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Educational Stratification, Meritocracy and Widening Participation

Despite the high aspirations of young people from disadvantaged communities, they face barriers that are frustrating the realisation of their educational ambitions.

This book analyses the ‘left-behind’ phenomenon and shows how education has become the new divide in Western society. It explains how denied educational equality and frustrated opportunity are undermining social cohesion and what we can do about it. It challenges meritocratic thinking and the efficacy of widening participation as a policy for social inclusion.

Combining analysis of educational disadvantage at an international level and among Travelling communities with empirical data derived from fieldwork with parents, teachers and students in the European Union (Ireland), this book offers fresh thinking and new hope in relation to young people left behind in the opportunity structure.

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Global Forces and Local Responses

Rooted in an international political economy theoretical framework, this book provides unique insights into the global forces and local responses that are shaping education systems in Central America and the Latin Caribbean (CALC).

The book covers all Spanish-speaking countries of the CALC region and examines the effects of macro-economic pressures, geopolitical intervention, neo-colonial relationships, global pandemics, transnational gang networks, and the influence of international organizations. Chapters analyse the challenges and opportunities these global forces present to education systems in the region as well as highlighting the local efforts to address, mitigate, and counteract them. In doing so, the book illuminates how education can contribute to either maintaining or challenging inequalities and exclusion in the face of pressures from the global to local levels.

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Understanding Education Policy through Mobilities and Assemblage

This book combines assemblage theory and policy mobilities to inform the study of comparative and international education (CIE), focusing on education policy and how such policy moves are enacted.

These approaches challenge taken-for-granted and universalizing concepts in policy research and policy work in CIE such as the nation-state, policy making/policy enactment, global/local, Global North/Global South and highlight how policy is contingent on emerging through complex relations between people and places.

Using illustrative cases and vignettes drawn from research and practice in CIE and education development, the book demonstrates how these ideas can be used in the analysis of policy and the application of this approach in real life.

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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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The Making of Unequal Graduate Lives

What are the challenges for the current generation of graduate millennials? The role of universities and the changing nature of the graduate labour market are constantly in the news, but less is known about the experiences of those going through it.

This new book traces the transition to the graduate labour market of a cohort of middle-class and working-class young people who were tracked through seven years of their undergraduate and post-graduation lives.

Using personal stories and voices, the book provides fascinating insights into the group’s experience of graduate employment and how their life-course transitions are shaped by their social backgrounds and education. Critically evaluating current government and university policies, it shows the attitudes and values of this generation towards their hopes and aspirations on employment, political attitudes and cultural practices.

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Education policy has a long tradition of political sociology, but the dominant trend continues to be sociological.

Drawing on data and analysis from the Education Policy Knowledgeable Polity (EPKP) project, supported by funders such as the British Academy and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), this book aims to restore the role of political analysis by presenting a new political sociology for framing, conducting and presenting education policy research.

In doing so, it will be the first in the field to connect political thinking from Arendt with sociological thinking from Bourdieu, producing innovative analysis for and about educational reform.

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Redesigning Research Universities
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Are British research universities losing their way or are they finding a new way?

Nigel Thrift, a well-known academic and a former Vice-Chancellor, explores recent changes in the British research university that threaten to erode the quality of these higher education institutions. He considers what a research university has now become by examining the quandaries that have arisen from a succession of misplaced strategies and false expectations.

Challenging both higher education policy and leadership, he argues that the focus on student number growth and a series of research policy missteps has upset research universities’ priorities just at a point in the history of planetary breakdown when their research is most needed.

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Over recent decades, national Higher Education sectors across the world have experienced a gradual process of marketisation.

This book offers a new interpretation on why and how marketisation has taken place within England. It explores distinct assumptions on the nature of graduate work and how the graduate labour market drives the argumentation for more market and choice. Demonstrating the flaws in these assumptions – which are based on an idealised relationship between Higher Education and high-skilled work – this book fills an important need by questioning the current rationale for further marketisation.

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Reimagining Education for Global Challenges and Alternative Futures
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How can higher education contribute to tackling today’s complex challenges?

In this wide-ranging book, Anke Schwittay argues that, in order to inspire and equip students to generate better responses to global challenges, we need a pedagogy that develops their imagination, creativity, emotional sensibilities and practical capabilities.

Schwittay proposes a critical-creative pedagogy that incorporates design-based activities, experiential teaching, serious play and future-oriented practices. Crucially, she demonstrates the importance of moving beyond analysing limitations to working towards alternatives for more equitable, just and sustainable futures.

Presenting concrete ideas for the reimagination of higher education, this book is an essential read for both educators and students in any field studying global challenges.

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