Quality = equality?: Qualities, differences and social justice
English text with programme further down.
Kvalitet i utdanning er et tema av akademisk og politisk interesse. I debatter og diskusjoner fremmes det et mangfold av standpunkt, ideologer og teoretiske perspektiv.
Med denne konferanser ønsker vi å bidra til en kritisk refleksjon over hva kvalitet i utdanning innebærer. Det vil bli reist spørsmål om hva som vurderes som kvalitet i utdanning innen politikkutforming og i pedagogisk forskning. Hvilke diskurser og forståelser om utdanningskvalitet finnes, og hvilke aktører er på banen? Hvordan påvirker materielle og samfunnsmessige strukturer utdanningskvalitet?
Konferansen vil bringe inn spørsmål om sosial rettferdighet i utdanning i et livslangt perspektiv. Sosial rettferdighet handler om de muligheter vi har, eller ikke har, til å gjøre positive forandringer. Hva skjer i skole og samfunn i dag, og er det mulig å tenke sosial rettferdighet i utdanning i et livslangt perspektiv? Og hva er rettferdig, for hvem og hvorfor? Hvordan omtales og vurderes kvalitet i utdanning i forhold til områder som sosial ulikhet, kjønn, funksjonshemming og mangfold? Hvordan kan kvalitetsfokus bidra til et mer rettferdig utdanningssystem og i siste instans et mer rettferdig samfunn?
Diverse understandings, political ideologies and theoretical perspectives, nationally and internationally, saturate the academic as well as public debates regarding Quality in Education. The main topic of this conference is a critical reflection about different understandings of Quality in Education. It will focus on how educational policy and research considers the extent to which educational structures, discourses and practices lead to a more equitable education system and ultimately to a fairer society. How do the educational field consider social inequality, gender, disability and diversity when discussing quality in education? What understandings of quality is discussed, for whom and why?
The conference will focus on social justice in education in a lifelong perspective. Social justice recognizes and acts upon the power that we have, or not have, for making positive change. What are the differentiation mechanisms existing in schools and communities today, and what place does social justice have in education in a lifelong perspective? What is fair, for whom and why?
8.30 Registration & coffee
Head of Department of Education and Lifelong Learning
Hans Petter Ulleberg
09:10 Speed-presentations from the project Quality in Education:
09:30 Performance: Nick Llewellyn and Emma Selwyn from Access All Areas, London – A learning disability theatre
10:15–11:00 Keynote Alexander M. Sidorkin (Sasha)
Dean of the College of Education at California State University Sacramento
Baumol vs. Becker: From outcome-based to input based measures of educational quality
11:00–11:15 Coffee and fruit
11:15–12:00 Parallel sessions:
Session: “The hierarchy of knowledge systems in Norwegian Education: A decolonial perspective”
Presenters: Inger Pedersen, Marit Ursin, Carla Chinga-Ramirez
Chair: Runa Rannov Bostad
Abstract: This session includes three paper presentations, exploring encounters between diverse knowledge systems in formal education in Norway. The first paper divulges how the Norwegian state has suppressed Sea Sámi language, culture and knowledge system through the widespread use of boarding schools. The second paper explores how formal schooling shapes and is shaped by contemporary Western ideas about children, childhood and ‘correct’ upbringing, marginalizing alternative knowledge systems among ethnic minority children and distancing them from their familial background. The third paper explores female minority academic’s encounters with the Norwegian university system. The narratives provide anecdotes of exclusion and discrimination, suggesting a white and male norm as an ideal.
Session: “Governing strategies and policymaking”
Presenters: Christin Tønseth, Nina Volckmar
Chair: Heidun Oldervik
Abstract: This session will investigate and discuss governing strategies and policymaking both in primary education and in a lifelong learning perspective.
Nina Volckmar presents a historical case-oriented comparative analysis of the promotion of equity through and in education, comparing Australia and Norway. Christin Tønseths investigates policymaking and lifelong learning, primarily in the Norwegian context, and will discuss how different knowledge bases and rhetoric are in use for making and legitimizing policies for lifelong learning and adult learning.
Session: "The physical design of schools and the quality of learning environments"
Presenters: Ellen Saur, Jenny Bergschöld, Hans Petter Ulleberg
Abstract: The school is a working and learning environment for very many people, children, youth and adults, every day. Thus, the school is not just important as an educational institution in society, but also important as a space where this education take place. School buildings and facilities are some of many factors important in the pupil’s school day and the teachers work. School activities take place in specific material environments: classrooms, school grounds, books and learning materials. The physical school environment affects the social life and our experiences of schooling and is part of an interaction where relationships between people, activities and surroundings are important for the pupil’s education, socialization and learning at school. Schools, like other constructed spaces, are built environments that convey potent messages about how to think and act within a particular milieu. The social patterning and learning processes which take place within a school are therefore intimately joined to their material context. The aim of our research is to contribute with knowledge about how school buildings can be designed both in light of curricula, expectations of how the school can promote future skills and competencies of the pupils, but not least to know how the physical environment in the school can create equality for various learning styles among pupils, diversity and functional impairments, and thus could compensate for an increasing segregation in school and society.
13:00–13:45 Keynote Dr Richard Niesche
School of Education, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Educational leadership for social justice and equity: Challenges and opportunities
13:45–14:30 Poster presentation
14:30–14:50 Performance: Teater nonSTOP
15:00–15:45 Keynote Claudia Matus
The recession of neoliberalism in Education: The case of Chile
15:45 Finishing and summary
By Hans Petter Ulleberg
Mr. Alexander M. Sidorkin (Sasha)
Gary Becker postulates that education is an investment in human capital that produces good returns, because more educated workers are more productive. The Human Capital Theory (HKT) produced both an increase in investments in education, and the attempts to improve education through measuring its outcomes with standardized testing. A strong correlation between the years in formal schooling and lifetime income demonstrated veracity of HKT. However, Baumol has shown that industries can be divided into progressive and non-progressive. In the latter, labor productivity does not rise, and yet workers’ salaries do increase, because of the competitive pressure from other industries. The reason some industries (theater, social work, education, etc.) are non-progressive is that they depend on input of non-automated and non-scalable labor. Therefore, the attempts to improve productivity in education may be completely misguided. The educational outcomes measurable by standardized tests may have no bearing on productivity. The productivity growth is caused by innovations, not by workers’ education. We must go back to treating education not as investment, but as a kind of consumption. We should measure its quality by inputs, mainly by the quantity of relational labor spent. The relational labor of teachers is the only true scare resource, and therefore its equitable distribution is the one true measure of educational equity.
Dr Richard Niesche
In this presentation, I argue for the importance of leadership for social justice and equity in education. I begin by discussing the need for an explicit recognition and understanding of issues of social justice and equity. While these issues have emerged as significant over recent years, there is still a need to understand how these issues affect the performance and educational outcomes of certain groups of students. In highlighting a number of prescient issues from Australia where equity is a particularly significant issue, I focus on the role of government policy and school-based management, school choice policies, as well as other enduring issues such as Indigenous education as examples of the need for equity. I then discuss how equity and social justice might be theorised and understood through the work of Nancy Fraser its role in the work of educational leaders. I draw on some examples of recent research projects with schools and school leaders engaged in this important equity work to highlight some of the challenges and tensions, as well as opportunities for leading for social justice and equity in schools.
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