Eduscape: Comparative and Ethnographic Education Research: Stydying youth and education across context

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    Drawing on experiences from a cross disciplinary research project entitled "Youth and the City, Skills, Knowledge and Social Reproduction", the paper explores ways of studying globalisation and schooling across national contexts focusing on secondary schools in Lusaka, Hanoi and Recife..

    I use the term eduscape to analyze the interconnectedness of schools, educational projects, values and processes across the World. The study provides example of how young people from different social, cultural and political contexts negotiate what appears as an almost similar educational project across the three cities. The schools in this study are inhabited by teachers and students who belong to different generations. Many of the teachers carry with them educational traditions that are rooted in a past where the role of schools as state institutions has been to mirror and reproduce the power structures of previous regimes. Democratization and liberal reforms have created profound changes within state institutions, and the prospects of both schools and education generally have changed accordingly. Young people who attend secondary schools are actors in an eduscape that they are continuously constructing by negotiating identities between the past, represented by teachers, parents, and inherited habits and routines, and the future, manifested in terms of the promises of progress and modernity that are attached to education. This study provides a picture of young people across national and cultural contexts who are in confusion over the aims and perspectives of education, since the rhetoric of promise and potential does not match the realities in which they live. Nonetheless it is remarkable to see how the rhetoric of promise and potential functions as point of departure for criticizing the lack of any real opportunities. Eduscapes are spaces for controlling and disciplining young people through processes of social segregation, but they are also spaces for criticism: Across the three sites raise young people raise criticisms not only of schools, but of society as such. In Recife the complaint is about ‘pretending democracy', in Lusaka about the emptiness of the educational project - lack of quality and opportunities, and Hanoi about the contradictions embedded in the reforms and the turn towards the open market.



    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2006
    Number of pages25
    Publication statusPublished - 2006
    EventOxford Ethnography and Education Conference - Oxford, United Kingdom
    Duration: 9 Sep 200612 Sep 2006
    Conference number: 4


    ConferenceOxford Ethnography and Education Conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

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