity is of the object, and object is for the subject. This book applies that continuum to the holistic foundations of work or specialization. The author devotes a chapter to each of eight cultural applications of the subject-object continuum. Chapter One examines the specialist-generalist continuum meaning specialization for general education. That continuum comprises the framework for the remaining seven chapters. Those seven include production for community, design for user, automation for user, computing for society, taxation for society, information for manufacturing, and procedure for goal. These eight applications constitute the basis for a core curriculum. The core curriculum gives holistic meaning, order, or cosmos to all jobs and to all people. Cosmos is a Greek word meaning humanistic-scientific order, irreducible to physics. The core curriculum is fundamental cosmology. Each of the eight continuities follow in a logical, systematic manner from the analytic-subjective continuum meaning object for subjectivity. Phenomenology of education can become the human basis of a promising holistic logic, bringing together analytic and existential themes.

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Edited by Eva Alcón Soler and Maria-Pilar Safont-Jordà

Studies on discourse and language learning originated in the field of general education and they focused on first language learning environments. However, since 1980s research on discourse and language learning broadened the scope of investigation to respond to second and foreign language environments. Recently, the emergence of new language learning contexts such as computer mediated communication, multilingual settings or content and language integrated contexts requires further research that focuses on discourse and language learning. From this perspective, the present volume aims to broaden the scope of investigation in foreign language contexts by exploring discourse patterns in the classroom and examining the impact of factors such as gender, explicitness of feedback or L1 use on language learning through discourse. With that aim in mind, this volume will bring together research that investigates discourse in various instructional settings, namely those of primary, secondary and university L2 learning environments, content and language integrated contexts and other new language learning settings. The number and variety of languages involved both as the first language (e.g. English, Finnish, Basque, Spanish, Japanese, French, Italian, Catalan) as well as the target foreign language (e.g. English, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish) makes the volume specially attractive. Additionally, the different approaches adopted by the researchers participating in this volume, such as information processing, sociocultural theory, or conversation analysis, widen the realm of investigation on discourse and language learning. Finally, the strength of the volume also lies in the range of educational settings (primary, secondary and tertiary education) and the worldwide representation of contributors across seven different countries, namely those of Spain, France, Austria, Finland, Germany, Canada, Australia and the United States. The uniqueness of the volume is due to its eclectic and comprehensive nature in tackling instructional discourse. Worldwide outstanding researchers, like Julianne House, Carme Muñoz, Ute Smit, Tarja Nikula or Roy Lyster, to quote but a few, adopt different perspectives in this joint contribution that will certainly broaden the scope of research on language learners’ discourse.