Misconceptions of schooling
Earlier chapters showed that explanations of mobility draw heavily
on assumptions about individual ability and achievement, rather than
structural constraints on opportunity, to account for class outcomes.
That individualistic discourse says achieving upward mobility and its
consequent social benefits is fair because those who are downwardly
mobile, or immobile at the bottom of the social hierarchy, deserve to
fail since they are lesser human beings who lack ‘ability’. Educational
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.
Schooling for joy
There is nothing inherently good about education,
schooling, or learning. (Harber, 2004, p 7)
Only to an authoritarian mind can the act of educating
be seen as a dull task. Democratic educators can only see
the acts of teaching, of learning, of studying as serious,
demanding tasks that not only generate satisfaction but are
pleasurable in and of themselves. (Freire, 2000, p 90)
The changing purposes and evaluations of schooling
Universal standardised schooling is arguably the world’s most ambitious
social experiment. It is still
URBAN SCHOOLING: whither education?
The formation of a distinctive problem-area
of educational policy and provision con-
cerning 'urban' or 'inner city' populations is
illustrated by three successive and over-
lapping policy developments: the strategy of
Priority schools and Educational Priority
Areas (EPAs); multi-cultural education; and
current schemes for establishing forms of
schools-industry 'partnership'. A charac-
teristic feature of policy in this area is that it
programmes qualitatively different kinds of
educational provision (or
transitions to secondary
schooling: a social capital
Kevin Stelfox and Ralph Catts
The transition from primary to secondary school has been identified
as of interest, with much research focused on the articulation of the
curriculum provision (Galton et al, 2000). Our aim was to explore the
experience of transition from the perspective of social capital to see
whether this could add to our understanding.
The research was undertaken in two phases over a period of twelve
months. The first phase was based in a primary school
Bumpy integration: children and
Children who are legally resident overseas nationals have the
same rights to compulsory education as UK nationals and
their educational experiences are an important aspect of the
migrant-integration story in this country. This chapter examines
this issue and argues that migrant children’s social-inclusion
trajectories show an unevenness. For most children, attending
school has equipped them with the resources they need for social
integration. However, analysis of examination results shows
New York State, namely, New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) and Long Island Opt Out (LIOO). More specifically, the focus of this chapter is on understanding how, over the last three years, 20 per cent of the parents, who are typically hesitant to defy educational mandates and authorities, refused to submit their children to the standardised tests. Importantly, we also show that these parent activists have a broader target than standardised tests, namely, the neoliberal or corporate reform agenda in public schooling (see Burch, 2009 ; Au and Ferrare
The process of becoming an adult in contemporary times is fragmented and unequal, shaped by chance, choice and timing. “Unfolding lives" presents a unique approach to understanding the changing face of youth transitions, addressing the question of how gender identities are constituted in late modern culture.
The book follows individual lives over time, enabling the reader to witness gender identities in the making and breathing new life into static analytic models. At the heart of the book are vivid in-depth accounts of four young lives, emblematic of broader biographical trends. They reveal how inequalities and privileges are made in new and unexpected ways, through practices such as falling in love, coming out, acting out and religious conversion. A focus on temporal processes and changing meanings captures what it feels like to be young and shows the creative ways that young people navigate the conflicting and changing demands of personal relationships, schooling, work and play. “Unfolding lives" is also a demonstration of a method-in-practice, describing how longitudinal material can be analysed and animated to realise the relationship between personal and social change.
Written in an accessible style that breaks the conventional academic mould, “Unfolding lives" is a compelling and provocative read. The book will be an essential text for students and academics involved in youth and gender studies as well as those interested in new directions in qualitative research methods and writing.
Capabilities and the challenge to
This chapter proposes an ethical model of inclusion that views
inclusion as social participation. It thus opposes ideas of inclusion
such as those commonly found in systems theory, for example, where
it is understood in purely instrumental-functional terms and on a
societal level (Luhmann, 1984; Stichweh, 2009). From the perspective
of systems theory, inclusion is merely a binary question of being ‘in’
or ‘out’. There are no processes of inclusion and no communities as
Schooling that works for
some but not for others
One thing about which there seems to be near universal
consensus among education policy makers is that education
systems should provide equally for all children and provide the
opportunity of success for all.
This holds whether you start from the position of the United
Nations (UN) goal to ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality
education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’
(United Nations, 2015) or from the UN Convention on the
Rights of the Child, Article 29, which states that