Re/framing Educational Equity: An international collaboration
du 30-08-2020 au 01-09-2020
School of Education - University of Strathclyde
in partnership with ‘Experiments in Education Theory’: www.exet.org
The ‘Scottish Educational Research Association’ (SERA) invites Educational researchers to submit abstracts for conference in Glasgow during the weekend immediately after ECER 2020 in Glasgow.
Across the world, nations aspire towards educational equity. Very often this aspiration involves efforts to close what is called the ‘education gap’ or the ‘attainment gap’. Many of these efforts stem from concerns to increase attainment on national, standardised tests so that students might better position themselves in the job market. Such efforts are not without success and many countries can point to a reduction in the gaps between certain groups with regard to such educational attainment. However, it has to be noted that not every nation focuses their efforts on attainment alone; indeed, some would point to other measures for equity in education such as access to higher education or general health and wellbeing.
Whatever the focus, it is notably the case that in some form or other, evaluation takes centre-stage as the means by which policies designed to uplift educational success are judged. However, it is not always clear what procedures would allow for evaluating accomplishment in education on a micro- or macro-level: it is debatable whether or not, and to what extent, measurement can be an instrument of evaluation. That such measurement takes place is a feature of efforts such as the Global Education Reform Movement (GERM) to demonstrate, at national levels, the ways and means by which education can be positioned, neoliberally, as an individual right and benefit, and an economic good. The question remains, though: what is left unaccounted for by emphasising measurement as the predominant instrument of evaluation?
This conference is part of a larger project working in collaboration with colleagues at the Education University of Hong Kong. The event provides a forum for scholars to debate the nature of educational equity and its relation to academic attainment and achievement. These inequities, and resulting gaps, will be examined through their relationship with education systems that purport to narrow the differences between rich and poor, male and female, advantaged and disadvantaged, etc. In doing so it seeks to address themes such as:
- How might education equity and inequity be defined? What criteria could be used to decide the existence of educational equity or inequity?
- How could the relation between education equity and general individuality and capacity be conceived? What is the relation of equity and difference with regard to education?
- What roles do education equity and inequity play in the broader context of society?
- What does the elimination of inequity in education seek ultimately to achieve?
- What might be the result of not achieving equity, e.g. of not narrowing the education gap?
- How might we theorise the existence of differential outcomes so that all might be able to achieve academically or with regard to any other criteria used to define education equity or inequity?
- What is the relation of evaluation and measurement, and how does this relation affect the framing of education equity?
- Whose interests are threatened by efforts to close the attainment gap?
Indicative themes for this conference include:
- Re/framing (in)equity: In what ways is equity a driving force for good in developing appropriatetheories for mitigating the education gap? How might a drive for an inclusive education system mitigate the effects of education disadvantage? In what ways does theorising about the education gap contribute to an understanding of inclusivity?
- Re/framing policy: How does policy at global, national and local levels shape thinking about the education gap? How might individuals and groups engage with theorising about the education gap? How might new partnerships enhance or inhibit educational initiatives and the mobilisation of research?
- Re/framing curriculum: How does the curriculum (in whatever form) engage with a constantly changing and evolving, unequal world? How might curriculum engage thinking about human flourishing? What insights can be gleaned from different theoretical perspectives on curriculum? How might education practitioners engage with the process of curriculum reform to effect deeper understandings of the education gap?
- Re/framing assessment: In what ways does National Assessment evidence drive conceptions of education disadvantage and advantage? How does theory contribute to an ever evolving understanding of the place and form for education disadvantage?
- Re/framing Research: What challenges are facing education researchers and how are new research methods being innovated in response to educational challenges? What new questions need to be asked and examined to effect change in understanding educational equity? How are different theoretical perspectives and paradigms creating openings for new questions, new forms of research, critical insights into Advantage and disadvantage? How can more innovative research methods contribute to supporting learning and change in challenging times and spaces?
The closing date for the Call for Papers is 1st February 2020.
Confirmed keynote speakers:
- Prof. Sheila Riddell, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
- Prof. Gert Biesta, Maynooth University, Ireland
- Prof. Kerry Kennedy, The Education University of Hong Kong
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