Inequality in Education Collection

 

As a taster of our publishing in inequality in education, we put together a collection of free articles, chapters and Open Access titles. If you are interested in trying out more content from our Global Social Challenges collections, ask your librarian to sign up for a free trial.

Inequality in Education Collection

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In the Introduction, the author reflects on his experiences of being an educator in the state school system in England and discusses why a more developed perspective on the nature of exclusion in schools is necessary. The phenomenon is set out that the vast majority of all formally recorded school exclusions in the UK take place in England, most of these exclusions are of secondary school students and of these excluded students, those who are disadvantaged make up a disproportionate number. It is argued that there are, potentially, a wide array of practices in schools that may be popularly regarded as ‘inclusive’, but when scrutinised closely are actually exclusionary. This approach encourages readers to consider exclusion not as a binary – in/out – process, but as taking place in layers.

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This chapter introduces the reader to the book by briefly visiting the author’s experience of schooling to explain the initial motivation for this research. This chapter also introduces the initial research questions and provides some detail around key concepts and the limitations of what is and is not said in this book. This chapter includes an overview of the structure of the remainder of book

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The introductory chapter explores the landscape of educational disadvantage. It contextualises the core conceptual issues in the book and provides an intellectual rationale and overview of the book. In this chapter the origins of Western society are explored through an analysis of the ideas of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. The seminal contribution of Pierre Bourdieu to understanding educational inequality in modern society is introduced.

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This chapter sets out ways in which female teachers are marginalised and continually displaced. Social, economic and education contexts of female teacher displacement examine restrictions placed on women’s work and income levels, educational opportunities for girls and their role within the household, as well as the impact of educational culture and policy on the teacher’s role. Chapter 1 concludes with an argument for the lived experiences of low-income female teachers to be taken into account to respond to a lack of representation within policy and education development within India.

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This introductory chapter sets out the background to the book. It locates the volume in relation to contemporary debates about sustainable futures and decolonizing education and to existing initiatives, including sustainable development goals and the UNESCO Futures of Education initiative. The chapter presents the aims of the collection and provides an overview of each section in the book, including a summary of the key ideas and arguments that will be developed by the chapter authors.

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This paper presents the findings of longitudinal research conducted in Ethiopia exploring the effects of COVID-19 school closures on children’s holistic learning, including their socio-emotional and academic learning. It draws on data from over 2,000 pupils captured in 2019 and 2021 to compare primary school children’s dropout and learning before and after school closures. The study adapts self-reporting scales used in similar contexts to measure grade 4–6 pupils’ social skills and numeracy. Findings highlight the risk of widening inequality regarding educational access and outcomes, related to pupils’ gender, age, wealth and location. They also highlight a decline in social skills following school closures and identify a positive and significant relationship between pupils’ social skills and numeracy over time. In conclusion, we recommend a need for education systems to promote children’s holistic learning, which is even more vital in the aftermath of the pandemic.

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The chapter introduces the key themes of the book. The outline is made of the twin pushes of academisation and a national policy that has lost sight of the wider world and the communities it is supposed to serve. The structure of the book is set out.

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Educational transitions play a critical role in the (re)production of social inequalities. Transitions to upper secondary education are particularly significant as in most European countries this is when students are separated into different tracks – academic and vocational – and the first time they face a ‘real choice’ over their educational trajectory. Using a qualitative-driven approach that includes multiple research techniques (documentary analysis, questionnaires and interviews), the book offers a detailed account of upper secondary educational choices and transitions in two global European cities: Barcelona and Madrid. Contributors explore the political, institutional and subjective dimensions of these transitions and the multiple mechanisms of inequality that operate. The book examines the structure of the education system, the features of the academic-vocational divide and teachers’, policymakers’ and students’ practices and beliefs to provide a comprehensive understanding of the transition to upper secondary education. The book also shows how young people’s educational choices and opportunities are deeply mediated by the axes of social inequality (social class, gender and migration backgrounds) in multiple ways. Overall, the book provides a sound theoretical perspective and robust empirical evidence of how social inequalities are produced and extended by educational transitions to upper secondary level.

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After more than a decade of funding cuts and a never-ending stream of instrumentalist policy interventions, it’s time to re-evaluate the purpose of further and adult education. In England, there are two very different perspectives on this purpose. One view, held by government ministers, civil servants and policy makers, positions colleges and other providers as little factories whose sole purpose is to churn out a flexible, identity-less and objectified workforce of skilled labour. The other view, arising from local contexts and from the embodied experience of teachers and students, sees further and adult education as being about the growth and development of real people with real lives, families and communities. This view asserts its supreme value as an engine for individual, community-based and social change.

This book presents research from the Transforming Lives project: inspirational stories of transformative teaching and learning: educational experiences that have brought positive change to people’s lives and a huge range of wider social benefits. These stories assert the transformative power of education, its important role in bringing about social justice and as a space for nurturing change, love and hope for the future. While we celebrate these transformative stories, the research also illuminates the conditions that foster transformative educational experiences and the factors that hinder. The book argues that changes to funding and governance are vital if the true potential of further and adult education is to be realised.

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Anti-Racism in Higher Education: An Action Guide for Change is a direct response to the calls to actions and progression in developing and practising anti-racism across the higher education sector. Higher education as a sector and universities play a significant role in advancing society, providing opportunities for people and communities to be liberated and successful through education. Universities hold an intrinsic role in local and national communities and play a significant role in bringing diverse talent to different areas of the United Kingdom. The conception of this book came through the collective action with racialised people of colour who continue to live through, witness, see, hear and be exposed to all forms of racism, from covert exclusion to barriers in career progression and through to the widening degree-awarding gap and cultures that prevent university staff and students from being successful and having the same opportunities as their White counterparts in higher education.

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