XVII ISA World Congress of Sociology, Sociology on the move, Gothenburg, Sweden, July 2010

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Research Committee on
Sociology of Education RC04

 

Programme Coordinators
Ari Antikainen, University of Joensuu, Finland, ari.antikainen@joensuu.fi
A. Gary Dworkin, University of Houston, USA, gdworkin@mail.uh.edu

Congress Programme

Sessions descriptions

Session 1: Global agendas and national and regional configurations: New ways of regulation in education policies
Additional session on the Congress theme
Organizer: António Teodoro, Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologías, Portugal, a.teodoro@netvisao.pt
Globalization has imposed new rules, expectations, and challenges to educational systems.  Local and regional educational needs and programs to meet those needs are being reconfigured in light of international pressures. Papers will examine how globalization has impacted schooling, as well as national education policies and practices. Attention will be paid to the roles of sociologist in understanding these new forms of regulation.

Session 2: Sociology of adult education
Organizer: Ari Antikainen, University of Joensuu, Finland, ari.antikainen@joensuu.fi and Raj P. Mohan, Auburn University, USA, mohanrp@auburn.edu
Adult education is a product of social change and usually aimed at social transformation. In present adult education policy discourse the slogans of ‘education/lifelong learning for all’ and the transformation towards ‘knowledge based economy’ and ‘learning society’ are the major policy goals. Adult education is, however, connected at least with the civil society, the state, and the market. Papers can examine for instance the position of adult education in different socio-historical contexts, patterns of participation, restructuring processes going on, narratives of adult learning and – of course – the state of sociology of adult education.

Session 3: The meanings of schooling
Organizer: Maria-Ligia Barbosa, Universidade Federal de Rio de Janiero, Brazil, mligia@ifcs.ufrj.br
The purpose of the session is to examine how this specific trait of modernization—the value of schooling—was (or is being) developed in the world outside Europe and North America and what are its consequences for the structure of social inequalities in those countries. Is schooling perceived as the most important factor (vis-à-vis other eventually relevant factors) of success on the job market? Is schooling perceived as factor of personal attainment? In the case that they truly make a difference, do school systems develop policies that take advantage (to improve learning) from parents—involvement and valuation of schooling?

Session 4: Transitions from school to work
Organizerss: Jeanne Ballantine, Wright State University, USA, jeanne.ballantine@gmail.com and  Silvia Y. Llomovatte, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, sllomovatte@uolsinectis.com.ar
Many developed nations are now thought of as “credentialist societies,” in which the completion of high school or even of college does not guarantee a graduate access to a job, needless to say one that is commensurate with the educational attainments.  In developing and under-developed nations high unemployment and underemployment rates result in graduates not finding meaningful work.  The session will explore the myriad implications of the transition from student to employee.  The employment problems of school dropouts will also be examined.

Session 5: A Critique of educational reforms at the dawn of the 21st century in developing, under-developed, and non-western societies: Theoretical and empirical implications
Organizer: Shaheeda Essack, National Department of Education, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa, Essack.S@doe.gov.za
Education and development in under-developed, developing and non-western societies is measured against what is set and defined by Western, First World, Anglo-Saxon countries – a consequence of the 21st century converged global society.  Freire’s pedagogy of the oppressed, Nyere’s/Ghandi’s emphasis on basic education/ productive work/ people’s active participation and al-Qabbani’s reforms at modernizing education in Egypt provide interesting points of reference on the claims made about education and development.  Papers address:

Session 6: Educational accountability in global perspective: challenges for developed nations
Organizer: A. Gary Dworkin, University of Houston, USA, gdworkin@mail.uh.edu
Neo-liberal approaches to education have heightened the focus on a “standards-based accountability approach,” which makes standardized test results the measure of school effectiveness.  Nations compare their scores on international tests such as PISA or TIMSS to determine whether their educational systems are successful. RC04 began a dialogue on accountability, standards, and testing during the 1st ISA Forum of Sociology in Barcelona in 2008.  This session focuses on Developed Nations, while Session 5 (above) focuses on Developing Nations.

Session 7: Old and new conflicts in education
Organizer: David Konstantinovskiy, Institute of Sociology, the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, dav.konstant@gmail.com
The institution of education is closely connected with functioning of the society and therefore it can not be free from conflicts. Part of these conflicts are a reflection of contradictions taking place in society: e.g. the differences in values and requirements of the actors (pupils, parents, teachers etc.), the rivalry of groups (social, religious etc.). Other conflicts are generated by the specifics of the education sphere itself: e.g. some measures of management. Papers can focus on the theoretical and empirical research for discussions on reasons of present and incipient conflicts, methods of overcoming or softening conflicts.

Session 8: The futures of the sociology of education
Organizerss: Michael Young, Institute of Education, University of London, UK, M_Young@ioe.ac.uk and Johan Muller, University of Cape Town, Republic of South Africa, johan.muller@uct.ac.za                 
In this seminar we hope to address questions about the nature of educational knowledge raised by the global expansion of post-compulsory public education. We welcome contributions from   those working on (a) the sociology of upper secondary, higher and professional curricula and (b) theoretical work in the sociology of knowledge, particularly those working in the tradition initiated by
Emile Durkheim and continued by Basil Bernstein and Randall Collins.

Session 9: Leading society to a sustainable future: education and the crisis of sustainability
Organizer: Julie Matthews, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia, jmatthews@usc.edu.au
In the contemporary climate of global urgency concerning the need to address unsustainable development, ecological illiteracy, global technocracy and civil insecurity, this session will address the contribution of education in particular and the sociology of education in general to stimulating new ways of conceptualizing and addressing complex social, environmental, economic and political issues. The session will include contributions from environmental sociology, education for sustainability, environmental education, greening movements, eco-literacy and eco-philosophy as well as problematic managerial, marketing and entrepreneurial directions in education. It seeks presentations which show how education can take the lead to generate critical debate and innovative solutions required to sustain both ecological and social systems.

Session 10: 'Quality assurance' and 'product-based' funding in higher education
Organizer: Dionysois Gouveias, University of the Aegean, Greece, dgouvias@rhodes.aegean.gr
In recent years, academic institutions across the globe, are called on to set-up quality -assurance’ mechanisms and promote ‘international competitiveness’ and ‘economic prosperity’. The ascendancy of ‘product-based’assessment in Higher Education, whereby what is evaluated is the accomplishment of certain pre-determined targets (‘technocratic-reductionist’ approach) and not the context in which learningtakes place (‘professional-contextualist’ approach) is evident, not only in the Anglo-Saxon world, but in an increasing number of E.U. countries, especially after the road to the Bologna’s ‘Common European Higher Education Area’ was mapped (1999), and the Lisbon targets were set (2000).

Session 11: Civics and citizenship education in a globalizing world
Organizer: Lawrence J. Saha, Australian National University, Australia, Lawrence.Saha@anu.edu.au
This session will focus on aspects of education, political socialization, and political behavior. Topics can focus on the formal school curriculum (such as civics or citizenship courses) or the “hidden” curriculum, such as school elections, school political or patriotic activities (flag raising, singing the national anthem, etc). The link between school administrative style, such as democratic or authoritarian, can also be included as can questions relating the school to the pressures of local and global citizenship. Finally, papers which examine education and other political outcomes, such as voting behaviour, participation in politics, political values, or political activism will be welcome.

Session 12: Paulo Freire and the sociology of education: Contributions and issues
Organizar: Carlos Alberto Torres, University of California, Los Angeles, USA & Argentina, catnovoa@aol.com and Greg Misiaszek, University of California, Los Angeles, USA, gmisiaszek@yahoo.com  
The focus of this panel will be an in-depth analysis of the work of political philosopher of education Paulo Freire and his epistemological, theoretical and educational insights. A discussion of the complexities of education and politics in the work of Freire will facilitate a theoretical introduction to key problematic elements of contemporary public policy. We hope in this dialogue to work towards reinventing Paulo Freire's perspective.  

Session 13: Development of sociology of higher education
Organizer: Keiko Yokoyama, University of California at Berkeley, USA, kyokoyama.net@googlemail.com
The purpose of the session is to review the past and present status of the sociology of higher education and offer some prospects for the future as a scholarly rigorous field. Concern will be with both US and non-US perspectives and the format will be a panel discussion that will include a brief presentation of a position paper by each panelist.  Panel members will be selected from among the positions papers that are openly submitted to the session.   

Session 14: Europeanization and governance of higher education: Evidence and challenges
Organizer: António Teodoro, Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologías, Portugal, a.teodoro@netvisao.pt
The Bologna process is certainly the most extensive process of change carried out in European universities since its modernization in the nineteenth century, with profound implications in other areas of the world system, particularly in Latin America, Africa and Asia. The objectives identified for the so-called Bologna process have several formulations that support the hypothesis that we are witnessing a transformation of the University of its original European Humanist tradition for the current utilitarian orientation. What is the meaning of the next evolution of educational issues in the EU?

Session 15: The Condition of teaching: teachers as workers, teachers as professionals
Organizerss: A. Gary Dworkin, University of Houston, USA, gdworkin@mail.uh.edu
Shaheeda Essack, National Department of Education, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa, Essack.S@doe.gov.za
Teaching is usually seen as a “semi-profession” in that teachers, especially in the developed world, are accorded less respect and granted less autonomy than practitioners in other professions. In developing nations they may receive more respect than in the developed world, but are still offered little control over their work.  Teachers report higher levels of job stress and burnout than do many other human service professionals and their turnover rates often are quite high.  Efforts by teachers to unionize and strike for better working conditions and salaries are frequently seen as threats to the welfare of their students and the public good. 
 
Session 16: Vocational education
Organizer: Jeanne Ballantine, Wright State University, USA, jeanne.ballantine@gmail.com
A university education is not always the solution for individuals seeking to acquire the necessary technical skills to obtain meaningful employment.  In many instances a vocational or technical school can afford the student an education that better fits the needs of students and employers.  However, the quality of that education can be variable and some skills taught may be out of date when compared with employer expectations.  Papers addressing the intended and unintended outcomes of vocational education are presented in this session.

Session 17: Education, stratification and poverty: Manifest and latent inequalities
Organizerss: Lawrence J. Saha, Australian National University, Australia, Lawrence.Saha@anu.edu.au
David Konstantinovskiy, Institute of Sociology, the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, dav.konstant@gmail.com
New methodologies and the availability of large comparative data sets (e.g., PISA and TIMSS) have made possible the investigation of education and stratification with new theoretical perspectives and empirical models. Recent research has reopened discussions about how education may assist the poor and disadvantaged, with factors apparent at the individual, school and country levels. In spite of egalitarian policies, there remain tendencies for education systems to openly or covertly reproduce the social order. Papers can focus on the effects of gender, social class, race/ethnicity, or other cultural and structural factors, including the culture of poverty and levels of socioeconomic development.

Session 18: Business Meeting
Chair: Ari Antikainen, President, RC04, University of Joensuu, Finland, ari.antikainen@joensuu.fi

Session 19: Current issues in the sociology of education. Part I
Chair: tba

Session 20: Current issues in the sociology of education. Part II
Chair: tba

Joint sessions hosted by other RC

Joint session: Leisure and education
Joint session of RC04 Sociology of Education and RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee]

Joint session: Changing forms of university-society relationship. Part I
Joint Session of RC04 Sociology of Education and RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology [host committee]

Joint session: Changing forms of university-society relationship. Part II
Joint Session of RC04 Sociology of Education and RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology [host committee]

Integrative sessions

Integrative session 5: Rational choice approaches to educational inequality and social stratification
Wednesday, July 14, 08:30-10:30
Integrative session of Research Committees RC04 Sociology of Education, RC28 Social Stratification and RC45 Rational Choice