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Parallel session - B.1 Education, Democracy And Rationalization
B.1. Education, Democracy and Rationalization
BUILDING INCLUSION IN THE SCHOOL
Università di Macerata, Italy
Migration flows bring to the fore the constitutive dilemma that lies at the heart of liberal democracies: «the one between the claims of the sovereign right to self-determination and adherence to the universal principles of human rights». The solution lies in recognizing that: a) «no human being is illegal»; b) the crossing of borders and the demand for access to a different political community is not a criminal act, but is the expression of human freedom and the desire for better living conditions in a shareable world» (Benhabib, 2006, pp. 38-40). But to what extent are we willing to renegotiate our point of view on rights, citizenship, democracy? Is it possible today to offer a solution to the question of intercultural conflicts with valid and adequate tools for the multiple treatment needs advanced in the name of cultural diversity? How can the school favor processes of effective inclusion?
More than a century ago J. Dewey (1916) placed at the center of education the study of the environment through history and geography, the space for work and play, the role of secular and democratic social values, collaboration between subjects who live together in the school to operate and train. These didactic-educational indications are still valid today and, indeed, should be resumed. More, thay have to be further enhanced to counter any discrimination, intolerance, weakening of democracy in a historical moment in which multiculturalism at school, in neighborhoods, in cities, seems to bring out inequalities in the equality of opportunities in learning and socialization (Malusà, 2020).
The inclusive educational perspective that the contribution intends to illustrate has as its objective the enhancement of the transcultural dimension that characterizes our times (Hannerz, 1996; Welsch, 1999) by encouraging the encounter and contamination of knowledge, of the practices, of the experiences. Transcultural pedagogy is inclusive because it works for social justice, for the recognition of rights not based on an abstract cosmopolitanism, for the development of individual capacities, for the enhancement of individuals. The didactic-educational indications present in this contribution urge teachers and educators to build a located and rooted know-how to act, which helps to form future citizens of the world with local and global cultural and identity references (Hannerz, 1996), rooted in local geo-history, projected in an anthropological dimension that concerns the world. It suggests moving through the disciplines, taking ideas from various fields of study, being interested in the existences of the subjects, the places of existence, non-formal learning opportunities, cultures in its various narrative forms.
HIGHER EDUCATION, BEYOND PUBLIC TO COMMON GOOD: ENHANCING KNOWLEDGE DEMOCRACY
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy
The principle of public good as applied to higher education appears to be challenged by the greater diversification of actors and sources of funding and by the influence of neo-liberal ideologies which emphasize the private and economic benefits of higher education. As well as undermining principles of equity, these changes may also affect the ultimate purposes and main functions of universities in order to meet the needs of the knowledge economy. This theoretical paper provides a revisited interpretation of the application of the principle of public good to higher education in light of current trends of privatisation and marketisation. While acknowledging the importance of the role of the State in educational governance, however, it also argues that a mere reaffirmation of this principle may not be sufficient to counter the effects of the market in both the public and private domains. Referring to the concept of common goods, this paper explores complementary frameworks for the development of new approaches likely to strengthen participatory and deliberative processes and to implement sustainable and ethical forms of cooperation according to different realities. In contrast to dominant development discourse, this normative concept favours a humanistic approach and highlights the quest for knowledge as a shared endeavour and responsibility. Considering higher education as a common good entails fostering the diversity of worldviews and knowledge systems in order to envisage new social structures and development models while ensuring more equitable educational policies.
INCLUSION AND BILDUNG WITH ICT LEARNING IN PRIMARY EDUCATION
Università degli Studi di Salerno, Italy
Our work aims to understand how the current educational trends concerning the use of innovative teaching methods can help promote inclusion and bildung by analysing the views on technology, its uses, and its educational values of both teachers and students. The concept of bildung is used here to refer to the exploration of a critical education oriented to the strengthening of democracy and the improvement of inclusive dynamics, i.e. the social inclusion.
These concepts strongly support those processes oriented towards the increasing of social inclusion, allowing to experience a cohesive educational, scholastic and inter-relational context to class groups composed by children from different nationalites, religions, and ethnicities, as well as those with, for example, Specific Learning Disorders (SLD) or Special Educational Needs (SEN). These experiences provide a comprehensive form of support, ranging from didactic training to learning about social dynamics.
Although students' understanding of their own learning processes is a relatively unexplored field in educational research, it is fundamental to an effective lifelong learning. Our research aims at filling this gap by focusing on the following aspects: the differences in the use of digital tools between teachers and pupils, the motivations behind the use or rejection of innovative educational practices based on digital tools, the teachers’ pedagogical perspectives and their views about ICT’s contribution to the learning environment, their considerations on the current situation.
Our research design implemented a qualitative method, focus groups, in order to explore teachers’ and pupils’ viewpoints on digital and ICT learning strategies.
In particular, listening to the opinions of the young pupils made it possible to observe how much the teachers' attitude towards the new technologies influences the children's perception of the effectiveness of the resulting educational work. Structuring didactic paths involving technologies with a view to cooperation between the parties (teachers-instruments-children-parents) also has positive effects on the issue of discrimination between groups, which in still "traditional" contexts persists as a dividing lever within the class group, causing profound repercussions on multiple levels (learning, inclusion, relationships). The focus groups technique was very helpful also to explore and understand the level of inequalities caused by the clash between the pervasive spread of digital technologies due to the practices promoted by global education reform and the promotion of technical training at the expense of critical education.
Our findings point towards learning through collaboration and show that technologies can facilitate the learning process in cases of full participation by both teachers and students. Therefore, what we discovered sees the best learning environment as the one where teachers are no longer all-knowing controllers of activities but co-explorers together with the children, supporting the creation of a modern educational system able to renovate society.
TEACHING INNOVATION THROUGH SWA: FROM NEOLIBERAL MODEL TO THE SCHOOL-CENTERED MODEL, INSPIRED TO CAPABILITY APPROACH
1Università della Calabria, Italy; 2quot;Sapienza", Università di Roma, Italy
The aim of this paper is addressed to how School-Work Alternance (SWA, thereafter) is taking shape in Italy: this measure is still building up and, as a matter of fact, redefined recently.
To reach this aim, it is useful to conceive SWA as one of the main measures of “Lifelong Learning”, namely the European paradigm reorienting Italian educational policy in the last twenty years.
That paradigm connects social inclusion to the transmission of competencies useful to enhance individual skills substantially concerning finding an adequately well-paid job.
Several scholars assume a critical approach towards Lifelong Learning Paradigm because they conceive it as an ideological tool addressed to reform European educational policies according to the typical coordinates of neoliberal regulation (Ball 2012; Biesta 2013).
Investigating the global reform in education, these scholars state neoliberalism is focused on the privatization of the modern educational system (Gunter et al. 2016), and in this way, it changes education from learning practices oriented to technical training (van Dijck et al.2019).
Based on these thoughts, this paper shows the findings of a survey carried on a sample of upper- secondary schools in Italy, whose SWA representatives were interviewed.
Through multivariate analysis applied on factors concerning scholar and territorial context, pedagogical innovation (before and after SWA introduction), networking practices (between school and hosting organization), findings show the bivalent nature of SWA, as well as of Lifelong Learning: alternative experiences, including both bureaucratic defense and openness to companies, need to emerge, beside the diffusion of practices connected to the educational neoliberal model. These alternative experiences seem to point out how schools may arrange their relationship with local companies and social organizations, creating an educational model following the vision of capability approach in some way (Sen 2000; Nussbaum 2011).
In this case, teaching innovation is associated not only with the transition from the “collection” to the “integrative” curricula (Bernstein 1973) but also with the preference for the transmission of guidance and transversal competencies over the vocational ones (Bovin, Orton 2009).
This model may enhance the idea that the main aim of the educational system consists of building up awareness and critical approach in citizens, especially in a complex socio-cultural environment brought up by economic globalization (Mayo, Vittoria 2017; Morel, Palme 2017; Alessandrini 2014). Furthermore, a different interpretative paradigm could lead to shifting attention from competencies to abilities: the first become the development “space” of capabilities and not the meaning of the SWA experience. The SWA model, interpreted as a conversion factor by schools, could therefore promote focusing on capabilities rather than functionings, hence opportunities rather than achievements. In other terms, it might allow the pupils free to choose what to achieve (which future job to aspire to, or which path post-graduate training to be able to follow) because of significance for their personal and professional development.
TEACHING SOCIAL UNREST: CRITIQUING THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE CATEGORY OF ‘PEOPLE’
Central University of Karnataka, India
The paper aims to problematize Indian school curriculum within the context of teaching social unrest to young minds. Social unrest as a concept exists only as a legitimizing exercise within the realms of understanding the decolonizing process of the nation or India's fight for independence. The category of 'people' as conceptualized by the curriculum of Indian schools cater to the generation of minds that fail to comprehend the intersectionalities of identities, power structures and multiplicity of voices and concerns. The monolithic construction of the category of 'people' by the curriculum and the teaching methods employed are viciously in the process the construction of category of 'people' that it has conceptualized and taught. With the emergence of digital technologies and platforms available and accessible to these young minds, the disjunction between the category of 'people' that is taught by the curriculum and the category of people who fail to form part of or to deny to subscribe to the limited conceptualization of 'people' manifests in varied forms both on digital as well as nondigital modes of expressions. The paper is a critical explication of these structural disjunction and meanwhile a critique on the discourse of the category of 'people' such curriculum effectively produces.
THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATION. REFLECTIONS ON THE DIALOGIC CHANGE BETWEEN STUDENTS AND UNIVERSITY INSTITUTIONS
Roma Tre University, Italy
Knowledge represents the primary good of the academic community and guides individuals in the most difficult process of analyzing their own existence: the discovery of the self and the understanding of the interrelationships that manifest themselves in the body of the social. The key tool used to implement this action is communication and its many variations that characterize it. If knowledge is considered as a collective heritage of a specific community that shares everyday reality (Berger. Luckmann), in contemporary society, we are witnessing an ultra-accelerated development of technological and digital practices and tools with respect to the social and individual potentials. (Han; Lupton; Turkle), which allow a greater collection and dissemination of social knowledge, with particular reference to the production of big data (data deposits with high information potential if processed correctly), to the spread of the Internet of Things (machines that , without the help of the person, they produce data on their condition, on the surrounding environment, on what they interact with), up to the spread of artificial intelligence (technological system capable of carrying out basic tasks and activities typical of the human mind).
In the university context, these aspects have emerged predominantly by transporting classrooms and academic spaces within the private environments of student citizenship - sometimes not ready to welcome them - through the use of the DAD, digital tools and a translation, often hasty and lacking in investigation and adaptability to the new architecture. With a theoretical sample (Glaser, Strauss) of 4,800 students * of the University of Roma Tre, I conducted a qualitative-quantitative questionnaire to study multiple aspects of the life of the student population during the pandemic such as the availability of devices, accessibility of private spaces, knowledge of privacy regulations, use of social media, predisposition to DAD, communication and interaction in digital environments. Among the elements of greatest interest that emerge from the analysis of the data, there is the weight of communication and the intent of this intervention is to share the change in the paradigms of interaction and the values that characterize this vehicle of mutual knowledge in the measure in which it acts. as a tool for the formation of a person's identity and his or her weight as a citizen *: educational inequalities - between theory and practice - and social inclusion represent areas of research and discussion within the proposed contribution.
WHERE AND FROM WHOM CAN DEMOCRACY BE LEARNED? THE RESULTS OF MIXED-METHOD RESEARCH IN FIVE DIFFERENT TERRITORIAL CONTEXTS
Università della Calabria, Italy
The paper presents the principal results of research regarding the forms and ways of participation in the public sphere of adolescents, and on the socialization processes of participation activated in the family, at school, among peers, and in other contexts (e.g. on the Internet).
Several scholars argue that democracy is learned from childhood (Biesta, 2011; Schulz et al, 2018). Both instrumental literacy and, even more so, cultural literacy (such as the development of cognitive and non-cognitive, civic, social, and affective-relational skills related to personal autonomy and the development of critical thinking) are influenced by more contexts and more actors (Muscarà, Zapparrata, 2017). Active participation in community life might be considered, on the one hand, as the result of socializing processes, and on the other hand as an own educational value.
Those who take part in civic activities are more likely to have access to the necessary knowledge, skills, and values to exercise the role of a conscious and active citizen in political life as well as benefit from opportunities to socialize with different individuals and varied cultures, strengthening social and solidarity ties (Almond and Verba, 1963; Putnam, 1993 and 2000; Biorcio, Vitale, 2016). Besides, as known, the social inequalities might be reflected in different degrees of participation in the social and political life of a community, especially among the youngest, underling a strict association between poverty and low participation. Civic participation therefore could be influenced by the effective or possible participation opportunities in different social contexts experienced by young people (family, school, peer group, media).
In this theoretical framework, the paper is developed based on the hypothesis according to which the lack of learning skills opportunities (cognitive and non-cognitive) may affect the participation levels. Also, it takes into account the influences of the socio-economic context and the family background on the access to effective or possible participation opportunities in adolescence. Furthermore, in the role and function of a socialization agency (Brint, 1999; Colombo 2001, Besozzi 2006), the school may assume an agency role in the activation of civic participatory opportunities for adolescents. Firstly, it could promote opportunities for participatory exercise in the community. And, secondly, it could facilitate conditions for the activation of the student to be free to choose and to do for the significant development of his person (Sen, 2000; Nussbaum, 2012).
The presented results are based on a mixed-methods study, which consists of community profiles, focus groups, and a survey carried on adolescents (14-17 years old), in five Italian towns (Pordenone, Ancona, L'Aquila, Rome, Trebisacce), where is carried out the project RIPARTIRE (Regenerating participation to innovate the educational network), funded by Impresa Sociale Con i Bambini and led by ActionAid Italia. The entire research is developed on four areas: the meanings, forms, and practices of the civic participation of adolescents; the perception of the effectiveness of their participation; the participation models acquired in the family, at school, and in other socializing contexts; the (physical and virtual) spaces in which adolescents take part in the society.