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Nordic Voices

Teaching and Researching Comparative and International Education in the Nordic Countries

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Edited by Halla B. Holmarsdottir and Mina O'Dowd

This volume represents the work of sixteen authors, who all work at different universities and other academic institutions in the Nordic countries. It provides insight into the diversity of research being conducted in the northernmost parts of Europe. Although it would be incorrect to assert that research in this far away part of Europe represents something drastically different than that done in other parts of the world, it would be equally incorrect to maintain that being at the outskirts, on the cusp, or on the periphery _ whichever way one wishes to describe the position of the Nordic countries in relation to the rest of the world—does not influence the ways in which educational processes, phenomena and their consequences are viewed.
These sixteen Nordic Voices discuss with readers different issues regarding teaching and researching Comparative and International Education in the Nordic countries. The editors began their collaboration in 2006, working together to revitalize the Nordic Comparative and International Education Society. NOCIES was officially re-established in May, 2008.
Halla B. Holmarsdottir, who is from Iceland, lives and works in Norway, where she is Associate Professor in Multicultural and International Education at Oslo University College.
Mina O’Dowd, whose father is from the USA and mother is Norwegian, lives and works in Sweden. Nordic Voices: Teaching and Researching Comparative and International Education in the Nordic Countries is a result of the collaboration that began over three years ago.
New Research – New Voices involves two strands, leaving open the possibility of others as the series grows:
Strand 1: New Voices and New Knowledge in Research Methodology
This strand in the book series is dedicated to producing cutting-edge titles focusing on Research Methodology. While it might be generally acknowledged that educational researchers often tend to import methods developed in neighboring disciplines, this is not always acknowledged in the literature on methodology. This series intends to contribute to the knowledge foundation in educational research by specifically seeking out those who work both across disciplines and inter-disciplinary in terms of their methodological approaches. The overall focus is to develop a series focusing on those methods which are appropriate in dealing with the specific research problems of the discipline.
The series provides students and scholars with state-of-the-art scholarship on methodology, methods and techniques focusing on a range of research topics. It comprises innovative and intellectually rigorous monographs and edited collections which bridge schools of thought and cross the boundaries of conventional approaches. The series covers a broad range of issues focusing on not only empirical-analytical and interpretive approaches, but moreover on micro and macro studies, and quantitative and qualitative methods.
Strand 2: New Voices and New Knowledge in Educational Research
This part of the series will focus on theoretical and empirical contributions that are unique and will provide important insights into the field of educational research across a range of contexts globally. This part of the series will collectively communicate new voices, new insights and new possibilities within the field of educational research. In particular the focus will be on scholars, students and communities that have often been excluded or marginalized within educational research and practice.

Muslim Voices in School

Narratives of Identity and Pluralism

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Edited by Özlem Sensoy and Christopher Darius Stonebanks

This book is a collection of readable, accessible, compelling, varied, voiced, passionate, real, textured, multi-faceted, hybrid, fearless, fearful, cautious, bold, modest, and inspired accounts of living Islam in relation to mainstream schooling in the West.
The book helps to make the diverse experiences of Muslim students (from elementary through university, student through professor) both contextual and complex. The politics and education about Islam, Muslims, Arabs, Turks, Iranians and all that is associated with the West’s popular imagination of the monolithic “Middle-East” has long been framed within problematics. The goal of this book is to push back against the reductive mainstream narratives told about Muslim and Middle Eastern heritage students for generations if not centuries, in mainstream schools. The chapters are each authored by Muslim-acculturated scholars.
This book will be of interest to teachers, administrators, students and scholars. As well, the content is suited to fields of study including ethnic studies, critical multicultural education, anti-oppression approaches to education, curriculum studies, social issues in education, social contexts of education, and qualitative research in education.
WINNER! of the National Association for Multicultural Education’s 2010 Philip C. Chinn book award!

Voices From the Margins

School Experiences of Indigenous, Refugee and Migrant Children

Edited by Eva Alerby and Jill Brown

Equitable access to education is fundamental to any concept of social justice offering as it does the means of escape from social and economic marginalisation. Despite this, in too many countries around the world groups of children are systematically denied access to education which will equip them for meaningful participation in the society in which they live. Their needs are ignored and their voices are silenced. They are locked into the position of ‘marginalised other’, the perpetual stranger in society. This collection of studies by an international group of researchers provides a place for migrant, refugee and indigenous children to talk about their school experiences. Refugee children from the Sudan, Afghanistan and Somalia, indigenous children from Sweden, Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam, migrant children in Canada, Iceland and Hong Kong, urban and rural children from Zanzibar all speak out through drawings, small group and individual discussion. For some children their school experiences are positive ones in which systems and teachers work together to meet their needs. For others their experiences are of racism, isolation, inadequately equipped and poorly funded schools, unsympathetic teachers and education systems designed to cater for majority groups. Despite these differences all the children remain enthusiastic about school. They are, in the words of a boy from Afghanistan, ‘thirsty to learn’. The children and the researchers all argue for education as a means to redress, rather than perpetuate, disadvantage. A vital first step in this process is to hear what is being said by those most affected by current practices. The narratives in this text offer a chance to do just that.
Cover photo: Marginalized, Gustav Alerby, Rosvik, Sweden?

Giving Space to African Voices

Rights in Local Languages and Local Curriculum

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Edited by Zehlia Babaci-Wilhite

This book sets out to bring voices of the South to the debate on localization of education and makes the case that it should be considered a right in education. Despite all the scientifically-based evidence on the improved quality of education through the use of a local language and local knowledge, English as a language of instruction and “Western” knowledge based curriculum continue to be used at all educational levels in many developing nations. This means that in many African countries, the goal of rights to education is becoming increasingly remote, let alone that of rights in education. With this understanding and with the awareness of the education challenges of millions of children throughout Africa, the authors argue that local curriculum through local languages needs to be valued and to be preserved, and that children need to be prepared for the world in a language that promotes understanding. The authors make a clear case that policy makers are in a position to work towards a quality education for all as part of a more comprehensive right-based approach. We owe it to the children of the South to offer the best quality education possible in order to achieve social justice.

Refugee and Immigrant Family Voices

Experience and Education

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Elizabeth Quintero

Wisdom and activism come to us sometimes in the smallest and most unexpected ways through soft, previously silenced, yet passionate voices. Critical theory, critical literacy, and related approaches to learning about the world and many forms of knowledge can be a potentially effective way to address complexities of our changing world society. Critical pedagogists and other postmodern scholars speak often of the importance of educators taking on the risk and responsibility of being intellectual participants. By attending to both the sense of opposition and the sense of engaged participation intellectuals can explore the possibilities for action.
This book reports on qualitative research following educators—including parents, community elders and teachers using critical literacy—in several countries and documents the ways the educators use various funds of knowledge (Moll et al., 2005) for self-advocacy. It modestly attempts to address the funds of knowledge of educators (families and community members) in a variety of contexts from a variety of cultures, continents, and situations of living.
Thus, this book is for all of us striving to make connections with migrating people through our work—educators, researchers, community activists, classroom teachers, family advocates, and readers interested in the changing dynamics of societies.
Comparative and International Education: A Diversity of Voices aims to provide a comprehensive range of titles, making available to readers work from across the comparative and international education research community. Authors will represent as broad a range of voices as possible, from geographic, cultural and ideological standpoints. The editors are making a conscious effort to disseminate the work of newer scholars as well as that of well-established writers.
The series includes authored books and edited works focusing upon current issues and controversies in a field that is undergoing changes as profound as the geopolitical and economic forces that are reshaping our worlds.
The series aims to provide books which present new work, in which the range of methodologies associated with comparative education and international education are both exemplified and opened up for debate. As the series develops, it is intended that new writers from settings and locations not frequently part of the English language discourse will find a place in the list.

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Edited by Berinderjeet Kaur, Glenda Anthony, Minoru Ohtani and David Clarke

" We highly recommend this volume to readers. . . A wonderful book that includes a set of chapters to focus on a unique yet important topic, student voice. . . presents the mathematics education community with another important contribution to what we can learn about students’ learning experience through their voice, from classrooms around the world. . . this volume has not only focused on the unique and important topic of student voice but also helped us to gain more insights about classroom instruction around the world. "— Educational Studies in Mathematics
The Learner’s Perspective Study ascribes to the premise that the investigation of social practice within the mathematics classrooms must attend to the learners’ practice with at least the same priority as that accorded to the teachers’ practice. In focusing on student voice within this partnership, as enacted in many different guises across different cultures and socio-political learning environments, we hope that we will be better informed to understand the relationship between pedagogy and learning mathematics, and between pedagogy and the empowerment of diverse learners.
Research findings from the Learner’s Perspective Study reported in this book and its companion volumes affirm just how culturally-situated are the practices of classrooms around the world and the extent to which students are collaborators with the teacher, complicit in the development and enactment of patterns of participation that reflect individual, societal and cultural priorities and associated value systems. In this book, we attend closely to this collaboration with our focus on the voice of the student. Collectively, the authors consider how the deliberate inclusion of student voice can be used to enhance our understandings of mathematics classrooms, of mathematics learning, and of mathematics outcomes for students in classrooms around the world.
The Learner’s Perspective Study aims to juxtapose the observable practices of the classroom and the meanings attributed to those practices by classroom participants. The LPS research design documents sequences of at least ten lessons, using three video cameras, supplemented by the reconstructive accounts of classroom participants obtained in post-lesson video-stimulated interviews, and by test and questionnaire data, and copies of student written material. In each participating country, data generation focuses on the classrooms of three teachers, identified by the local mathematics education community as competent, and situated in demographically different school communities within the one major city. The large body of complex data supports both the characterization of practice in the classrooms of competent teachers and the development of theory.

Buddhist Voices in School

How a Community Created a Buddhist Education Program for State Schools

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Sue Erica Smith

There are 400 million Buddhists in the world. Buddhists in Australia make up 3% of the population. So why have Buddhists had so little to say about educating youth? And, can Buddhism survive in Australia without educating youth?
Sue Smith in Buddhist Voices in School answers why Buddhists are reluctant to ‘go public’ on education, and how Buddhism has much to offer the critical area of enhancing the wellbeing of young people. Here she distinguishes spiritual education from religion.
Using case studies of Buddhist classes in primary schools, Smith shows how a community adapted Buddha-Dharma to fit with contemporary education. The book describes how Social and Emotional Learning, inquiry and experiential approaches to education fit well with the intentions of Buddhism.
In these classes students learned to meditate and explored ethics through a lively selection of Jataka tales. Voices from a Buddhist community, state school teachers, parents and also students inform the narrative of this book. It is the students themselves that reveal over time how they have developed calm, focus, kindness, resilience and better ability to make choices through their participation.
The author concludes that the principles and techniques used in this program make potent contributions to current pedagogy. This book will be of great value to educators, academics and all those who have interest in Buddhism and who care about how children are educated.

Voices of Resilience

Stigma, Discrimination and Marginalisation of Indian Women Living with HIV/AIDS

Pam O'Connor and Jaya Earnest

This book presents the results of a study that examined the multiple layers of stigma and discrimination experienced by women infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in a low socio-economic area of Mumbai, India. Using exploratory qualitative methods and underpinned by the psychosocial framework and gendered perspectives the study attempts to represent the voices of affected and infected women. The book first focuses on a global overview of HIV, presents data on the Indian context and provides a synthesis of HIV in relation to stigma, discrimination and gender. The second part of the book probes the depth of impact on women’s lives using the lenses of gender, economic status, the environment and physical health. The framework was further modified and extended to include threats revealed by and strengths indentified in infected and affected women. The analysis revealed that strategies to address stigma and discrimination need to address the social, cultural, religious and systemic barriers to changing attitudes. The book portrays the resilience of each woman’s spirit and the unique capacity of the women to cope, to find strength, to pursue life and to maintain hope when their dreams and the dreams of their children have been shattered through HIV/AIDS.