The aim of the project is to consider the ways in which globalisation is being understood, enacted, and contested in three very different political, cultural and social spaces. Rather than investigate the range of phenomena that are often associated with globalisation, but which take very different forms in different contexts (e.g. youth culture, media use, migration etc), the project focuses upon one distinct and concrete ideology - that of individualism in education - and examines how this is manifested in very different contexts via the politics of learner centred pedagogy. This is to be done by policy analysis and ethnographic field work in Denmark, India and Zambia: three countries situated differently to globalisation but which are negotiating collectively the spread (or in the case of Denmark, the deepening) of ideologies of the self in education. The ambition in the project is two-fold.
First, the project will explore the ways in which increasingly global discourses and policies are understood, implemented and contested in light of different cultural norms, values and ideas about the ‘educated person'. In particular, the project hopes to move beyond simplistic notions of beneficiary/ victim that permeate contemporary discussions about the rise of global forms and processes, and to explore the ways in which globalisation is making possible a large array of new spaces, positions and subjectivities. Three educational spaces - folk enlightenment in Denmark, collectivism and paternalism in China and the post-colonial struggle as manifested in schooling in Zambia - will be used as points of departure for understanding the ways that increasing standardised pedagogical reforms are being embedded, contested and reworked in ways that both support, but also undermine, fundamental notions of individuality, society and State in each country.
Second, unlike existing comparative studies in education that tend to collect national data in isolation from other cases, only to engage in comparison at the final stage of analysis, this project recognises the inherent interconnectivity of experiences, subjectivities and imaginations in the ‘deterritorialised' spaces created by globalisation. By establishing a ‘triadic site' from the data collected in each country context, the study aims to construct relational portraits of educational actors, citizens and subjects; something essential to understanding the complexity of lived realities in the age of globalisation, and to reinvigorating the field of comparative education. Indeed, this approach to comparison will serve as a necessary corrective to the simplistic cross-country analyses that now drive educational reform around the World, including in Denmark.
This project is timely, not least because of the urgency of debates about the effects of global phenomena in and on Denmark, but because of the need to nuance these discussions in order to comprehend the ways in which nations such as Denmark contribute to, but are also affected by, ‘globalisation'. Exploring the ways in which specific ideologies such as that of learner-centred pedagogy are understood and enacted in various contexts provides opportunities to consider not only the role of the developed World in exporting ideology, nor the response of the South in manoeuvring within this intellectual/ political framework, but the consequences of the increasingly reflexive and individualised conditions that are shaping the subjectivities of people in our own society.
|Effektiv start/slut dato||08/07/2001 → 31/12/2011|
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