How Enriching Are Widening Participation Tutoring Programmes ?
1SCIENCES PO, France; 2SCIENCES PO, France
This presentation will analyze policies and practices of widening participation and, specifically, two programmes launched in France by an elite higher education institution (van Zanten, 2017). Although these schemes concern a small number of beneficiaries, they have strongly influenced the way in which educational inequalities are being framed and tackled in a wide variety of dispositifs encouraged by the Ministries of education and higher education.
Using data from two ongoing qualitative studies based on interviews with institutional actors, tutors and students and observations of tutoring sessions in four secondary schools and at the institution, we will address three questions: 1) the underlying visions about the factors involved in the development and persistence of educational inequalities among the actors involved in the design and implementation of these programmes; 2) the way in which these conceptions are translated into pedagogical arrangements and activities; 3) their reception by the students.
The discussion will underline the importance given to psychological factors (self-censorship, lack of self-confidence) in explaining educational inequalities as well as to practical techniques (documentary work, note-taking) and ‘soft-skills’ (presenting oneself…) in the actual programmes and, conversely, the low consideration of structural factors (economic resources, learning problems) and the low emphasis on ‘hard skills’. It will also emphasize and interpret variations across settings and actors.
van ZANTEN A. "Widening participation in France and its effects on the field of elite higher education and on educational policy" in S. PARKER, K. GULSON, T. GALE (eds.). Policy and Inequality in Education, Springer, 2017, 73-89.
What Matters When Promoting Social Inclusion in Urban School?
1University of Eastern Finland, Finland; 2University of Helsinki, Finland
Social inclusion in the context of education is a highly contested concept. In education policies and practices, the focus has mainly been on particular groups of individuals considered as having limited capacities to act in the society. In this presentation we are aiming for more sociologically informed approach to social inclusion, focusing on practices of promoting social inclusion in one urban school.
The analysis draws on an ongoing study at one (pre)primary school located in the metropolitan area in Finland. Based on statistical analysis, we have chosen a research site with heterogenous composition of families (in terms of socio-economic background and language); risk of segregation through a pattern of middle-class rejection in school choice; close connection between pre-primary and primary education; needs-based resource allocation from the municipality; active participation in pedagogical development. In this presentation we focus on our ethnographic data, which includes field notes based on participant observations and interviews of children, parents and educators, asking how the policy of inclusive education is articulated and implemented in the local school context.
In order to understand the complexity of inclusion and exclusion, the concept of intersectionality provides a framework for analysing how various dimensions of difference, such as socio-economic background, gender, ethnic background, and (dis)abilities, position children and their families. Our preliminary analysis suggest that pedagogical practices have taken steps forward in terms of discursive sensitivity when it comes to ethnicity, whereas children’s various socio-economic positions have not been reflected in pedagogical practices, which potentially might provoke sense of social exclusion.
Breaking Through the Symbolic Battlefield of Education in Turkey
Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Turkey
For a while, the education setting has been a significant battlefield for two major political and cultural standings in Turkey: secular-western versus conservative- Islamic. While each side has tried to change education policies in line with their perspectives, they have developed various strategies to make their political symbols and images more visible in education. In this regard, the conservative-Islamic one has become more effective recently. However, this prevailing old-fashion political divide needs to be questioned along with its outcomes in education.
Based on the qualitative research conducted in three secondary schools in Turkey (Metropole, semi-urban and rural settings) as a part of our Horizon 2020 Research Project (CHIEF – Cultural Heritages and Identities of Europe’s Future); first I will examine how youths perceive this symbolic struggle in education. Indeed, enduring politically over-coded education program leads youths to lose their motivation and interest in learning and enriching their lives. Then, by our fieldwork findings, I will explore the daily educational practices of youths and their interactions with each other to understand in which ways and settings youths are more inclined to learn and thereby improving themselves. Meanwhile, comparing to the older generations, youths recently immerse more in various transnational cultural interactions and practices which cannot be easily labelled with the enduring political codes in Turkey. Therefore, I argue that paying more attention to these new cultural interactions and practices of youths and trying to integrate them more into education can provide us a way to overcome the prevailing symbolic battlefield in education as well as to improve the quality of education.