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Aspirations, Opportunities and the Reproduction of Social Class
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Despite a mass expansion of the higher education sector in the UK since the 1960s, young people from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds remain less likely to enter university than their advantaged counterparts.

Drawing on unique new research gathered from three contrasting secondary schools in England, including interviews with children from three year groups and careers advisors, this book explores the aspirations, opportunities and experiences of young people from different social-class backgrounds against a backdrop of continuing inequalities in education.

By focusing both on the stories of young people and the schools themselves, the book sheds light on the institutional structures and practices that render young people more, or less, able to pursue their aspirations.

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The Enterprise Narrative and the Shadow State

Viv Ellis, Lauren Gatti and Warwick Mansell present a unique and international analysis of teacher education policy.

Adopting a political economy perspective, this distinctive text provides a comparative analysis of three contrasting welfare state models – the US, England and Norway – following the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Arguing that a new political economy of teacher education began to emerge in the decade following the GFC, the authors explore key concepts in education privatisation and examine the increasingly important role of shadow state enterprises in some jurisdictions.

This topical text demonstrates the potential of a political economy approach when analysing education policies regarding pre-service teacher education and continuing professional development.

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A Conceptual Toolbox

The field of education policy research is a dense, crowded space owing to its complicated relationship to different intellectual histories and the influence of various ontologies or ‘turns’. To aid comprehension and clarity, this book describes the history, contribution and application of over 90 keywords in the field of education policy research. It is designed as a reference, learning and teaching tool to assist students, educators and researchers with:

• complex learning and teaching;

• wider and background reading and knowledge building;

• critical scholarship and research;

• interdisciplinary thinking and writing;

• theory development and application.

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Implications for Reflective Practice
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Education in India concentrates on exam performance and consequently the teacher in India often acts as a disseminator of textbook material, as well as maintaining class discipline and respect. This book explores low-income female teachers’ speech and syntax as a crucial resource in which agency, freedom and empowerment is enacted within a strong oral tradition in India.

The book demonstrates how this socially and economically marginalised group overcome prejudices to develop relational agency and embed their authority. It shows how they establish their values and why their beliefs shape attitudes to aspiration, achievement and freedom of choice. It concludes with recommendations for policy and improvements to reflective practice in teaching.

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Bringing together the perspectives of researchers, policy makers, activists, educators and practitioners, this book critically interrogates the Western-centric assumptions underpinning education and development agendas and the colonial legacies of violence they often uphold.

The book considers the crucial connection between the idea of sustainable futures and the demand to decolonise education. Containing an innovative mixture of text, stories and poetry, it explores how decolonised futures can be conceived and enacted, offering theoretical and practical examples, including from practice in educational and cultural organisations. In doing so, the book highlights education’s potential role in facilitating processes of reparative justice that can contribute to decolonised futures.

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Why Theory Matters and What to Do about It
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The field of digital technology in education has long been under-theorised.

This book will enable the reader to reflect on the use of theory when explaining technology use and set out ways in which we can theorise better. It explores the concept of theory and looks at how teaching, learning, and technology itself have been theorised. With relatable international case studies, it shows how theories underpin optimistic and pessimistic accounts of technology in education.

This innovative book will help readers to understand more deeply the use of digital technology in education, as well as the idea of theory and how to develop a distinctly educational approach to theorising.

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The Challenge to Teach Civic Competence and Democratic Participation
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Democracy should enable citizens to play an informed role in determining how power is exercised for their common wellbeing, but this only works if people have the understanding, skills and confidence to engage effectively in public affairs. Otherwise, any voting system can be subverted to serve the interests of propagandists and demagogues.

This book brings together leading experts on learning for democracy to explore why and how the gap in civic competence should be bridged.

Drawing on research findings and case examples from the UK, the US and elsewhere, it will set out why change is necessary, what could be taught differently to ensure effective political engagement, and how a lasting impact in improving citizens’ learning for democratic participation can be made.

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Negotiating Inclusion and Prestige
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The liberal arts approach to higher education is a growing trend globally. We are told that the mental dexterity and independent, questioning spirit cultivated by such interdisciplinary degrees are the best preparation for the as-yet unknown executive jobs of tomorrow.

This book explores the significant recent growth of these degrees in England, in order to address an enduring problem for higher education: the relationship between meritocracy and elitism.

Against the view that the former is a myth providing rhetorical cover for the latter, it argues that these are two entangled, but discrete, value systems. Sociology must now pay attention to how students and academics attempt to disentangle them.

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Returning Education to the Public Service
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The COVID-19 pandemic has left inequalities in schools wider and uncertainty about the future greater. Now seems an appropriate time to think about the contribution schooling makes to the communities it serves and the country generally.

However, drawing on his recent research, Richard Riddell argues that the increasingly narrow focus of Education governance after 20 years of reform has made new thinking impossible and has degraded public life.

Nevertheless, he highlights new possibilities for democratic behaviour and the opening up of schooling to all it serves.

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Revealing Public Secrets

Drawing on affect theory and research on academic capitalism, this book examines the contemporary crisis of universities. Moving through 11 international and comparative case studies, it explores diverse features of contemporary academic life, from the coloniality of academic capitalism to performance management and the experience of being performance-managed.

Affect has emerged as a major analytical lens of social research. However, it is rarely applied to universities and their marketisation. Offering a unique exploration of the contemporary role of affect in academic labour and the organisation of scholarship, this book considers modes of subjectivation, professional and personal relationships and organisational structures and their affective charges.

Chapter 9 is available Open Access via OAPEN under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

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