European Educational Research Journal
ISSN 1474-9041


Other issues available | Journal home page | Publisher home page

Volume 7 Number 3 2008

Archive

CONTENTS [click on author's name for abstract and full text]

 

ECER KEYNOTE
Jenny Ozga. Governing Knowledge: research steering and research quality, pages 261‑272

Pilar Pineda, Victoria Moreno & Esther Belvis
. The Mobility of University Students in Europe and Spain, pages 273‑288
Seija Ridell. Top University: downhill for humanities? Policing the Future of Higher Education in the Finnish Mainstream Media, pages 289‑307
________________________________________________________

SPECIAL ISSUE
Social Justice, Research and European Policy: defining and measuring key competences in education
Guest Editors: BRYONY HOSKINS & RUTH DEAKIN CRICK

Bryony Hoskins & Ruth Deakin Crick
. Introduction, pages 308‑310 VIEW FULL TEXT doi:10.2304/eerj.2008.7.3.308
Ruth Deakin Crick. Key Competencies for Education in a European Context: narratives of accountability or care, pages 311‑318
Bryony Hoskins. The Discourse of Social Justice within the European Education Policy Developments: the example of key competences and indicator development towards assuring the continuation of democracy, pages 319‑330
John Holford. Hard Measures for Soft Stuff: citizenship indicators and educational policy under the Lisbon Strategy, pages 331‑343
Jacqueline Brine. The Boundaries of Competency within Lisbon and Bologna: the short-cycle/foundation learner, pages 344‑357
Ernesto Villalba. Investigating the Discourse on Social Cohesion in Relation to Innovation through the Vocabulary of European Commission Communications, pages 358‑370
Marcella Deluca & Cara Stillings. Targeting Resources to Students with Special Educational Needs: national differences in policy and practice, pages 371‑385
Bryony Hoskins, Béatrice d’Hombres & JoAnn Campbell. Does Formal Education Have an Impact on Active Citizenship Behaviour?, pages 386‑402
Avril Keating. Conclusion. The Politics of Education Policy Making and Policy Research in Europe: areas for debate and development, pages 403‑406
________________________________________________________

REVIEW ESSAY VIEW FULL TEXT
João Paraskeva. Education, Equality and Human Rights, pages 407‑413 doi:10.2304/eerj.2008.7.3.407


Governing Knowledge: research steering and research quality

doi:10.2304/eerj.2008.7.3.261

VIEW FULL TEXT | CHINESE ABSTRACT 中文摘要 | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

This article argues that the ‘quality’ debate in education research is not so much about quality as about creating the conditions in which research and knowledge production in the field of education can be managed and steered. The criticisms of research in education have destabilised the field and promoted its closer dependence on and alignment with policy. The paper connects changes in the nature of knowledge to developments in the governance of education, suggesting that experts and techno-scientific research are increasingly necessary not only as sources of information but as ways of ‘doing’ governing, especially through quantification and comparison.

The Mobility of University Students in Europe and Spain

doi:10.2304/eerj.2008.7.3.273

VIEW FULL TEXT | CHINESE ABSTRACT 中文摘要 | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

The Bologna Process has taken an undeniable role in the development of the European Higher Education Space to create a shared framework at the higher education level. In this new framework, teachers’ and students’ mobility is the key element. This is one of the main aims that European Union education policies try to achieve. This study is about the mobility of Erasmus and Sicue students in the European Union and the Spanish university context. It tries to explain mobility through three basic lines of research: documentary analysis, the application of eligibility index and work field. The methodology used gathers qualitative and quantitative data from a sample of Erasmus and Sicue students. The results show that the participation in a mobility programme is not only connected with a personal profile but also with other factors that can promote or inhibit this decision. The most important factors are related to the family and relationship context, the features of programmes and the promotion that takes place in the universities.

 

Top University – downhill for humanities? Policing the Future of Higher Education in the Finnish Mainstream Media

doi:10.2304/eerj.2008.7.3.289

VIEW FULL TEXT | CHINESE ABSTRACT 中文摘要 | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

The ongoing structural changes of the university are under heated debate worldwide, including the Nordic countries. In scholarly discussion, however, there has been surprisingly little analysis and critical assessments of the ways the mainstream media especially represent the state and future of university for the general public. By focusing on the ways Finland’s largest daily newspaper covered a specific plan to reform the Finnish university system during Spring 2007, this article explores who were given the right to define the university’s contemporary state of affairs, name its problems and suggest solutions to them in the national print media’s public arena. More specifically, the article is concerned with the kind of actor positions afforded to human sciences and humanist scholars in the media coverage.

 

Key Competencies for Education in a European Context: narratives of accountability or care

doi:10.2304/eerj.2008.7.3.311

VIEW FULL TEXT | CHINESE ABSTRACT 中文摘要 | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

This article addresses the ideological challenges and opportunities presented by the European Commission’s commitment to the identification of key competencies for education and training, and the development of indicators which can be used to monitor and evaluate progress towards these competences across the European Union. It explores the backdrop of global changes which bring the notion of competences to the fore, worldwide, and then reports on the European Union’s framework for competences. The construction of ‘competence’ is an ideological and political act, since it is an indication of a particular understanding of the ‘good life’, which may be different when viewed from within a social justice narrative or a neo-liberal narrative. The notion of ‘meta-competence’ is explored as a means of transcending the binary tension between an economic and a social narrative. European texts are best viewed as complex and multifaceted ‘collages’ which are dynamic, rather than static, and the term ‘competence’ in the texts is a good example of this.

 

The Discourse of Social Justice within European Education Policy Developments: the example of key competences and indicator development towards assuring the continuation of democracy

doi:10.2304/eerj.2008.7.3.319

VIEW FULL TEXT | CHINESE ABSTRACT 中文摘要 | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

Neo-liberal discourse is described by many critical education researchers as almost the only discourse within European education policy making. However, although this discourse clearly exists and is powerful, the author identifies an alternative discourse within European Union policy making which incorporates narratives of social justice, solidarity and democracy, particularly citing education as a vehicle for these narratives. This article highlights the place of this alternative discourse in the policy process of the identification of key competences and the creation of indicators by which the competences can be evaluated. It uses official texts and direct experience of working in the European Commission’s Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning (CRELL) to explain this narrative further, including the process of the development of indicators on certain key competences, such as civic competence and learning to learn and the social justice dialogue that forms the basis for these discussions. The article argues that the absence from critical educational researchers’ debates of this narrative leads to an oversimplified understanding of European policy processes.

 

Hard Measures for Soft Stuff: citizenship indicators and educational policy under the Lisbon Strategy

doi:10.2304/eerj.2008.7.3.331

VIEW FULL TEXT | CHINESE ABSTRACT 中文摘要 | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

How far is the European Union a vehicle for inclusion and empowerment of a new range of policy actors in education? This article explores the role of actors in policy formation through a case study. It examines European Union attempts since 2000 to develop indicators of ‘active citizenship’ and ‘education and training for active citizenship’. It is based on two main sources: policy documents on the development of indicators and benchmarks; and a case study of an exercise (2005‑07) to develop such indicators, initiated by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education and Culture. It shows that policy actors have attempted to take advantage of the Open Method of Coordination, often seen as a neo-liberal control mechanism, to ensure that citizenship remains on the policy agenda.

 

The Boundaries of Competency within Lisbon and Bologna: the short-cycle/foundation learner

doi:10.2304/eerj.2008.7.3.344

VIEW FULL TEXT | CHINESE ABSTRACT 中文摘要 | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

The concept of competency is considered both in relation to the educational competency of the short-cycle student described in the ‘Dublin Descriptors’ of the Bologna Process and in the European Commission’s European Qualifications Framework, and in relation to the legal competency that the European Commission has within the field of education and training. This article focuses specifically on the short-cycle/foundation degree introduced in 2003 into the pan-European Bologna Process, and considers its relevance to the European Union’s Lisbon Strategy. It argues that the ‘short-cycle/foundation’ student represents the mid knowledge-skilled learner that is frequently missing from policies and analyses of the knowledge economy that concentrate on either ‘basic skills’ learners or graduates/postgraduates and that this particular learner, clearly linked to employment, is located at the intersection of vocational and academic learning. The article also considers the role of the European Commission in both the Lisbon and Bologna Processes. Based on an analysis of policy texts the article suggests that the two definitions of competency, whilst quite distinct, are, at the level of policy, very closely connected and serve to increase the Commission’s activities within areas of education that are beyond their legal competence.

 

Investigating the Discourse on Social Cohesion in Relation to Innovation through the Vocabulary of European Commission Communications

doi:10.2304/eerj.2008.7.3.358

VIEW FULL TEXT | CHINESE ABSTRACT 中文摘要 | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

After the relaunch of the Lisbon Strategy, innovation has become one of the main areas of interest in the European Union (EU). In general terms, innovation is always seen as a driver of economic growth and a necessary element to achieve the strategic goal set by the EU in 2000 of becoming the most competitive knowledge-based economy. The strategic goal also encompasses the so-called ‘European Social Model’, in which greater social cohesion should be achieved. The article explores European communication documents related to innovation to determine what role they give to social cohesion. The article is framed within the Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning’s project, ‘Education for Innovation and Innovation for Education’, which explores the relationship between education and innovation. The article hypothesises that the concept of lifelong learning is instrumental in connecting innovation and social cohesion. The results of the content analysis show that the connection exists in policy documents, but it is limited.

 

Targeting Resources to Students with Special Educational Needs: national differences in policy and practice

doi:10.2304/eerj.2008.7.3.371

VIEW FULL TEXT | CHINESE ABSTRACT 中文摘要 | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

Multiple policy strategies exist to promote equity and inclusion in education and training systems. Across countries, the provision of additional resources to students with special educational needs is a common strategy; previous research indicates that providing extra resources to students with special educational needs can help those students make progress in schools. The purpose of this article is threefold: first, it will discuss the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) tripartite categorisation system for describing how different countries serve and differentiate between students with diverse special needs. The authors rely upon the OECD’s work in an attempt to characterise the international special needs student population and to synthesise some of the progress that has been made toward understanding what education for students with disabilities, learning difficulties, and disadvantages looks like. Next, the article presents new lenses for viewing policies that target additional resources to disadvantaged youth. The authors intend for the lenses proposed to facilitate more fruitful international comparisons. Finally, the article will discuss the challenges inherent to making such comparisons and will conclude with suggestions for addressing those challenges.

 

Does Formal Education Have an Impact on Active Citizenship Behaviour?

doi:10.2304/eerj.2008.7.3.386

VIEW FULL TEXT | CHINESE ABSTRACT 中文摘要 | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

In the European context Active Citizenship has been promoted within the education and training Lisbon Strategy as a tool to support the continuation of democracy, human rights and greater social inclusion. In this article the authors analyse the impact of education on Active Citizenship and contribute to the existing debates relating to education levels and participation. The results of their analysis uniformly suggest that there is a significant democratic return associated with formal education. Indeed, using a large sample of individuals from the 2006/2007 European Social Survey, it was found that education is positively and significantly correlated with Active Citizenship behaviour. Tertiary education has by far the biggest impact and this impact is the strongest for the domain of Protest. The findings are robust to the introduction of a large set of control variables and to alternative measures of educational attainment.

 

The Politics of Education Policy Making and Policy Research in Europe: areas for debate and development

doi:10.2304/eerj.2008.7.3.403

VIEW FULL TEXT | CHINESE ABSTRACT 中文摘要 | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

This article concludes the issue, and reflects upon the main themes that unite the various contributions, namely the evolution of educational and legal competency; the complexity of European Union educational governance; the challenges of measuring and developing indicators for education; and the role of social justice agendas in EU education policy. This article also locates the issue within the burgeoning field of European education policy studies, and considers future avenues for research and areas for theoretical and methodological development. These include better tools for measuring the processes of learning, as well as better models for mapping the processes of policymaking.

line

© SYMPOSIUM JOURNALS Ltd
PO Box 204, Didcot, Oxford OX11 9ZQ, United Kingdom
info@symposium-journals.co.uk
www.symposium-journals.co.uk