Education

Our education list focuses on education policy and politics and the inequalities that are both built into education systems and perpetuated by them. It speaks to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education. 

Our titles, including Arun Verma’s Anti-Racism in Higher Education, address the challenges in education, including those around technology and the digital divide. The list offers students and researchers internationally sourced evidence-based solutions that challenge traditional neoliberal approaches to learning.

Education

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  • Key Issues in Social Justice: Voices from the Frontline x
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This chapter brings together key areas discussed in Chapters 2, 3 and 4 to focus on what they can tell us about female teacher agency. This discussion contributes to outlining recommendations to support effective reflective practice among teachers in India. Teacher values outlined in previous chapters act as the foundation for understanding female teacher agency and how reflective practice can be developed within teacher education. Specifically, Chapter 5 outlines the classroom as a space for female teacher empowerment and how reworking teacher effectiveness in India can support reflective practice.

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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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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 chapter centres upon teachers’ understanding of Habermas’s notion of authentic knowledge and what teachers believe is transformation for their students and themselves. The chapter draws upon teacher responses to examine their social praxis, as defined by a form of distributed personhood, to pass on knowledge to their students.

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This chapter outlines teacher’s perceptions of their roles. This includes their social relationships with students and colleagues, expectations of behaviour from students, dynamics of the classroom and motivations to become a teacher. Family expectations and roles are also examined, as this provides a crucial foundation for understanding why women from low-income backgrounds choose to teach and how this contributes to their need to stay within the profession.

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This chapter examines the way teachers defined their social spaces in terms of who was part of their community and who was outside this. The definition of community itself is explored in this chapter in relation to teacher relationships that maintain social cohesion by avoiding internal conflict and protecting each other from external intrusion. This chapter also builds on teachers’ understanding of core neoliberal ideologies that have defined education policy in India, by commenting on what a meaningful life is for themselves.

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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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The focus of Chapter 2 will be to provide detailed insights into how we carried out the research and the way we gathered additional material. The contextualisation of the research will be a key focus. The diversity of the participants necessitated an exploration of their views framed by a commentary on the wider educational landscape. Participants engaged with the project because they had a positive story to tell so we develop a rationale for moving from a deficit paradigm and using a qualitative approach and explore the use of narrative while foregrounding the principle of seeing and undertaking research as a social practice. Finally, we develop a justification for extending the research through the use of two quantitative surveys and present some of the findings from them.

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Chapter 7 will revisit current theorisations of transformative teaching and learning and position our work within that field. Drawing on the heritage of the British adult education tradition, we flesh out a distinctive, contextualised theorisation of transformative education.

We draw on a range of theoretical perspectives as we pull together the themes from the teachers and learners’ chapters and probe the interconnected nature of teaching and learning in transformative education. This involves engaging with the principles of critical pedagogy, the debate around powerful knowledges, looking at symbolic violence and embodiment in educational experiences. The strongly aspects of transformative teaching and learning are addressed by exploring the role of affect, spatiality and the triad of belief, hope, love and care in transformative teaching and learning. Finally, we return to purposes: do we want a further and adult education orientated to maintaining the (flawed) social inequalities of the past, or do we instead need to reimagine it as a space for reimagining the collective personal development and socially just changes that we need in order to face the enormous challenges of the future?

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At the heart of the book, Chapter 4 will present the voices of students and teachers from the research as they have recounted their experiences to us but also, where relevant, the voices of parents and employers that sometimes assume great importance within these narratives and the journeys they take both within and outside the classroom. For us, these stories communicate how further and adult education is a force not just for individual development but for addressing social inequality. These are powerful and affecting stories of the triumph of individuals over difficult and often sharp and painful circumstances. They illustrate how transformative teaching and learning has a positive and courageous ripple effect into families and communities. The examples we present highlight the importance of the teacher’s role, how transformative educational experiences connect with parenthood and can take place even areas of provision (like apprenticeships) in which students are structurally and discursively positioned in objectified ways.

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