CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON EDUCATION IN EMERGENCIES: COVID-19
University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, The
The COVID-19 pandemic is a recent example of crises that hugely impact the complex field of education in emergencies (EiE). This global emergency calls into question the role of education in our societies, and raises additional questions about our reliance on educational systems. Moreover, it highlights the importance of exploring and understanding crises and conflicts to further the development of EiE. This research investigates how critical perspectives, grounded in critical theory, might provide a more holistic comprehension of the role of education. Although a part of peace education, a subfield of EiE, already draws on critical theory to unveil underlying dynamics that drive crises, the pertinence of criticality is often overlooked in education in emergencies. This study addresses this gap and analyses how peace education employs critical theory for more holistic and sustainable approaches, and transfers these insights to the broader EiE field. The study discusses these critical perspectives in light of topics such as human rights, social justice, peacebuilding, decoloniality and pedagogies, as key themes throughout the field. The research is based on a mixed methods design that integrates a qualitative meta review with in-depth interviews. These interviews provide further insights into the EiE field as a whole, as well as ideas about the current COVID-19 pandemic, future directions, and knowledge gaps in the field. The research suggests that critical theory invokes in-depth questions to examine the role of education in crisis situations, specifically surrounding social relations and power dynamics; enabling voice, participation and agency of students and teachers; and its embeddedness in local meanings, knowledge and ideas. These inquiries, in turn, may facilitate longer-term goals of education in emergencies, whether these be peacebuilding, reconstruction or return. In this light, the research aims to discuss the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and debate how this emergency reveals and intensifies invisible mechanisms and power dynamics. As such, the analysis provides new insights on the adoption of critical perspectives throughout EiE. Consequently this paper concludes how critical theory is a valid way to reveal and analyse underlying issues that limit education in crisis situations, and thus is able to address these and add to more holistic and sustainable approaches to EiE.
Key words: education in emergencies, critical theory, human rights, social justice, peacebuilding, decoloniality, pedagogies, covid-19
EDUCATING IN TIME OF GLOBAL PANDEMIC: PEDAGOGICAL CONSULTANCY AS A RESPONSE TO EDUCATIONAL DISTRESS
Università di Milano-Bicocca, Italy
The global pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus and the measures taken to face it have upset the organization of individual and collective existence, with respect to time, spaces, relationships and habits that marked our daily life. The health emergency is soon becoming an economic, social, political, cultural, educational emergency, which forced to redefine in depth and radically the structure of whole society, the ways of thinking care and cure, of using services, to move, to socialize, to communicate, to produce, purchase and consume tangible and intangible goods, to educate and teach.
Therefore, schools and educational services are in the middle of a sudden change that has affected both education professionals (educators, teachers) and pupils. The emergency has accentuated the already existing inequalities and created new forms of educational poverty, discrimination and social exclusion. A strong investment of resources has thus become essential in the educational world, to re-invent one’s work, one’s professional practices, as well as the adoption of strategies to promote inclusion and reduce the negative effects of the current crisis. Precisely to support education professionals in the persistence of the social hardship they face and in which they are themselves involved, the contribution of pedagogical consultancy in school and other educational contexts can be a valuable resource.
This contribution intends to focus on the educational and transformative value of pedagogical consultancy in situations of educational and social distress. We will illustrate the theoretical, epistemological, methodological assumptions of an approach to pedagogical consultancy that uses phenomenological and sociomaterial theories to support educational professionals in a process of understanding and transforming distress. Based on these premises, our hypothesis is that consultancy should be conceived as a educational activity for teachers and educators. This means that the counselor must build a learning setting that makes it possible for educational professionals to explore their daily practices and learn from their experience, increasing knowledge of the different factors (subjective, social, relational, organizational, cultural and material). which produce habits, attitudes, speeches, educational actions. From this point of view, consultancy is not only a educational process, but it is also a research practice. The consultant’s task is not to transmit notions, nor to offer “recipes”, but to build the conditions for the group to assume an attitude of research, in order to promote reflection on the educational experience and distress.
EDUCATIONAL EXCLUSION DURING THE COVID.19 PANDEMIC: SOCIAL INEQUALITY VIS-À-VIS UNIVERSITY CREDENTIALISM
Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brasile
ABSTRACT: The educational exclusion during COVID.19 pandemic period is still visible in Brazil. Therefore, it was possible to notice that, students from the periphery did not have equal conditions for participation in the pedagogical activities developed by their educational institutions. The vulnerability, the lack of fundamental technological equipment for its access in the virtual teaching space shows that, the students didn’t have the adequate participation. To this, is added the lack of electrical network and without any internet provider in their places. The purpose of this research is to understand educational exclusion within the context of the socio-sanitary crisis. In this research the following theorists are taken into consideration: John Rawls, Pierre Bourdieu, Randall Collins, Ivar Berg, Samuel Bowles, Herbert Gintis and François Dubet. The approach is qualitative with the help of interviews.
Keywords: Educational exclusion, social inequality and credentialism.
EDUCATIONAL POVERTY IN EUROPE: MIXING EDUCATION AS CERTIFICATION AND AS COMPETENCES AMONG YOUTH AND ADULT POPULATION
1Sapienza, Università di Roma, Italy; 2University of Padua, Italy
Educational poverty has become a key reference to consider education as an essential functioning, just as health, social relations, employment, housing conditions and economic resources (Sen, 1992, 1997). Allmendinger (1999) differentiate between 2 types of educational poverty: lack of formal education and lack of competences. We suggest merging the two, considering educational poverty as 1) the lack of a certificate, 2) low level of basic competences or 3) the two taken together. Accounted likewise, educational poverty stands not only as a low level of schooling, but also as a shortage of basic knowledges and abilities. If compulsory schooling requirements represent a minimum level of education, compulsory standards differ from country to country and change over time. Additionally, the total number of certified years of formal education cannot automatically be an index of educational richness/poverty, as it indicates that a certain level of education has been achieved, but does not guarantee that, years after completion of studies, individuals are still capable of carrying out operations and actions based on the acquired skills. We include in educational poverty also the inability in mastering basic skills, beyond the possession or not of the corresponding level of education. At the same time, the possession of basic skills, if not accompanied by medium or high levels of education, can be a deficit: formal qualifications retain the function of accreditation of workers to employers as a primary source of selection (Kjeldsen & Bonvin, 2015). Finally, 3) the 3rd dimension – i.e. the coexistence of low schooling and low skills – can be seen as severe educational poverty.
Adopting the aforementioned notion of educational poverty, we discuss outcomes from a multivariate analysis comparing poorly educated student and adult populations in EU28 countries and UK. For this purpose, we considered 1) low scoring in mathematics and reading in the OECD PISA tests as a potential predictor of educational poverty in adulthood; 2) secondary school dropout rates, NEET rates and the percentage of young people aged 20 to 39 without a university degree. 3) Finally, among the adult population, the share of low secondary education attainers and/or lower achievers in reading skills. We therefore cross-nationally compare not only the educational levels of the adult population, but also the diffusion of functional illiteracy. Data sources are respectively: 1) the European Social Survey and Eurostat indicators to get the international framework of education levels and the illustrative/control variables such as public spending on education and national wealth; 2) data from the PIAAC survey on adult skills and 3) OECD-PISA 2018 results for 15-year-old student’s performances in reading, mathematics, and science.
After a preliminary descriptive analysis, data have been summarised via Principal Component Analysis and Cluster analysis to graphically represent countries and cluster-groups distributions in relation to latent dimensions. Outcomes stress out the high diffusion of educational poverty especially among the Italian and Spanish population and the need to strengthening policies against poverty in a multidimensional perspective, so that economic measures could be linked to long-term schemes aimed at improving basic social skills.
PREVENTING SCHOOL FAILURE AND EARLY SCHOOL LEAVING: "LAST ROUND" AND "ENERGY START" ESF PROJECTS
Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italia
Italy has one of the highest rates of early school leavers in Europe (Source: Eurostat 2019). In some segments of its education system the risk of dropping out increases: in particular at the end of middle school, in the transition phase, and in the first two years of upper secondary education (MIUR, 2017).
In addition to early school leaving, there is also the issue of failure. In fact, the percentages of students who do not reach adequate levels in fundamental skills, such as Mathematics or Italian, are relevant (OECD, 2019a; Invalsi, 2020). Some students are more at risk than others: males, pupils with a migrant background or from disadvantaged social and / or family backgrounds (OECD, 2019b).
In the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, pupils with non-Italian citizenship account for 11.7% of the total population of lower secondary schools of all three language groups, but they are unequally distributed among the linguistic groups, reaching 24.4% in Italian middle schools (as 2018/2019, Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano – Istituto provinciale di statistica, 2020). Furthermore, the percentage of students repeating one or more years and the failure rate are higher in Italian schools and mainly concern males (Autonomous Province of Bolzano - Provincial Institute of Statistics, 2020).
In order to prevent school failure and early school leaving, two projects have been carried out: "Last Round" (in the last year of lower secondary school) and "Energy Start" (in the first two years of high school), both funded by the European Social Fund as part of the "Actions to raise awareness on the issue of early school leaving" (Action 10.1.5, year 2019/2020).
The training activities took place from February 2020 to the end of February 2021 and involved 67 students, for a total of over 850 hours of training. The training activities - individual or in small groups - were focused on the following topics: study method, learning support technologies and study support.
Initial, ongoing and final survey activities were planned to monitor the progress of training activities: an initial questionnaire (students), the filling out of pre-structured didactic registers (trainers), two satisfaction questionnaires at the end (trainers and students).
During the conference, the results of the project will be presented according to the following themes: characteristics and needs of students at risk of drop out, skills pursued, teaching strategies, effectiveness and usefulness of the training courses, experience with Distance Learning (FaD) and challenges.
In the light of these results, some intervention and research perspectives will be put forward to prevent, in a systemic and inclusive way, the phenomenon of school failure and early school leaving.
INVALSI (2020). Rapporto prove Invalsi 2019. https://invalsi-areaprove.cineca.it/docs/2019/Rapporto_prove_INVALSI_2019.pdf
MIUR (2017). La dispersione scolastica nell’a.s. 2015/2016 e nel passaggio all’a.s. 2016/2017. http://www.miur.gov.it/documents/20182/0/Focus+La+dispersione+scolastica/9bc1c11b-1c40-4029-87ba-40b8ba2bc2bf
OECD (2019a). PISA 2018 Results (Volume I): What Students Know and Can Do. Paris: PISA, OECD Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1787/5f07c754-en
OECD (2019b). PISA 2018 Results (Volume II): Where All Students Can Succeed. Paris: PISA, OECD Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1787/b5fd1b8f-en
Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano – Istituto provinciale di statistica (2020). Istruzione in cifre 2018-2019. https://astat.provincia.bz.it/it/news-pubblicazioni-info.asp?news_action=4&news_article_id=635777
REINVENTING ADULT EDUCATION IN PRISON AT THE TIME OF COVID: EQUITY, INCLUSION, NEW PERSPECTIVES
Università del Salento, Italy
Nell'emergenza Covid, riflettere sui problemi delle carceri può diventare una concreta opportunità per il ridisegno di nuove prospettive inclusive partendo dal principio di equità e capacità, anche in contesti educativi ai margini della società. Reinventare l'educazione degli adulti partendo dalla promozione dell'empowerment delle persone detenute in carcere (imparare a imparare) diffondendo esperienze educative virtuose può dare una nuova prospettiva educativa (J. Dewey, J. Mezirow, A. Sen, N. Postman).
THE LIFE OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES IN ITALY AT THE TIME OF COVID-19: EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE AND SUGGESTIONS FOR THE FUTURE
1Università degli Studi del Molise, Italy; 2Università degli Studi del Molise, Italy
The emergency resulting from the spread of Covid-19 radically affected our habits, lifestyles, and social institutions’ functioning. The normative restrictions also changed the relationship between the university student and his/her university. Students’ lives suddenly and radically transformed in educational terms, and social inequalities increased. At the same time, this change affected other aspects of students’ life. A research study was launched (May 2020) on a national scale by circulating an online survey addressed to all Italian university students to understand what happened at the university student’s life experience in Italy. Over 16,000 students responded to the survey. The survey investigated four different thematic areas:
- Social capital
- Digital capital and housing capital
- Psychological and social well-being
The areas were related to some structural variables, such as age, gender, and individual condition in the analysis.
The results show that the student population significantly differentiated by condition, digital equipment, social capital, social participation, and preference orientations towards teaching methods.
The population of students with disabilities (250 student respondents) also characterized by marked internal differentiation.
Nearly one student with a disability out of two respondents is away from home, lives independently, and attends academic classrooms assiduously; 20% are also working students with a stable and continuous job. As far as material endowments are concerned, this population presents more significant deprivations than the overall population, both in terms of autonomous living space and digital equipment, and access to the internet. They show a greater preference than respondents’ overall population regarding digital didactics, even if this preference presents strong binarity. On the one hand, a part of the students with disabilities (34%) calls for a return to face-to-face teaching methods. They affirm the “place” value of the university as a sphere of life in which both the instrumental purposes (access to a higher degree) and the main concerns (expectations of meaning and knowledge of social reality that are not limited to the relationship with the educational offer and notional contents) interrelate. On the other hand, another part of the students shows an exclusive preference for integrated digital didactics (22.2%). The university represents a difficult place to access not only because of students’ physical conditions.
The empirical evidence that emerged from the research also suggests measures to be adopted by the universities, particularly by the services directed to students with disabilities, to encourage their participation in teaching activities and, more generally, their inclusion in academic life in the new post-pandemic scenario.