Reinventing education

The challenges posed by the contemporary world have long required a rethinking of educational concepts, policies and practices. The question about education ‘for what’ (as well as ‘how’ and ‘for whom’) had become unavoidable and yet it largely remained elusive due to a tenacious attachment to the ideas and routines of the past which are now far off the radical transformations required of educational systems. The challenges brought about by the pandemic raise these questions even more pressingly. They shed new light on the role of digital technologies (polarised between ‘apocalyptic’ and ‘integrated’ users); the demands that arise from the huge environmental risks that the new generations now have to face; the necessity of designing training paths for global and local citizenship; the demand for new forms of education capable of actively responding to the challenges of ‘blending’ cultures, identities and differences, as well as fighting against the all too many inequalities that are still produced on the regional and local scale; the necessary transformation of educational spaces and times to meet the new social and pedagogical exigencies and demands. 
The second Conference of the journal “Scuola Democratica” wishes to address these challenges. Scenarios, reflections and practices will be proposed that foster the possibility of change towards the reinvention of the educational field as a driver of more general and global changes. The Conference will have a multidisciplinary approach and will host, among the organisers too, experts from different disciplinary communities, including: pedagogy, psychology, economics, architecture, political science, etc. Only the collaboration between the diverse epistemic fields will be able to give strength to the proposals and arrange future scenarios.

Submit your panel proposal

You can contribute to the Conference as a Panel convenor by submitting a proposal to 1 among the 10 Conference Streams. The Call for Panels starts on December 7, 2020 and ends on the deadline January 24, 2021 (see the Conference’s when&where). Once your Panel is accepted, you will have the responsibility of promoting your session and selecting abstracts and papers submitted to you. You can also appoint a second Convenor to share the responsibility with you. As a convenor, you will be included as a co-editor of the volume of the proceedings in which will be included the papers of the session that you will convene; in addition, you will have the opportunity to submit a paper.

We are about to launch the call for panels. We are looking forward to your proposal! 

The Streams

 

Stream convenors: Valeria Fabretti (corresponding convenor, fabretti@fbk.eu), Massimo Baldacci, Luciano Benadusi, Alessandro Cavalli, Susanna Mantovani, Romuald Normand, Donatella Palomba, Roberto Serpieri

Keywords: education, socio-economic scenarios, post-pandemic, education aims, globalisation and Europeanisation, policy mobility, comparative research, pluralism, lifelong learning

 

What is education for (1)? This philosophical question cannot be answered ignoring contributions from social and educational sciences.

The growing focus on learning outcomes should have prompted discussion on the values and aims in defining policy objectives and developing accountability systems and evidence-based approaches. Whereas for years public discourse on education has most frequently been confined to a merely sector-based perspective, without addressing the relationship (i.e. interdependency and/or autonomy) with globalised societies or how to face the new challenges of today’s world.

It should be stressed, however, that the relationship between education and society and the issue of aims need to be be observed in a new context which has seen the weakening of the society-nation equation and the strengthening of global dimensions (2).

The crisis born of the pandemic is more and more global and multidimensional. It inevitably obliges us to ask what the post-pandemic socio-economic scenarios could be and what challenges might emerge from the transformations of education and training systems and policies (3). Many researchers and observers think that the most relevant of these challenges is that of inequalities between and whitin countries, which have been greatly exacerbated by the pandemic drama (4).

The medium-long term nature of many of these challenges poses, however, a complex question: does the pandemic tend to widen or narrow the time-space horizons of people perceptions, rationalities and decisions (5)?

For several decades, the field of education and training has witnessed continuous growth in globalization and internationalization: just think of the role of the great international surveys and the increasing influence of international organisations (6). Phenomena and concepts such as policy mobility (lending and borrowing) or – within another field of research – policy learning, as well as global scaling up, global-local hybridization and policy assemblage might find a useful opportunity of debate and in-depth analysis in this stream (7). This might also be true of the related issue regarding how comparative research has to be carried out (8) and of the relationship between some government « technologies » frequently utilized in the latest cycle of policies – for example, quasi-market, evaluation, and autonomy of schools and universities – and the ever more criticized neo-liberal paradigm (9). In this framework, without any revival of the political or methodological nationalism, a critical rethinking of the national dimension, perhaps too hurriedly assumed to be “obsolete”, can be useful also for a comparative reflection (10).

As to our continent we are in the presence not only of globalization of educational policies, but also of their Europeanisation (11), due to the extent of the European Commission’s strategy and its Open Method of Coordination. Beyond the official distinction between formal, non-formal, and unformal learning, it seems European initiatives and programmes shape a new policy world preparing the future of education, particularly through different expert networks, new ways of conceptualizing knowledge, and disseminating standards. On these issues there is no lack of reflections and research, some of which very critical indeed, whose results deserve to be broadly shared and discussed, too.

Moreover, in this framework, more and more importance is given to equipping the new generations with the tools – knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values – to live in a plural and interconnected world. This is a delicate matter indeed in Europe. It is the issue at stake for the encounters – and at times clashes – between old and new visions and forms of pluralism and secularism. Around this theme are developed educational policies and strongly heterogeneous curricula. Such topic is linked also to the variability in young people’s competences and attitudes towards cultural otherness (12).

Lastly, we would indicate another question of notable importance at international level: life-long learning (13). This is perhaps the most innovative project as it implies both a diverse temporal horizon for education and its link to the world of work. And a different approach to the relationship between school and extra-scholastic (life-wide) learning is also implied. From this stems the necessity of greater investment for example in both the early years (ECEC) (14) and the adult education (15). We might ask, however, how much has been done to achieve this goal, and whether it risks remaining a fascinating but largely unfinished project for a long time (16).

We advise the panel presenters to specify to which of the numbered themes and issues their proposals may be addressed, independently of their title.

 

Download the PDF version of the stream (English/Italian)

 

Stream convenors: Luciano Benadusi, Alessandro Cavalli, Bruno Losito, Herman J. Abs, Alberto Marinelli, Giovanni Moro, Milena Santerini, Piero Valentini (corresponding streamer, pierovalentini@yahoo.it).

Keywords: education, citizenship, democracy, global issues, digital media, schools, universities, didactics

 

Within a general rethinking of the aims and the means at the disposal of our education systems, which have been necessary for quite some time and which the crisis wrought by the global pandemic has rendered even more urgent, the first question that we propose to the conference is whether until now enough has been done to educate towards citizenship and democracy and whether the various national educational systems have adopted this issue as their fundamental mission (1).

A second group of questions derives from some crucial challenges – such as the dramatic deterioration of the biosphere, the climate and the health –  which impose both the necessity of rethinking this mission in a planetary context and redefining the “citizenship” as a concept not merely national, but multi-level, that is ranging from global to local; and in  our continent European, too. How deeply are our nations presently involved in the task of educating their citizens in terms of knowledge of global and trans-national issues (2)? And are they striving to build a collective common consciousness in Europe (3)? What help is being given in this sense by proposals elaborated and experiences promoted by international organizations or the EU (4)?

A third group concerns the creeping crisis afflicting democracy and popular disaffection with its principles and rules, a phenomenon highlighted by various research  (5). This, together with the impact of social networks, in turn gives way to the diffusion of political tendencies of an authoritarian and populist nature even in countries with a a liberal-democratic regime, and more frequently where its socio-cultural roots are most fragile. (6) Does education represent a bulwark against them and what research tells us about the variability of values, attitudes, and political preferences of people according to their level of education (and  age) (7)? How can it become a  hotbed of liberal-democratic values and competencies, including the ability to make a critical use of digital information (8)? Furthermore, despite the coercion exerted on them are universities to some extent a social and cultural resource for change also within autoritarian regimes (9)?

Finally, starting from infant and primary schools, what weight does citizenship education have in schools, what approaches are adopted and what have shown to be the most effective (10)? What didactics are applied and what seem to be the most promising experiences (11)? To what extent are teachers prepared and motivated and students interested in it (12)? Universities and adult education should also play a role in citizenship education. What proposals and significant experiences can be described and examined (13)?

We advise the panel presenters to specify to which of the numbered themes and issues their proposals may be addressed, independently of their title.

 

Download the PDF version of the stream (English/Italian)

Stream convenors: Federico Butera, Fiorella Farinelli, Laura Formenti, Andrea Galimberti, Gabriele Pinna (corresponding convenor, gabriele.pinna@unica.it), Marco Pitzalis

Keywords: education, work, training, employment


The relationship between education and economic systems is a classic subject of social science. On the one hand, during the twentieth century, the functionalist perspective established a close link between the “mass” school (born with democratic intentions, but shaped from its inception by the needs of production systems) and the construction of individuals personalities conforming to values and social objectives. Future workers, therefore, “employable” in the various production sectors thanks to the adequacy of the basic training courses. More specifically, with reference to the interconnection between education system and economy, functionalism claims that school must direct / orient individuals – on the basis of their inclinations and academic results – towards trades and professions that, in over the course of the century, have transformed and multiplied (Durkheim, 1893; Goldstein, 1976; Parsons, 1959). The professions have become more and more specialized and therefore requiring ever more targeted skills. Hence, the insistence on the need to train future workers in technical and technological skills, as well as more recently in the “soft skills”, increasingly necessary in certain sectors of the economy (Industry 4.0). The alliance between the functionalist perspective and the neoliberal model finds its conceptual and practical pivot in the employability conceptual frame.

On the other hand, since the 1970s, critical research in different disciplines, such as sociology, psychology, pedagogy, anthropology and economics, has highlighted how the formal education system contributes to the reproduction of inequalities, confirming and strengthening hierarchies and power relations between the different actors of the economic system. These lines of investigation have highlighted – among other things – the weight of cultural and social capital in determining school performance (Ball, 1998; Bourdieu, 1988; Bourdieu, Passeron, 1970), the emergence of counter-school cultures – e.g. among male students belonging to the working class (Willis, 1978; Lapassade, 1998; Boumard, 1999), but also the inflation of educational qualifications as a combined effect of mass schooling and changes in the economic system (Collins, 1979). In more recent times, the fragmentation of the educational and training systems, because of the multiplication of public and private agencies in charge of training citizens, in addition to the explosion of the non-formal and informal as learning places (e.g. on the Internet), challenges the school to maintain its primacy as a place responsible for training workers. Moreover, it questions its ability to continue to represent a social elevator and / or a place of social justice.

The issue of the reproduction of inequalities and differential returns of educational qualifications fuels lively and stimulating interdisciplinary debates (Ballarino, 2006; Ballarino, Argentin, 2014; Naticchioni, Ricci, 2011). Furthermore, economic stagnation, mass unemployment and the precariousness of labour affect the inclusion of young generations in the labor market, as the researches on the transition to adulthood show (Galimberti, 2020; Spanò, 2019; Tuomi-Grohn, Engestrom, 2014), also with reference to gender inequalities (Blossfeld et al., 2015).

Recently, in the context of Lifelong Learning policies, the relationship between training and work has become increasingly central (Holford et al., 1998; Lawn, 2006; Watts et al., 2010; Bohlinger et al., 2015). The definition of the objectives of these policies is not neutral: in the neoliberal mantra it is a question of guaranteeing the adaptability, employability and autonomy of each individual, so that he can occupy his place in society according to the dominant values. There is no shortage of critical voices about this individualistic and functionalist interpretation of the Lifelong Learning (Zarifis, Gravani, 2014; Formenti, 2018; Grummell, Finnegan, 2020). On the other hand, even the supporters of neoliberal-inspired policies want an inclusive training offer (from a meritocratic perspective), as it is essential for recruiting resources and supporting flexible production systems focused on knowledge.

The attention of scholars therefore focuses on the effects of the Knowledge Society in the educational system of European countries (Ballarino, Regini 2005; Butera et al., 2008). For example, in encouraging work-related training (Aiello, 2019; Pinna, Pitzalis, 2020; Fedeli, Tino, 2017; Formenti, Vitale, Calciano, 2017) and apprenticeship (Moreau, 2003), in addition to various forms of in-service learning (Bohlinger, 2015). The implementation of these policies was analyzed according to the characteristics of the different regimes of Vocational Education and Training (Ballarino, 2013; Busemeyer, Trampusch, 2012) and adult training (Blossfeld et al., 2014; Farinelli, Gilardi, 2003; Merrill et al., 2018). In this perspective, several studies have focused attention on the orientation processes that contribute to the reproduction of inequalities as the students from the lower classes tend to orient themselves, and are oriented by their teachers, towards the vocational paths, stigmatized within the educational systems (De Feo, Pitzalis, 2018; Palheta, 2012).

Taking note of the richness of the scientific literature on the relationship between education, training and work, in order to contribute to the elaboration of a conceptual and methodological framework for questioning the complex and changing relationships between the educational and economic systems, we invite scholars to propose panels aimed at deepening the study of the following issues:

  1. The organizational and pedagogical transformations of the formal education system, at all its levels, resulting from labour approach: constraints, problems, possibilities, creative drives, continuity and discontinuity …
  2. The articulation between hard and soft skills in training courses and their importance for work: critical analysis and categorization of skills, relationship between knowledge, skills and competences, training models, evaluation …
  3. The ability of educational systems to promote an ecological and sustainable revolution of production systems: sustainability as a new mantra, as a possibility, and a terrain for social and pedagogical research, inclusion and integration …
  4. The different VET (vocational education and training) regimes in a comparative perspective: comparing European models, analysis of the Italian system in its various components, professional training, high technical and technological training, corporate training, repertoires …
  5. The experiences of work-based learning: apprenticeships and work-related training, experiences, models, constraints and possibilities of networking between school and territory …
  6. Life Long learning and re-entry into formal education: services and networks of practices, needs analysis, groups / targets, recognition, validation and certification of skills, guidance, teaching, retraining, accompaniment, …

 

Download the PDF version of this stream (English/Italian)

 

Stream convenors: Gabriele Ballarino, Carlo Barone, Daniele Checchi, Maddalena Colombo, Delit Contini, Orazio Giancola (corresponding convenor, orazio.giancola@uniroma1.it), Giancarlo Gasperoni, Susanna Mantovani, Moris Triventi

Keywords: equality, inclusion, differences, effectiveness, policies

 

In the last twenty years, educational inequalities have by no means disappeared and they have rather changed and (re)combined into new forms that challenge the resilience of educational systems in terms of both effectiveness and equity. The stream aims to address these issues from a theoretical and empirical point of view, as well as their implications for educational policies.

In this sense, proposals linked to educational inequalities in relation to social stratification as a factor affecting cognitive results, educational choices, the attainment of educational qualifications and working careers are of interest for the stream. Comparative research on any type of scale (comparisons between national, regional or local cases) is particularly welcome. We also attach much importance to the analysis of institutional factors (tracking, comprehensive vs selective systems, accountability policies, private education, ability grouping) which can produce educational segregation dynamics that affect educational inequalities, intersecting extra-curricular factors, such as urban segregation, for example.

Of particular interest is the intertwining of differences (gender, socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, cognitive, and motivational factors) which often generate inequalities both for their effects in themselves and in relation to the policies implemented to address them in their multidimensionality and intersectionality. Therefore, specific tracks on how education systems and educational institutions try to manage differences and end up producing inequalities are welcome. For example, the stream is open to proposals on ethnic inequalities, on how educational institutions face the challenges posed by migration processes and on how their responses such as intercultural education and compensatory policies attenuate or reinforce these inequalities.

The links between education and the labor market are another central aspect of research: the debate on the inflation of educational qualifications and over-education, the differential returns to education according to the type of diploma, degree program or type of tertiary program attended and, more generally, the relationship between education and social mobility.

Finally, track proposals on the applications of randomized controlled trials to the assessment of policies aimed at reducing inequalities and improving cognitive and career results are welcome. More generally, we encourage empirically-driven reflections on how educational policies intersect the complex relationship between equity (equality and inclusion), quality and excellence, with particular relevance to studies adopting a comparative perspective. Track proposals that intersect the topic of educational inequalities with policies related to school autonomy, evaluation, privatization policies and other measures inspired by neoliberal visions of education policies are equally welcome.

  • Educational inequalities in relation to social stratification;
  • Effects of institutional factors (tracking, comprehensive vs selective systems, accountability policies, private education, ability grouping) on educational ​​results and occupational careers;
  • The relations between differences (gender, socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, cognitive, motivational factors) and educational inequalities;
  • The relations between educational processes and social mobility, as well as analyses of educational choices and study careers in relation to employment performance;
  • Educational poverty in a comparative, national and local perspective: research and empirical evidence.
  • School segregation and school structural models (comprehensive vs. selective), school segregation and urban space.
  • Empirically-driven critical analyses of neo-liberalism and the Competition State in relation to educational segregation, inequalities and exclusion.
  • The relationships between equity (equality and inclusion), quality and excellence: empirical research and evidence
  • School policies for managing differences (cultural, ethnic, cognitive, and motivational) between the students.
  • Randomized controlled trials of policies aimed at reducing inequalities and improving cognitive and career outcomes
  • Theoretical and empirical analyzes on the relationship between equity (equality and inclusion), quality and excellence
  • Inequalities, school autonomy, evaluation and other system-level policies.

 

 Download the PDF version of this stream (English/Italian)

 

 

Stream convenors: Donatella Della Porta, Tatiana Fumasoli, Cristina Marcuzzo, Roberto Moscati, Christine Musselin, Donatella Palomba, Alessandra Petrucci, Marco Pitzalis (corresponding convenor, pitzalis@unica.it”), Matteo Turri

Keywords: University, multilevel perspective, multidisciplinary, policies, internationalization

 

Higher education systems have long been in constant evolution due to constant transformations of society and changed functions of knowledge. The growing relevance of knowledge for the economic development of the capitalistic system has profoundly affected higher education systems, characterized by the neo-liberal approach which his subject of increasing critical analysis.

However, Higher education systems are starting to be affected by other somewhat inevitable changing processes due to the evolution of knowledge and the consequent forms of its transmission. These forms have to be necessarily new both because of the availability of new instruments and the increased need to develop interpretative models of a constant and often unpredictable change. In this juncture the university might assume a renewed central role.

At Higher Education System level, the growing use of digital instruments is envisaged  in order to cope with the rising of the management rates of the training offer as well as to answer to the growing differentiation of user categories. A feasible consequence could be the increasing of the already pressure for the differentiation among the universities, with the related social implications.

At individual university level, it is foreseeable the demand for university involvement in tackling the problems of society and the economy will increase. And this at global, national and local level. From an organizational point of view the most significant feature is represented by the accumulation of traditional and new tasks that do not seem to be possible to manage. Whatever form the higher education systems will come to take, it remains that a central point to be clarified concerns the management of change. It will be the market that will impose its rules and the universities will organize themselves individually within the invisible enclosures that will guide their policies (with predictable growing social and territorial differences), or instead the State will choose incentive policies to direct its training system. It remains that in a condition of uncertainty and constant change the university’s roles multiply and become – at least potentially – more and more central. It can therefore be argued that the university is not only called upon to respond to the demands of society but by elaborating answers and solutions to the problems it progressively affects the functioning of society.

In a multidisciplinary a multilevel perspective this call wants to encourage the discussion of promotion panels around the following topics:

  • The policies of accountability and evaluation
  • Research policies from an international comparative point of view
  • The governance of university systems and university governance
  • University teaching and the challenge of technologies
  • University and citizenship in a global age
  • Student mobility, orientation and careers
  • Recruitment, training and forms of precariousness of university teachers
  • The academic profession in the managerial university
  • University Third Mission and local development
  • Extra-university higher education
  • Internationalization : The global space of Higher Education
  • The Gelmini reform ten years later

 

Download the PDF version of this stream (English/Italian)

 

 

Stream convenors: Gianluca Argentin, Marco Romito (corresponding convenor, marco.romito@unimib.it), Mariagrazia Santagati, Cristiano Corsini

Keywords: schooling, pandemic, inequality, policy, organization, practice, innovation

The Covid-19 pandemic is having an enormous impact on education systems worldwide. Policy makers, teachers, school managers, parents and students have been called to the reinvent their way of ‘doing school’. At the same time, the governance of the education system and schools’ organizations have been exposed to unprecedented tensions.

Within a short period of time, radical changes had to be introduced, simultaneously, at various levels of the school system. At national and regional level, there has been the need to rethink the way in which teachers are recruited, engaged and managed. National assessment and evaluation systems have been suspended or redefined in their uses by school actors The ways through which institutes were managed and organized had to be rethought, passing in a very short time through an on and off of dematerialization and hyper-normativity of time and space. Within schools, managers and teachers have been called to redefine the role of digital technologies in their didactic, as well as in their relationships with families and students. In some cases, these set of changes led to experience novel and unexpected daily proximities, in other prevailed a context characterized by distance and unsatisfactory relationships. Managers and teachers have been asked to re-invent their professionality to rethink their organizational, didactic and relational competences. Students and families, on their side, have been called to rebuild and reimagine new way of being at school, re-inventing the spaces and time of schooling and the way in which they relate among each other and with teachers.

The Covid-19 emergency has been a lens revealing intersections and structural tensions among various level and actors of the education system, but also allowing opportunities of changes thanks to the exogenous shock.

At the same time, it must be considered that the emergency is interacting on pre-existing inequalities and contradictions. The pandemic clearly revealed the deep disparities of educational opportunities associated to students’ life and housing conditions, beyond their access and uses of technological devices. Remote teaching and the enactment of an ‘emergency didactic’ has exacerbated learning difficulties for underprivileged students (children facing material deprivation, students with migratory background, students with special needs or disable, etc.). The interaction between the pandemic and pre-existing inequalities created different contextual conditions for actors’ agency, orienting toward different directions the pandemic’s transformational potential.

Based on these considerations, with this call we invite scholars to propose panels exploring the way in which the different levels and actors of education systems have attempted to cope with the Covid-19 emergency and how those responses to the pandemic shock are enabling new ways of “doing school” as well as on their consequences on educational equity and inequalities.

In particular, descriptions and analysis of the strategies carried out by school actors at various level are welcomed (at the level of education systems as a whole, at the level of school organizations, within schools and classes). We expect panels aimed at investigating adjustments of pre-existing policies, organizations and practices, oriented to preserve pre-pandemic status, but also panels focussed on innovations deeply transforming the way in which education takes place within schools. Also panels aimed at identifying the structural conditions promoting practices of adjustment and innovations at different level of the education governance structure are welcomed. In this respect, we expect panels focusing on equity issues and focussing on the continuities and discontinuities taking place in the processes at stake in the production and reproduction of social, racial and gender inequalities. The theme of inequalities in the access and use of digital technologies and digitally mediated teaching is here particularly important.

Finally, panel focussed on political arenas, exploring the complex tensions and related (more or less latent) conflicts, should be proposed, in order to understand how changes in education policies are taking place in Italy and worldwide.

 

Download the PDF version of this stream (English/Italian)

 

Stream convenors: Emiliano Grimaldi, Paolo Landri, Roberto Maragliano, Mario Pireddu, Leonardo Piromalli (corresponding convenor, leonardo.piromalli@uniroma1.it), Assunta Viteritti

Keywords: technologies, platform, learning, digitalization, practice

 

In recent years, an important debate has developed on the role that digital technologies are playing and can play in the transformation of education and its institutions. Digital platforms, distance learning, blended learning, online training technologies are part of a significant restructuring and reculturing of the educational worlds. Digital technologies have restructured learning practices, educational content and the forms of educational governance which are immersed in public spaces and global markets. On the one hand, the digital governance of education contributes to changing and reconfiguring educational practices and the management of education on a local, national, international and transnational scale. On the other hand, technologies make possible the interconnection of multiple modes and shapes of formal, informal and non-formal education and training, producing forms of respatialization of education, locating the classroom within a digital learning ecosystem and favoring the emergence of different models of blended or hybrid learning.

The pandemic scenario has accelerated these processes, making more visible the tensions between multiple worlds of education and the processes of digitalization, while triggering a complex restructuring of educational institutions whose directions are not yet easily predictable. Perhaps, we are entering a new era that will mark the end of education as we have known it so far. In such a scenario, it becomes more urgent to carry on and debate an informed educational research, that explores the realities of the relations between education and digital technologies. This is especially needed because technologies are far from neutral. They are a heterogeneous technical and social world in which possibilities to change education for the better and make education fairer can be encountered as well as risks can be run of reproducing social and educational inequalities.

Key questions are: how and in what direction the processes of digitalization are changing education, its practices and its governance? What are forms of coordination between educational technology markets and the institutional and educational actors in the emerging transnational governance arenas? How do the professional and social actors (teachers, managers, students, families) that are involved in the digitalization of education react to and translate these transformations? How do digital technologies change the aims and the curriculum of contemporary educational institutions? How, for instance, can the digital competencies learned by students beyond the educational spaces (school and university) become a resource for learning processes and educational socialization in educational contexts? And above all, what are the possibilities that digital technologies offer us to reinvent education and its governance that are worth to be explored?

Against this background, we welcome proposals on topics including, but not limited to:

  • digital technologies and the changing forms of schools and schooling: present scenarios and trajectories of change;
  • globalization, edtech markets and the digital governance of education;
  • epistemologies of the digital in education;
  • digital education in-the-making, datafication and the journey of data: arranging and performing teaching, learning and IT development practices;
  • digital education and metric power: numbers, measurement and quantification;
  • the platformization of education;
  • media education: scenarios, visions and research;
  • digital literacy: student competences, teachers professional development and the emergence of new professional figures
  • digital technologies between old and new divides: issues of inclusion and exclusion;
  • utopias and dystopias on the use of technology in education;
  • digital technologies as tools for democratic education: the use of participatory and collaborative platforms;
  • the active role of students in the co-creation of learning processes through technologies.

 

Download the PDF version of this stream (English/Italian)

 

 

Stream convenors: Guido Benvenuto, Antonietta De Feo (corresponding convenor, antonietta.defeo@uniroma3.it), Maria Beatrice Ligorio, Patrizia Magnoler, Berta Martini, Beate Weyland, Franca Zuccoli

 

Keywords: teaching, learning, practice, space, time

 

Each educational experience produces specific results and definitions of teaching-learning practices. The well-established model of the magister teacher, based on a one-to-many transmission of knowledge, is complemented by new configurations of teaching-learning practices.

There are teaching practices that cultivate the ambition to combine the technological innovation with the psychological and pedagogical issues. Educational technologies, such as the Interactive Whiteboard, incorporate a new grammar and pragmatic in which the emphasis is placed on the involvement and the participation of the student, as well as on a “reverse teaching”, compared to the traditional one. The diffusion of online educational platforms, based on algorithmic architectures and data-driven approaches, also draws attention to a personalized way of learning and a datafication of teaching.

Digital technologies are therefore stimulating a series of transformations in the socio-material order of the class affecting the spatial and temporal configuration of teaching. At the same time, they are embedded in the complexity of the educational contexts that rework their practical and symbolic value.

In the European framework of strengthening the relations between the labour market and education, we also witness the implementation of teaching practices associated with the idea of knowledge as an economic and social investment. Recently, a large field of critical investigation has highlighted how teaching aimed at improving the employment prospects of students is deeply affecting public values in education. At the same time, different points of view in the educational field claim to postpone the transmission of skills related to the labour market to broader educational objectives of social inclusion and civic participation.

The new proxemics imposed by the current pandemic challenge traditional spatial configuration, from the arrangement of desks to the mobile use of chairs, from the forms of communication in virtual environments to the interaction in the classroom.  Therefore, this is to register the need to re-elaborate the ecology of the educational practices, starting from the socio-material space of learning.

This stream aims to examine more closely epistemologies, methods and devices of contemporary didactics, analysing the way they reinvent learning and teaching processes, the times and spaces of the educational relationship, as well as the connection with the problems and the needs of contemporary society.

The thematic focuses for presenting panel proposals are:

  • Teaching practices: research, visions, cultures
  • Curricula plans between disciplines and interdisciplinarity
  • The curricular changes between formal and practical knowledge
  • Teacher training and new educational practices
  • Professionalization and renewed professional identities of teachers
  • Synergies between educational and organizational innovations
  • Pro-innovation policies and school-research-university relations
  • Teaching practices and evaluation
  • Psychological aspects of educational innovation
  • Digital media in education
  • Risks and problems of on-line learning
  • Students’ digital identity and learning
  • Reinventing educational practices between classroom-based learning and e-learning
  • New learning practices between formal and informal contexts
  • Integrating modes of communication and rethinking artistic-expressive languages
  • Rethinking educational spaces: architectures, design, indoor and outdoor environments
  • Research and interdisciplinary experiences for the reorganization, transformation and management of school spaces
  • School hours and management of spaces: experiences, experiments and future scenarios

 

Download the PDF version of this stream (English/Italian)

 

Stream convenors: Emanuela Abbatecola, Irene Biemmi, Annalisa Murgia, Barbara Poggio, Elisabetta Ruspini, Giulia Selmi, Assunta Viteritti (corresponding convenor, assunta.viteritti@uniroma1.it)

Keywords: gender, education, differences, stereotypes, educational relationships

 

The trajectories and outcomes of education are currently the subjects of scientific research and public debate. Educational contexts are marked by a significant gender gap with regard to both the staff and the school experiences of children and teenagers. These differences reflect and often reproduce gender stereotypes and asymmetries in societies. How are gender issues addressed in classrooms? Where are they encountered in training settings? What models do teachers convey, and what are the emotional responses from students of diverse gender? How do educational institutions practice and reproduce gender stereotypes and asymmetries? Can school and university provide contexts in which to acquire gender awareness and tackle gender issues? What are the responsibilities of educational contexts in the representation of gender in society? What experiences and good practices have been activated to promote greater gender equity? What cultural resistances? Several questions could be asked, and many are the answers to be sought. Numerous forms of educational segregation persist, yet today a growing presence of women – which are in some cases becoming a majority – is found even in fields that have historically been the domain of men; this is the case, for example, of medicine and biology in higher education. International and national data show that many things have changed in recent decades, and gender equity is rising in all spheres of education and training. At the same time, many initiatives have been launched to promote greater awareness of gender stereotypes and prevent phenomena such as discrimination and gender-based violence. However, much remains to be done – not least to prevent the emergence of new inequalities alongside established ones. This is the case, for example, of the asymmetries in accessing fields of knowledge that may become relevant for the future of work (e.g. digital skills), or the development of new practices of discrimination related to the use of new technologies (e.g., hate speech or revenge porn). In light of the issues and suggestions provided, some proposals on the topics on which to collect panel proposals can be found below:

  • sexist education: how gender stereotypes are reproduced at school;
  • what males and what females do: beyond gender stereotypes;
  • gender education and pedagogies;
  • the sexualised body as a cultural construction and the questioning of the obligatory sex/gender/desire order;
  • how families handle gender issues inside and outside the school;
  • disciplinary contexts and reproduction of gender asymmetries in education and guidance at school and university, particularly in the STEM fields;
  • how gender stereotypes are inscribed in textbooks and how gender equality and gender differences are proposed in the new school publishing industry;
  • gender and educational relations in the representation of teachers, educators and parents;
  • gender education and intercultural models;
  • media, advertising and gender stereotypes in public communication;
  • gender issues within school and university policies;
  • gender rights at school: the institutionalisation of gender equality;
  • gender asymmetries between training outcomes and access to the world of work;
  • new perspectives and research methods to study gender inside and outside school;
  • sexual identity and sex education at school;
  • bodies, identity and performance: how gender language is reconfigured in school practice;
  • the role of intersectionality in educational transformations;
  • homolesbotransphobia inside and outside the school;
  • transgender students between exclusion and inclusion practices in education;
  • gender, precariousness and care in schools and universities;
  • methodological issues/gender-sensitive research;
  • teacher training on gender and sexual orientation issues for the fight against all forms of gender-based violence;
  • the anti-gender battle in schools;
  • gender-sensitive education: challenges and changes generated by the pandemic;
  • gender differences and health emergency management COVID-19 in the neoliberal education system.

Download the PDF version of this stream (English/Italian)

 

Stream convenors: Dan Woodman, Howard Williamson, Fausta Scardigno, Maurizio Merico, Luca Salmieri (corresponding convenor, luca.salmieri@uniroma1.it)

Keywords: youth, transitions, formal, informal and non-formal education, new educational and learning environments.

 

Today, young people all over the world face unique challenges in a constantly evolving global environment, where the urgency of the climate crisis in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic call for societal radical shifts while populism, unemployment, artificial intelligence, remote education and communication are affecting the ordinary daily life as we knew it.

Some analysts fear the pandemic will spur a new kind of backlash against the very basis of global society, from migration to cooperation and interdependence, while others worry about younger generations’ abilities to overcome mass unemployment and economic vulnerability. Economic, political and environmental crisis are now fully part of the youth horizon: how are formal, informal and non-formal education going to support young people in moving forward positively and purposefully in their lives while simultaneously ensuring space for their autonomy, decision-making and voice?

Such general question contains intersected and multiple issues and applies across contexts as diverse as the role and relevance of democracy as educational content, the changing landscape of non-formal learning/education, the forging of future visions on politics, digital  technologies and the media, youth educational transitions, youth experiences at work, the relation between consumerism and environmentalism, the widening of opportunities and constraints stemming out from cooperative learning and digital exchange tools.

Social research and youth studies are producing a wide range of analyses on these relevant issues, with the (re) emergence of broader theories and empirical inquires directed towards the recognition and validation of non-formal education, the promotion of youth participation, and the deeper rethinking of youth policies.

Under the large umbrella of a Conference Stream dedicated to new generations, transitions and the future of education, we welcome a broad, multidisciplinary, and internationally set of Panels focusing on a variegated platform of topics on youth studies theories; critical analysis of relevant societal debates surrounding youth in and out education; in and out the labour market; youth transitions throughout and across cultures, statuses, roles, responsibilities and institutions; the impact of the various initiatives to promote and enhance youth participation; the role of youth organisations; the strengths and weaknesses of youth policies at both a national and supranational level.

A special appreciation is for panel proposals dealing with intragenerational and intergenerational inequalities. Traditional inequalities are associated with sources of horizontal stratification and with the fragmentation of students’ experiences according to the different educational tracks and careers. Additionally, new forms of inequality are emerging as specific outcomes of different capabilities of mobility, dynamism and uses of technologies, while old forms are persisting in literacies, social competences, cultural attitudes, and family as well as class origins. How digital technologies shape youth experiences: and how different institutions, cultures and structures generate a diversity of experiences of what it means to be young are also key factors in influencing the roles education plays in shaping present and future lives of new generations. These multidimensional topics of investigation seem remarkably appealing since they offer a chance for bridging and integrating the sociology of youth with the sociology of education, as well as youth studies and cultural studies. We therefore encourage innovative research and submissions grounded in youth and youth-led research and centred on the views and experiences of young people.

Download the PDF version of this stream (English/Italian)