This article reports research exploring students’ perceptions of higher education in traditional and local universities in England and Cuba. The study has explored parallels identified in the course of research-informed teaching that harvested qualitative questionnaire data from students at two English universities. One a Traditional (high-status and elite) institution, the other a Local (post-92 widening participation) university. This data was analysed in relation to pre-existing qualitative data from two Cuban universities with similar profiles. Thematic analysis extrapolates parallels in relation to students’ experiences and motivations, and considers the relative impact of political culture, systems of access and choice, and the community character of each of the institutions. Key findings suggest that the marketisation of the system in England provides choice that is dependent on (and therefore reinforces) socio-economic status. They further suggest that both a participatory political culture and local modes of study can be effective in developing perceptions of higher education that are more closely aligned with social contribution and the collective good.
This paper aims at discussing the characteristics of the Brazilian K-12 educational system using contributions from the Italian scholar Antonio Gramsci. His writings about education discuss the effects of unequal distribution of educational opportunities among students of different social classes and the consequences of this inequality on the social fabric and human development. Using Gramsci’s contributions, this paper analyses empirical data about the public education system in Brazil and indicates that such a system is shaped for the maintenance of inequalities. Finally, it argues that the characteristics of the public schools in Brazil restrict the potential of intellectual and cultural development of pupils whom it serves.
This article substantiates the need for consolidated government support and coordination of postsecondary correctional education in the United States. The author uses the case of New York as a point of entry to critically examine the human right to learn and transform with dignity – for the millions of people languishing in prisons under mass incarceration— situating the history of higher education in prison within a dynamic network of education providers that emerged across the state. The analysis contends that withholding the right to learn violates a basic human right to (inter)personal growth, and that freedom to learn is fundamentally debased when education embedded in meaningful human relations –absent exploitation, indoctrination or predatory practices— is foreclosed. As such, the threat of fully online modalities and delimited education content comprise a form of censorship that undermines the true value of embodied and diverse learning experiences, with particular ramifications for people in prison.
The enactment of the Education Modernization Act by the government of Manitoba in early 2021 proposed several structural changes to the governance and delivery of provincial education. The related documents had a strong emphasis on improving the achievement of all students, making them future-ready and strengthening parental involvement. Despite potentially relevant claims of equity and diversity promotion, in this paper we discuss how the government discourse is neither modern nor necessarily better, as it claims to be. Rather, the proposed Education Modernization Act reifies mainstream worldviews and ideas that have been proclaimed since the beginning of the 20th century and which are today empowered by a global neoliberal mindset. We conclude arguing that a non-totalizing response to the Other is a necessary and yet missing disposition in any genuine social justice education.
Call to Action 93 requests revision of the Canadian citizenship materials to include more information about treaties and residential schools. Although the citizenship materials have been analyzed in terms of how they present the concepts of citizenship, multiculturalism, and Canadian values, little work has been done on how Discover Canada (2012) presents the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada in relation to the Calls to Action. Discover Canada (2012) includes only one mention of the term “residential schools” and four mentions of the terms “treaty” or “treaties” in relation to Indigenous groups. Equally troubling, though, is the guide’s overall characterization of Indigenous groups and their history in Canada. By asking critical questions about textual features that fit into TESL curricula, I demonstrate how TESL instructors can both meet the language teaching requirements of their institutions and answer Call to Action 93 by presenting alternative narratives about Indigenous history in Canada.