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A common education-for-all and life-long learning?: Reflections on inclusion, equity and integration
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (CCD)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1846-858X
2014 (English)In: Theory and methodology in international comparative classroom studies / [ed] Berit H. Johnsen, Kristiansand: Cappelen Damm Høyskoleforlaget, 2014, 225-243 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Two important reasons are often presented to account for the significant organizational shift at the compulsory educational level and for ways in which continuing education is conceptualized in many parts of the world in the post-World War II period. These two encompass ideologies related to a “common education-for-all” and a “life-long learning” perspective. They have had far reaching consequences for both individuals and collectives. Even though access to schooling and learning opportunities over the life-span are unevenly distributed across the globe, a major transition has occurred during the last five-six decades: doors to formal education have become a feasibility (if not a reality) for all members of society. Formal education became a possibility for groups that were previously marginalized; for instance, girls, functionally disabled, economically disadvantaged, individuals in rural areas, immigrants, etc., and for the post-school and college going sections of the population.

A common education-for-all young people including the life-long learning movement are, in different ways, understood as constituting fundamental principles that many democracies currently uphold. These conceptual traditions, based upon the notions of equity and human rights, have specific implications regarding (i) what is understood as legitimate in the conceptualization of human diversity and (ii) concomitantly how teaching and learning are organized for groups that previously stood outside the educational system/s. In other words, how human difference is conceptualized has a bearing upon how communities have historically organized education and/or provision for “different” groups. In addition and more significantly, as will be argued, what is meant by learning plays an important role in how education gets organized for some groups within the framework of a “common education-for-all”.

This chapter takes the discourse of equity and rights as a point of departure in order to discuss how education for different groups of young people and adults in the post-World War II period has been organized, particularly in the contexts of the global North. Issues related to human difference, the meanings subscribed to different identity categories or constructs (for instance, immigrants, functional disability and gender) and the ways in which learning for different groups gets framed is of focal interest here. My aim here (and in current academic work) is to theorize what can be termed the “didactics of inclusion-equity-integration”. Thus for instance, an interest is to understand the basis on which education for different groups has been argued for and organized. Given that learning and instruction was organized differently for different groups in the pre-World War II era, an interest here is to try and tweeze out the ways in which exclusion and segregation currently get played out, particularly in the contexts of the global North. What kinds of knowledge about human diversity are seen as important, are privileged and are made relevant in educational contexts? What understandings of learning and instruction guide the organization of education and everyday practices in educational contexts? In other words, what are the didactics of inclusion, integration and equity? These constitute some of the issues that are explored here.

Reflections on the themes attended to here arise from my previous and ongoing studies across different projects. The cumulative empirical work that the present chapter draws upon can be understood in terms of different long term ethnographically oriented projects that are framed within sociocultural and postcolonial perspectives and that furthermore invite intersectional analysis. In addition to these empirically driven research projects, the issues I raise here draw upon experiences from both large scale school developmental projects and national level work for Governmental and policy organisations since the mid-1990s.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kristiansand: Cappelen Damm Høyskoleforlaget, 2014. 225-243 p.
Keyword [en]
one-schoo-for-all, life-long learning, inclusion, social justice, research, sweden
National Category
Social Sciences Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-38549ISBN: 9788202470616 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-38549DiVA: diva2:762692
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2014-11-12 Created: 2014-11-12 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Bagga-Gupta, Sangeeta

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