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27 Nov 2023
Miami & Online

NORRAG at CIES 2024

In 2024, NORRAG will be taking part in the 68th annual conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) through different sessions. Stay tuned for more detailed information.

List of NORRAG Sessions: 

 

Highlighted Session: Decolonising Development in Education: Rethinking, Reframing and Reimagining Possibilities

Panel discussion – Hybrid

The role of education in colonialism is central; at the same time, the power of education in historical and contemporary decolonial protest is undeniable. The authors come to this panel, firstly, with a sense of deep concern about the state of our planet and its many challenges. Our conceptual point of departure is that dominant conceptions of development have been premised, even in what we have come to think of as ‘radical’ forms, on problematic ontological and epistemological understandings of who we are as human beings and what we should be aspiring to. In this panel, we discuss and debate the concepts of reparation, recuperation, redress, rectification and redistribution. We spar with each other how these terms promote justice and the possibility of futures beyond the conditions of our present dominance. How they might return us to dominance’s classificatory and discursive frameworks or not. Implicitly, as we debate with each other, we grapple with the significatory and even determinative freight of our language. Our purpose, in the clamour and intensity of the arguments surrounding the discussion of development, is to clarify what we could contribute to imagining and making alternative and sustainable futures.

Speakers:

  • Veronica Pacin-Ketchabaw: Microfragments of Reparation and Reinvention
  • Prachi Srivastava: Engaging in Epistemic Humility to Decentre and Deconstruct the Myth of Educational Security and Dysfunction of the ‘West’ and the ‘Rest’
  • Iveta Silova, Hikaru Komatsu, and Jeremy Rappleye: Unlearning Development
  • Keita Takayama and Taeko Okitsu: How to Excavate ‘Good Sense’ in International Educational Development: the ‘Middle’ Way Approach to EDU-Port Japan

A Systemic Approach to Policy Reform through Knowledge and Innovation Exchange: the Case of the Maldives

Panel discussion – Online – in partnership with South Asia SIG

Education systems worldwide are working towards providing better access, equity, and quality to children in their countries. The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Knowledge, Innovation, and Exchange Hub in the regions of Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Asia, and the Pacific (KIX-EMAP) has identified, however, that countries in the EMAP region face a critical challenge in strengthening their education systems. Often, innovations or pilot projects only address one or two components of a certain sub-system, resulting in dysfunctionalities and eventually leading to the abandonment of the reform. The systemic or transformative approach is urgently needed over the project approach (historically known as patchwork reform) that dominates international collaboration programs. To address this issue, the KIX-EMAP Hub provides a diverse set of activities aimed at strengthening education systems, through a demand-driven approach led by the local government and active country representatives. The Hub operates in a manner that simulates the features of a systemic approach, namely externalization where the system’s observation of the difference between itself and other systems takes place through the exchange activities where “they construct other national systems as reference societies at particular moments to suggest that lessons should be drawn from these systems” (Steiner-Khamsi, 2023). Moreover, the innovations taking place within a subregion could be regarded as “reference societies” for policy borrowing within a comparable context. (Steiner-Khamsi, 2023). Hence, the current panel will highlight the different activities of the KIX-EMAP Hub in a country like the Maldives, involving the three communities of evidence-based policy and planning (Policy researchers, policy brokers and advisors, and policymakers) and how these diverse groups move towards one unified goal. The panel will also reveal the lessons learned for the Maldives education system, what shortcomings persist, and what potential avenues for addressing them in the future. Since the systemic approach is multidimensional, the panel presentations will address several aspects of the KIX-EMAP approach and its outputs, outcomes, and impact on the Maldives education system. The issue of policy formulation is a critical aspect of policy reform, for this purpose, multiple strategies could be utilized, among which is the use of geospatial data to make informed decisions that promote equity and inclusion in the education system: The most important goal of school mapping is to rationalize school resources by using geographical units of analysis.

Speakers:

  • Chair: Maria Margarita Lopez Castano, IDRC
  • Discussant: Ian Macpherson, Global Partnership for Education
  • Rasha Sharaf, NORRAG & KIX EAP Hub and Visal Moosa, KIX-EMAP National Coordinator in Maldives: Systemic Approach to Policy Reform on the Regional and Local Levels
  • Ashraf Abdul Raheem, National Institute of Education, Maldives: Curriculum Reform: from Learning Cycle to Rapid Customized Country Support
  • Ahmed Mohamed, Maldives National University: School Planning with Equal Access in Mind and Geospatial Data Software in Hand: Learning Cycle 2 and the Outcome Case
  • Aminath Shafiya Shafiya, Maldives National University: Teacher Voice and Choice in Professional Learning: a Framework for Continuous Teacher Professional Development in the Maldives

Refugee Education: Balancing Challenges and Assets

Panel Discussion – In-person

This panel explores how research related to refugee education can better balance its focus on the challenges confronted by and the assets possessed by the learners, teachers, parents, and community members living in contexts of forced international displacement. There is no doubt that numerous challenges are faced by the 224 million school-age children living in contexts affected by conflict and crisis (ECW, 2023), with specific challenges faced by the more than 35 million refugees who have crossed an international border to seek refuge in another country (UNHCR, 2023). When we turn to education, both displaced and host community learners are more likely to face struggles in terms of schooling access and learning outcomes (ECW, 2023). Meanwhile, teachers who work to provide education in settings affected by crisis, conflict, and displacement are neither compensated sufficiently and regularly, nor supported adequately to be successful in their vocation–with repercussions for their well-being and that of their learners (Falk et al., 2019). However, despite the many challenges facing the learners and teachers involved in ‘refugee education’ contexts, they also bring numerous assets and demonstrate agency, capability, ingenuity, and skill in navigating their difficult circumstances (Cha & Choi, forthcoming). How can we as researchers of refugee education better direct our gaze towards the agency and capability of displaced populations and those who live, learn, and work alongside them? How can we better recognize their everyday acts of protest, resistance, and creation in the face of myriad educational challenges? This panel will explore this question through three presentations including a systematic review with corpus analysis, an exploration of family language assets, and a participatory action research project with resettled refugees.

Speakers:

  • Daniel Shephard: Asset and Deficit Discourses in Refugee Education: a Systematic Review and Meta-synthesis of Historical and Disciplinary Patterns
  • Jihae Cha: From Learners to Leaders: Youth with Refugee Backgrounds’ Reflections of Engaging in Storytelling Participatory Action Research
  • Celia Reddick: Refugee Education and Parents’ Daily Acts of Protest

Experiences, Contexts and Data Use: Revisiting the Study of Education Policy Implementation in Comparative and International Education

Panel Discussion – In-person

The study of education policies is at the centre of the field of comparative and international education. It is well known that this field of study focuses on the circulation of policies through diverse temporalities and spatialities (Nóvoa, 2017) including the global, regional, national, subnational and institutional scales. Each one may be considered as a locus of analysis in itself, or as part of an exchange movement where both educational policy regulation and programme design and practice take shape. Concepts such as policy borrowing and lending, policy formulation, diffusion, reception, interpretation and translation, or the research on global governance, epistemological governance and the critical grammar of education policy have laid the basis for the study of the dynamics in education policy formulation and development (see among others Carney, 2012; Grek, 2014; Louis et al., 2005; Philips & Ochs, 2003; Robertson & Dale, 2014; Rizvi & Lingard, 2009; Steiner-Khamsi, 2016; Steiner-Khamsi & Waldow, 2018; Verger & Skedsmo, 2021). Specifically, Stephen Ball’s work has remarkably contributed to renewing the studies on education policies by developing conceptual tools that have enabled to overcome static views on the policy formulation and implementation processes: it is in the logic of dynamism, flows and movement that we should analyze educational policy, and the new spaces and times in which education policies are produced. To that end, Ball and his colleagues have developed concepts such as the policy cycle, the polycentric state, governance, heterarchies and policy networks (Beech & Meo, 2016). Comparative studies on education policies have taken particular interest in their contributions to the theory of policy enactment, in a bid to complexify the analysis of policy implementation: the circulation of norms and programmes into educational practices (Ball et al., 2011; Braun et al., 2011). For the authors, the policy cycle is continuous, and its complexity lies in the need to analytically articulate the micro-political processes, inherent to the actions of school actors, with those at the macro-political level. This approach allows moving away from linear perspectives of policy implementation and highlighting the contentious and dialectical nature of policy processes (Verger & Skedsmo, 2021). This panel is located at this analytical intersection between micro- and macro-processes of education policy, processes that involve the different actors participating in the development of education policies: from the influences of international organizations to individual and collective decision-making that gives meaning to actions in schools.

Speakers:

  • Chair: Felicitas Acosta, UNGS & NORRAG
  • Discussants: Chanwoong Baek, NORRAG and Christian Ydesen, Aalborg University
  • Delfina Garino, Iván Matovich and Felicitas Acosta, UNGS & NORRAG: Secondary Education Reforms in Argentina’s Provinces: Between Big Mottos and Daily Policy-Crafting
  • Guri Skedsmo, Schwyz University of Teacher Education/University of Oslo: Enactment of Policy Interventions to Retain Students in a Market-Oriented Secondary Education in Norway
  • María Balarín, GRADE, Perú: Reforming Pedagogical Practice in Peruvian Schools: the Promise and Downfall of a Whole School Intervention
  • Giulia Montefiore, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, & Guri Skedsmo: Data Use in Education: New Trends and Emerging Issues. A Mapping Review
  • Tamo Chattopadhay, American University of Central Asia, and FGV Sao Paulo School of Business and Public Administration, and Jorge Grant Baxter, University of los Andes: Preparing Implementers for Complexity – Perspectives from a Higher Education Collaborative

Technology, Education, and Capitalism in the 21st Century

Panel Discussion – In-person

This panel presents a series of papers that consider the relationships among technology, education, and capitalism in the 21st century. Despite technocratic narratives of how digital tools can promote innovation and improvement, these products are created and operationalized by specific actors. Across the technology industry, some of these actors include: tech entrepreneurs who found companies; individual engineers who design the products and service solutions; high net-worth individuals (HNWI) and the business organisations that they found and lead; and venture capital firms who invest in the products and services that come to market. These various actors hold particular world views, sensibilities and goals of reforming education according to their unique institutional or personal agendas and domain expertise, often working from a techno-determinist perspective and within technological constraints. Navigating education dynamics today requires analysis of these new actors, methods, logics and sensibilities of governance that wield influence over digital platforms and products, and the ways in which these dynamics are constituted through historical and present-day power relations of white supremacy, patriarchy, heteronormativity, among other power relations. The papers specifically highlight how these new dynamics and power relations are being enacted in Global South countries, and how they concern Global North/South relations.

Speakers:

  • Kathryn Moeller, Klint Kanopka: The Uneven Global Geographies of Venture Capital Investment in Education
  • Marina Avelar, UFMG & NORRAG: Mapping the Digital Education Landscape in Brazil: EdTech Networks, Actors, and Power Dynamics
  • Lara Patil, NORRAG: Innovation, Transformation and Education Governance: Technology Industry Agendas in School Contexts
  • Floran Salajin: The Global Reach of European Union’s Emerging Artificial Intelligence Policy in Education: Examining the Impact on its Global Partners

Framing the Future of Teacher Wellbeing in Low-resource and Crisis Contexts: Definitions, Measures, and Motivations

Panel Discussion – In-person

Speakers:

  • Danielle Falk, International Rescue Committee April Coetzee, War Child
  • Chris Henderson, Teachers College & NORRAG
  • Nikhit D’Sa, University of Notre Dame Fatou Niang, UNESCO TTF

Highlighted Session: Innovative Financing for Education: Leveraging Private Capital

Panel Discussion – In-person

Recent estimates show that the funding gap to reach SDG 4, inclusive and equitable quality education, in poorer countries has increased to USD 200 billion annually. As a result of the need for more funding, a search for new ways to fund development is emerging. This panel will explore the theoretical conceptualisation of leveraging private capital for education initiatives aiming to reach marginalised and vulnerable populations. Presenters will discuss the findings from current academic and grey literature on the topic and findings from several innovative financing mechanisms that have engaged private investors.

Speakers:

  • Nicholas Burnett, Senior Advisor Results for Development & NORRAG
  • Amrit Thapa, University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education
  • Marina Dreux Frotte, Research Associate, NORRAG
  • Arushi Terway, Senior Lead Research Associate NORRAG
  • Emon Nandi, Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
  • Archana Mehendale, Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Financing Higher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

Panel Discussion – In-person

Sustainable Development Goal Target 4.3 aims to achieve equal access to affordable technical, vocational and higher education. While the demand for higher education is high in most countries with large youth populations, achieving this goal by 2030 will be impossible without attention to reducing the historical and systemic gap in access by wealth and gender. In this panel we explore the trends in access and financing of higher education for two regions in the world, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Sub-Saharan Africa continues to have the lowest regional enrolment rate in the world, at only 9% (UIS, 2020; UNESCO-IESALC, 2020). South Asian region fairs better in enrolment at 26% but this hides the wide disparities between countries with Afghanistan at 11%, Pakistan at 12% and India at 29% (UIS, 2020). This panel presents research and financing initiatives that address the equity challenge in higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Learnings from the research presented here help understand how and under what conditions could innovative financing mechanisms tackle the challenge of addressing the financial barrier to access higher education for disadvantaged populations. This research aims to inform the debates on strategies for financing equitable higher education like student loans, scholarships, subsidies, graduate taxes, etc.

Speakers:

  • Allan Kimaina, University of Cape Town
  • Kamlesh Goyal, Tata Institute of Social Sciences,
  • Prof Justine Burns, UCT, Yageshree Moodley, UCT

The Strength of Contextual Knowledge for Sector Analysis and Planning

Panel Discussion – In-person

Speakers:

  • Claris Nwaejuafor Ujam, KIX Focal Point, Education Planning, Research and Development Department, Federal Ministry of Education, Nigeria
  • Victoria Kanobe Kisaakye, UNESCO IICBA, KIX Africa 19 Hub
  • Maïmouna SISSOKO TOURE, KIX Africa 21
  • Raul Chacon and Javier Gonzalez (KIX LAC & SUMMA)
  • Sajid Ali, Aga Khan University
  • Jose Luis Canelhas, KIX EMAP

Innovations on Teacher Professional Development from the Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX) Initiative – Research Learnings from Country Experiences

Teacher Professional Development (TPD) is on the agenda of every education system and there is a global consensus that good teaching is key to make an impact on the learning process. As a topic, TPD has been the subject of continuous scrutiny and study, but still new research and discussion is needed to identify ways to transform traditional and ineffective practices. Launched in 2019, KIX is an initiative that funds applied research projects and promotes exchange on key challenges facing education systems across the Global South. TPD is one of the thematic areas under support. This panel gives the floor to participants that bring together their experience to discuss challenges on the knowledge production on effective TPD and supporting its up-take at the national level. They will offer insight in how they are building knowledge mobilization into their work, and actually having success in supporting knowledge use.

Speakers:

  • Maria Margarita Lopez Castano
  • Mythili Ramchand
  • Jacqueline Mathenge
  • Freda Wolfenden
  • Manuel Cheyre
  • Jose Luis Canelhas, KIX EMAP

Demystifying Knowledge Production and Transfer in Education Policy

Panel Discussion – In-person

Nowadays, the influence of knowledge and expertise cannot be overlooked in education policy making. The production of knowledge for policy making as well as the mobility of knowledge on policies and best practices have become a booming business. This panel offers an opportunity to question the prevailing norms and practices surrounding knowledge and policy making. It allows us to critically analyze the underlying motivations, interests, and power structures that shape the production, dissemination, and utilization of knowledge in policy making processes. By interrogating these dynamics, we can foster a more nuanced understanding of how knowledge is mobilized and how it ultimately influences policy decisions.

Speakers:

  • Chanwoong Baek, Geneva Graduate Institute & NORRAG
  • Helen Seitzer, University of Bremen
  • Helena Hinke Dobrochinski Candido, University of Helsinki
  • Discussant: Robin Shields, University of Bristol

 

About the Conference

The power of protest in education lies in the fact that it is, by definition, a public act. Protest allows people facing injustice to generate power through collective action. As a community of Comparative and International Education researchers, teachers, activists, programme developers or organisers, how might we engage with, and think generatively about, the histories, curriculum, theories and methodologies, and pedagogies that guide acts of protest? Our hope is the CIES 2024 Conference in Miami held online (March 6-7) and onsite (March 10-14) will inspire debates, dialogues, and future collective actions.

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