La Descentralización de la Formación para el

Comentarios

Transcripción

La Descentralización de la Formación para el
International Journal of
Sociology of Education
Volume 4, Number 2
Hipatia Press
www.hipatiapress.com
h
La Descentralización de la Formación para el Empleo. Las
Implicaciones de los Agentes Participantes en los Programas
Formativos para Desempleados/as en Andalucía - María Rosario
Carvajal Muñoz ………………….……………..……………………………....101
Explore Mother’s Educational Expectations and Aspirations: A Case
from China – HuiGuo Li ………………………………………………..….....128
Rancière: Pedagogy and Politics - David Ernest Harris ……................158
The Status, Roles and Challenges of Teaching English Language in
Ethiopia Context - Mebratu Mulatu Bachore...........................................182
Organización de Centros Educativos en la Sociedad del Conocimiento –
Carlos Gómez…………………………………………………………..…........197
Instructions for authors, subscriptions and further details:
http://rise.hipatiapress.com
La Descentralización de la Formación para el Empleo.
Las Implicaciones de los Agentes Participantes en los
Programas Formativos para Desempleados/as en Andalucía
María Rosario Carvajal Muñoz1
1) Universidad de Cádiz, Spain
th
Date of publication: June 25 , 2015
Edition period: June 2015-October 2015
To cite this article: Carvajal Muñoz, M.R. (2015). La Descentralización de
la Formación para el Empleo. Las Implicaciones de los Agentes
Participantes en los Programas Formativos para Desempleados/as en
Andalucía. International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2), 101- 127.
doi: 10.17583/rise.2015.1493
To link this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.17583/rise.2015.1493
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE
The terms and conditions of use are related to the Open Journal System
and to Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education Vol. 4 No. 2
June 2015 pp. 101-127
The Decentralization of the Training
for Employment. The Implications of
the Participating Agents in the
Training Programs for Unemployed
People in Andalusia
María Rosario Carvajal Muñoz
University of Cádiz
(Received: 7 April 2015; Accepted: 8 June 2015; Published: 25 June 2015)
Abstract
This text analyses the local entities and the students who are involved in these
training programs of occupational training courses and Expertise Workshop, Trade
House and Workshop on Employment in Andalusia. This data was collected on the
web page of the autonomic government, contrasting with the information obtained
from case research about two Sevillian towns, where was done in-depth interviews,
as well. The results point out contingent aspects that the establishment of these
programs brings for the concrete peculiarities of the territory, depending on the
typology participating local entities. But also because of the design of these
programs determines the scope of action of the local entities. Additionally, it
reflects, according to this policy, on the decline of the labour identity as a
characteristic of the salary society to a social construction of new identity criterions
which are further individual and heterogeneous
Keywords: collaborator centres, councils, public enterprises, private enterprises,
non-governmental organisations, typology of unemployeds people.
2015 Hipatia Press
ISSN: 2014-3575
DOI: 10.17583/rise.2015.1493
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education Vol. 4 No. 2
June 2015 pp. 101-127
La Descentralización de la Formación
para el Empleo. Las Implicaciones de
los Agentes Participantes en los
Programas Formativos para
Desempleados/as en Andalucía
María Rosario Carvajal Muñoz
Universidad de Cádiz
(Recibido: 7 de Abril 2015; Aceptado: 8 de Junio 2015; Publicado: 25 Junio
2015)
Resumen
Este texto analiza a los agentes locales y al alumnado participantes en los programas
formativos de cursos de formación y de Escuelas Taller, Casas de Oficios y Talleres
de Empleo en Andalucía. Los datos se recabaron de la página de Internet del
gobierno autonómico, contrastando con la información obtenida en una
investigación de casos en dos municipios sevillanos, utilizando también entrevistas
en profundidad. Los resultados apuntan a aspectos contingentes que traen consigo la
implantación de estos programas, por las particularidades concretas del territorio,
según la tipología de entidades locales. Pero también porque el diseño de estos
programas condiciona el margen de maniobra de las entidades locales. Asimismo, se
reflexiona a partir de esta política sobre el declive de la identidad laboral
característica de la sociedad salarial, y la construcción social de nuevos criterios
identitarios, más individualistas y heterogéneos
Palabras clave: centros colaboradores, ayuntamientos, empresas públicas,
empresas privadas, organizaciones no gubernamentales, colectivos de
desempleados/as.
2015 Hipatia Press
ISSN: 2014-3575
DOI: 10.17583/rise.2015.1493
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 103
l presente trabajo se inicia con cuestiones relativas a las
características de la participación de los desempleados/as y de los
agentes locales que participan en las modalidades formativas de
cursos de formación profesional ocupacional, y en los programas
formativos de Escuelas Taller (ET), Casas de Oficios (CO) y Talleres de
Empleo (TE), estos programas arrancan en la década de los ochenta por
iniciativa del gobierno central español1. El análisis en torno a la
participación de los desempleados/as y agentes locales en estas dos
modalidades formativas se relaciona con la crisis de la sociedad salarial
frente a los elementos característicos de un nuevo orden social (Moral, 2007,
p.1272), que se asienta en un modelo organizativo más descentralizado.
Justamente, la política de formación para desempleados/as tiene su origen
con la crisis de la sociedad salarial en la década de los ochenta del siglo
pasado (Moral, 2007, Alonso, 2000), y en este contexto las acciones
formativas se imparten con la condición necesaria, aunque no suficiente, de
que contribuyan a la posterior incorporación del alumnado en el mercado de
trabajo. Pero por otro lado, se tratan de programas formativos asentados en
el territorio, que priorizan la participación de agentes locales no lucrativos,
públicos y privados en la implementación de estas acciones, y dirigidas a
colectivos de desempleados muy heterogéneos. Este protagonismo de los
agentes locales estuvo promovido inicialmente por la OCDE y la Unión
Europea, de modo que la descentralización de las políticas de empleo se ha
impuesto como la organización más eficaz en la implementación de acciones
para combatir el desempleo en muchos otros países (Caswell, et al., 2010,
p.384. Martínez Lucio et al., 2007).
Marinetto (2003, p.109) considera que las políticas de formación
implican un tipo particular de moralidad personal y forma positiva de vida
para la comunidad. Por su parte, la política de formación combina los
valores propios de la sociedad salarial, focalizada en la inserción laboral,
promovida por estos programas de formación, junto con el reconocimiento
de la necesidad de que la formación sirva para la promoción integral de la
persona, que contribuya a su bienestar dentro de la comunidad. Asimismo,
los agentes locales mantienen comportamientos peculiares según
características del territorio. Algunas evaluaciones realizadas en la década de
los noventa ya mostraban que el impacto de los programas de servicios
sociales para el empleo estaba siendo altamente contingente dependiendo de
E
L
104 Carvajal Muñoz – Formación para el Empleo
las condiciones de los mercados de trabajo locales y de la capacidad de
agentes sociales y redes de contactos para dar resultados eficientes
(Hutchinson & Cambell, 1998). En un estudio más reciente, Marston,
McDonald y Wright (2011) analizaron el papel de las organizaciones no
lucrativas en la implementación de programas de servicios sociales y de
empleo en Inglaterra y Austria, y los resultados apuntaban a
comportamientos contingentes entre las organizaciones locales participantes
en el ámbito comunitario.
En lo que respecta a este trabajo sobre la política de formación en
Andalucía se ha realizado principalmente gracias a la información recabada
en Internet que recoge la página Web de la Junta de Andalucía, tanto en lo
relativo a los cursos de formación como para los programas de ET, CO y TE.
Pero también se han tenido en cuenta los textos normativos que regulan estos
programas formativos, además de contrastarse la información recabada con
la recogida en una investigación realizada en Osuna y Estepa, provincia de
Sevilla, utilizando principalmente entrevistas en profundidad2. Los
resultados indican que tanto en la modalidad formativa de cursos de
formación, como en la de ET, CO y TE, participan entidades locales sin
ánimo de lucro en la implementación de estas acciones, pero también
empresas privadas, empresas públicas y ayuntamientos. En la
implementación de cursos de formación se han beneficiados colectivos
diversos de desempleados/as, desde mujeres, a inmigrantes, colectivos
pertenecientes a grupos étnicos, jóvenes, ex presidiarios y discapacitados;
aunque el mayor porcentaje del alumnado de estos cursos pertenece a
población desempleada en general, sin determinar grupo específico. Es
diferente en la modalidad formativa de ET, CO y TE, pues al estar
diseñados para personas con fracaso escolar, o en particular situación de
vulnerabilidad social, da entrada en mayor proporción a las personas
desempleadas con mayores riesgos de exclusión.
En cuanto a las entidades promotoras de los proyectos son los
ayuntamientos los que mayoritariamente participan en los programas de ET,
CO y TE, seguidos de empresas públicas, y en menor medida entidades no
lucrativas. En cualquier modo, estos resultados apuntan a comportamientos
contingentes entre territorios. Esta contingencia se argumenta en base a la
confrontación de los datos recabados para el conjunto andaluz contrastando
con los aspectos teóricos que justifican y marcan los objetivos de estas dos
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 105
modalidades formativas, ya que las realidades territoriales responden a
dinámicas internas según características de las entidades locales presentes en
cada territorio, pero también el propio diseño de la política de formación
repercute en el tipo de implicación de las entidades locales en estas acciones
formativas. En este texto, algunos de los aspectos contingentes se
manifiestan también al confrontar con las particularidades de ambas
formaciones en los dos municipios sevillanos estudiados, por diferencias
significativas entre ellos y con respecto al conjunto andaluz, principalmente
en lo relativo a las entidades locales participantes, y para el programa de
cursos de formación.
Alumnado y Entidades Locales Participantes en los Cursos de
Formación
La modalidad de cursos de formación de la que trata esta sección comenzó
su andadura en 1985, bajo la responsabilidad del Instituto Nacional de
Empleo. En sus inicios esta formación iba dirigida a colectivos con
especiales dificultades de inserción laboral, haciendo particular hincapié en
parados de larga duración, menores de 25 años, mujeres, y colectivos de
desempleados/as con necesidades formativas para la reconversión industrial.
Como reconoce Pérez-Díaz y Rodríguez (2002), el actual programa está
impartido por centros colaboradores públicos y privados. El cariz formativo
de este programa es bien distinto al que se impartió hasta bien entrada la
década de los setenta, ya que se trataba de una formación profesional de
adultos para satisfacer necesidades formativas en contexto de desarrollo
económico, proporcionando una formación específica muy circunscrita a las
características de los puestos de trabajo existentes (Pérez- Díaz y Rodríguez,
2002, p.45).
En la década de los noventa del siglo XX se da la descentralización de
este programa formativo con el traspaso de competencias de la
administración central a la Junta de Andalucía3. Esta descentralización ha
propiciado la participación de un gran número de entidades locales en la
implementación de esta modalidad formativa. La tabla 1 recoge la evolución
en el número de centros colaboradores4 en las ocho provincias andaluzas de
2011 a 2015, apreciándose un descenso en el número de centros
colaboradores en las provincias orientales de Granada y Jaén, en tanto que
106 Carvajal Muñoz – Formación para el Empleo
en las demás se sigue manteniendo el incremento de centros colaboradores
en el transcurso de estos cuatro años5. Los monográficos consultados6 de
2005 y 2009, publicados por la Junta de Andalucía, distinguen entre
entidades sin ánimo de lucro, entidades privadas, entidades públicas, y
corporaciones locales, y muestran cómo la participación proporcional en la
impartición de cursos de estas entidades se mantuvo la misma en ambos
años7. En cambio, comparando estas cifras con el estudio realizado en los
municipios sevillanos de Osuna y Estepa se observan diferencias que
destacan aspectos contingentes en cuanto a la tipología de entidades
participantes (Carvajal, 2014) con respecto al conjunto andaluz para 2005 y
2009. Las corporaciones locales y las entidades públicas son las que más
cursos impartieron en estos dos municipios, muy por encima del 50%, frente
al 13% en el conjunto andaluz, y dándose una participación muy pequeña de
las entidades privadas y sin ánimo de lucro8 (Carvajal, 2002, 2014). En este
sentido, Finn (2000, p.43) destaca que las evaluaciones realizadas sobre la
implicación de los agentes locales en los programas de políticas de empleo
desarrollados en la comunidad llegan a resultados contingentes, porque los
mercados de trabajo locales, y la capacidad de los agentes locales para hacer
frente a estos nuevos problemas sociales, están dando resultados diferentes
según los territorios. De hecho, en Osuna, a diferencia de Estepa, hubo
mayor implicación de los sindicatos locales, y de la asociación de personas
con discapacidad física, como se verá más adelante, en la impartición de
estos cursos de formación. Por tanto, los aspectos contingentes se aprecian
también comparando ambos municipios.
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 107
Tabla 1
Centros Colaboradores en Andalucía de 2011 a 2015
2011
2012
2015
Granada
1.128
939
1014
Sevilla
1.919
2004
2129
Málaga
1.476
1572
1666
Cádiz
1.151
1.175
1284
Huelva
926
948
983
Córdoba
1.565
1.593
1642
Jaén
1.125
1.094
1073
Almería
605
632
680
9.895
9.957
10.471
Total
Elaboración propia a partir de la información obtenida en Internet:
http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/empleo/macenco/avanzada.jsp
Por otro lado, en cuanto a las especialidades formativas9 más
homologadas por los centros colaboradores destacan las que recogen la tabla
2, mostrando una concentración de centros homologados en tres
especialidades formativas, Administración y Gestión, Informática y
Comunicaciones y Servicios Socioculturales y a la Comunidad, ya que están
presentes en aproximadamente una cuarta parte del total de centros
colaboradores andaluces.
El resto de especialidades formativas no
contempladas en la tabla, 23 especialidades de las consultadas10, han sido
homologadas en menos de un 9% de los centros. En el estudio realizado en
Osuna y Estepa los centros colaboradores ofertaban las especialidades
formativas que más se adecuaran a los intereses de su entidad y a las
demandas formativas que les hacían los desempleados/as, en particular para
centros colaboradores de ayuntamientos, y en mucha menor medida para
responder a las necesidades del mercado de trabajo local (Carvajal, 2002,
2014). Y es que la participación de las entidades locales en estas acciones
formativas parecen responder más a motivaciones particulares.
Probablemente, una de las principales debilidades de estos programas
formativos sea la ausencia de un compromiso más fuerte con la creación de
empleo, especialmente en las zonas con más altas tasas de paro (Peck, 1998,
Turok & Webster, 1998).
108 Carvajal Muñoz – Formación para el Empleo
Tabla 2
Centros Colaboradores por familias formativas 2015
ADG
Administración
y Gestión
Granada
Sevilla
Málaga
Cádiz
Huelva
Córdoba
Jaén
Almería
Total
362
617
459
366
170
353
256
189
2.772 (27%)
SSC Servicios
Socioculturales
y a la
Comunidad
288
557
374
301
243
443
252
175
2575 (25%)
IFC Informática
y
Comunicaciones
SAN
Sanidad11
Total de
centros
colaboradores
252
516
374
297
189
310
242
100
2.280 (22%)
129
251
149
165
115
228
153
108
1.298
(13%)
1014
2129
1666
1284
983
1642
1073
680
10.471
Elaboración propia a partir de la información obtenida en Internet:
http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/empleo/macenco/avanzada.jsp
Se trae a colación, para confrontar con esta realidad de los centros
colaboradores, que para Billett y Seddon (2004, p. 58-59) los gobiernos
actuales están más interesados en facilitar la coordinación entre
instituciones, y potenciar las capacidades de individuos y organizaciones,
entre las que participan también entidades locales. Estos autores siguen la
definición del término “capacidad” que recoge las Naciones Unidas,
concebida como la posibilidad que tienen los individuos y las organizaciones
para desarrollar actividades con eficacia y eficiencia. Vista la controvertida
concentración de centros en pocas especialidades formativas en toda
Andalucía, y los ejemplos de los centros colaboradores de Osuna y Estepa en
cuanto a los criterios que marcan sus especialidades homologadas, se
deduce de ello que los centros colaboradores tienden a estar más guiados por
principios pragmáticos, que responden a los intereses inmediatos del centro
solicitante de la homologación. Esto hace que el propósito de enmienda que
apuntaban Billett y Seddon, en la línea de capacitar a individuos y
organizaciones, sea tan necesario para conseguir de forma eficaz y eficiente
los objetivos propuestos, y que de este modo la política de formación para el
empleo se desarrolle de forma responsable y comprometida con la
comunidad.
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 109
En cuanto a la tipología de desempleados/as de esta modalidad formativa,
viene marcada por criterios sociales referentes al sexo, edad, discapacidad y
otras situaciones sociales de exclusión12. Según la información recabada en
los monográficos consultados de 2005 y 2009, un 66% de los cursos
realizados en Andalucía fueron dirigidos a desempleados en general, un 7%
fue específico para mujeres, un 2,5% para discapacitados, y un 1,5% para
minorías étnicas u otros colectivos desfavorecidos. En el conjunto andaluz, y
para 2005, el 61% del alumnado en estos cursos fueron mujeres,
descendiendo la participación femenina al 55% en 2009, en plena crisis
económica. Al confrontar con las características del alumnado de estos
cursos en Osuna y Estepa en el periodo 2003 a 2009, se observa similitud a
este respecto, por la alta participación de mujeres en el total de cursos
impartidos, que llega a ser en Osuna del 73% y en Estepa del 67%. Si se
compara con otros colectivos si se aprecian diferencias, por ejemplo, en
Estepa no se organizó ningún curso específico para personas discapacitadas
en ese periodo, en tanto que en Osuna un 7% de los cursos fueron
específicos para este colectivo, impartidos por la asociación de
discapacitados físicos de esta localidad, y bajo la supervisión de la
Confederación Andaluza de discapacitados13. En general, estas prácticas
asociadas a la clasificación14 de los parados/as moldean la forma en la cual
se piensa el problema del desempleo. La clasificación es relevante para la
posible acción que toma la institución, ya que es una poderosa herramienta
de identificación social, que guía no sólo a los individuos, sino a la forma
colectiva de pensar y actuar15, y en el contexto de las organizaciones
internacionales busca reducir la complejidad (Caswell, et al., 2010, p.385).
En la actualidad, la construcción de identidad centrada en el trabajo se
debilita, y se da “una explosión de identidades que coinciden con los
supuestos básicos del discursos postmoderno: el recursos al disenso, la
discontinuidad, la heterogeneidad” (Alonso, 2007, p.190). Cada vez en
mayor medida las demandas formativas parten de los servicios de
orientación al empleo, basándose en los itinerarios formativos16 que diseñan
los orientadores laborales junto con la persona desempleada. Es el técnico de
los servicios de empleo el que establece los objetivos profesionales del
desempleado en base al diagnóstico de sus capacidades y de sus necesidades
formativas (Serrano, Fernández y Artiaga, 2012, p.52). En línea con esto, y
siguiendo las reflexiones de Rosanvallon (2012, p.127), se ha pasado de una
110 Carvajal Muñoz – Formación para el Empleo
sociedad preocupada por la redistribución social, bajo los principios de la
sociedad salarial (periodo keynesiano), a concepciones más individualistas
para justificar la desigualdad que van unidas a transformaciones del
capitalismo y de la sociedad, y en este sentido habla del traspaso de un
individualismo de la universalidad, propio del periodo anterior, a un
individualismo de la singularidad. Este cambio se reflejaría en la tendencia
actual a establecer itinerarios formativos personalizados acordados entre la
persona desempleada y el técnico de orientación al empleo.
Pero además, conviene tener en cuenta que la formación para el empleo
se compromete también en educar en competencias generales, como recoge
la normativa17, reconociendo la necesidad de dedicar unas horas a la
formación transversal de igualdad de género, prevención y protección contra
la violencia de género, fomento de la formación a lo largo de la vida,
relacionada con el ámbito laboral, pero también con objeto de satisfacer la
realización personal y social. Por tanto, no hay que perder de vista que la
política de formación para el empleo, como la educación en general,
contribuyen a un efecto social multiplicador de competencias de la gente
excluida socialmente, pero también de las organizaciones o instituciones
participantes (Nicaise, 2012, p.338).
Alumnado y Entidades Locales Participantes en las Escuelas Taller,
Casas de Oficios y Talleres de Empleo
Las Escuelas Taller y Casas de Oficios iniciaron su andadura por las mismas
fechas que el programa de cursos de formación visto en la sección anterior
(1985), y dirigidas a combatir el desempleo juvenil18, gestionándola la
administración central hasta 2003, año en el que se da el traspaso de
competencias a la comunidad autónoma andaluza19. Cuatro años antes, en
febrero de 1999, el gobierno central ya había aprobado los Talleres de
Empleo20, encaminados a formar a parados de 25 o más años, con especiales
dificultades de inserción laboral, dando preferencia a los colectivos más
vulnerables21 según los Planes Nacionales de Acción para el Empleo de cada
año. Uno de los objetivos principales de esta formación es mejorar las
condiciones laborales de los desempleados/as en peores circunstancias
sociales, posibilitando la creación de empleos estables y de calidad, y
reduciendo asimismo la precariedad laboral.
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 111
El desempleo es un problema de tal embargadora para cualquier
gobierno, que la política de formación se convierte en un importante
instrumento para darle respuesta. Si bien en los inicios de este programa, en
la década de los ochenta, el desempleo juvenil era el problema más
acuciante, también afecta a desempleados/as de otros intervalos de edad.
Según la EPA, en diciembre de 2014 el desempleo de mayores de 25 años
llegó al 32% en Andalucía, aunque el paro entre los menores de 25 años fue
todavía más alto, alcanzando el 59 % en el último trimestre de 2014.
Justamente Aluja (2005, p.192) justifica la aprobación de los Talleres de
Empleo en 1999 por la prioridad dada a las mujeres en las directrices del
Plan Nacional de Acción para el Empleo (PNAE) aprobado por el gobierno
en 1999, dada la alta tasa de paro femenina en esa fecha. Siguiendo con
Aluja, esto ha llevado también a una clara feminización de este programa
formativo, hasta el punto de que el 60% del alumnado de TE está
representado por mujeres. De hecho, como indica el gráfico de abajo, hay
un incremento notable de este programa formativo de 1999 a 2002 en
España. Pero aún es mayor el número de TE en 2010, según recoge la tabla
3, ya que a todas las provincias andaluzas se les aprobaron principalmente
proyectos de Talleres de Empleo en este año, en detrimento de las Escuelas
Taller y Casas de Oficios, que se han reducido paulatinamente desde 1999.
112 Carvajal Muñoz – Formación para el Empleo
ESCUELAS TALLER, CASAS DE OFICIOS Y TALLERES DE
EMPLEO EN ESPAÑA
1200
1000
800
600
400
200
0
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
Escuelas Taller
912
494
941
1043
1021
1106
973
971
Casas de Oficios
360
450
347
468
458
374
356
288
233
569
792
1072
Talleres de Empleo
Figura 1. Escuelas Taller, Casas de Oficios y Talleres de Empleo en España
La activación al empleo, implícita en estas acciones formativas, implica
el propósito de hacer al individuo más participativo, para que sea capaz de
autogobernarse y de manejar sus propios riesgos y recursos, por lo que se le
da preferencia a las personas desempleadas en situación de exclusión social
(Marston and McDonald, 2005, p.381). De hecho, esta modalidad formativa
también comprende módulos transversales que educan al desempleado/a en
cuestiones de índole laboral, pero también en un ámbito educativo más
general. En el ámbito laboral estos programas contemplan módulos
formativos para el fomento de la actividad empresarial y de prevención de
riesgos laborales, así como otros módulos referidos a cuestiones de
educación general que favorezcan la convivencia con el entorno natural y
comunitario, en concreto el módulo de sensibilización medioambiental, el de
igualdad de género, y de igualdad para colectivos desfavorecidos, cada uno
de ello de diez horas de duración22. Estos módulos constituyen una
formación transversal que pretende educar en valores de respeto a los
sectores sociales más desfavorecidos, teniendo una directa relación con el
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 113
hecho de que las políticas de empleo enfatizan la vinculación existente entre
empleabilidad y educabilidad (Spinosa, 2007). La empleabilidad reconoce en
esta formación un instrumento para facilitar la inserción laboral, en cambio,
el término educabilidad (va unido al principio de equidad, Spinosa, 2007,
p.247), y enlaza con el concepto de resiliencia23. La educabilidad se asienta
justamente en el interés que toman estas políticas por lo relacional, cobrando
un valor implícito en sí mismo (resiliencia), y a pesar de que la
responsabilidad de la situación de desempleo sigue recayendo todavía en el
individuo parado (Spinosa, 2007, p.251).
Tabla 3
Escuelas Taller, Casas de Oficios y Talleres de Empleo en Andalucía en 2010
Escuelas Taller
Casas de Oficio
Talleres de Empleo
Sevilla
15
54
Málaga
16
1
34
Cádiz
18
33
Córdoba
3
35
Almería
1
13
45
Huelva
1
3
21
Jaén
4
1
34
Granada
1
2
71
Total
59
20
329
Elaboración propia a partir de la información obtenida en Internet:
https://www.juntadeandalucia.es/empleo/www/te-formamos/recursos-para-laformacion/centros-de-formacion/
En la tabla 3 puede verse el incremento considerable de Talleres de
empleo aprobados en todas las provincias andaluzas en 2010, muy por
encima de los de Escuelas Taller y Casas de Oficios. Esto hace que se hayan
beneficiado de estos programas más desempleados de 25 o más años que
jóvenes menores de esta edad. En cuanto a las entidades promotoras de estos
TE hay que destacar la significativa participación, aunque en mucha menor
medida que ayuntamientos y otras entidades públicas, de las entidades
locales sin ánimo de lucro, como asociaciones de mujeres, de gitanos, de
discapacitados, además de organizaciones no gubernamentales.
En Andalucía, del total de proyectos de TE aprobados en 2010, un 4%
correspondieron a los presentados por las federaciones y asociaciones de
personas discapacitadas24. Participaron principalmente federaciones y
114 Carvajal Muñoz – Formación para el Empleo
asociaciones de discapacitados/as físicos, seguidos de la federación andaluza
de asociaciones de discapacitados/as auditivos. Este interés por la inserción
laboral de las personas discapacitadas, que también se aprecia en los cursos
de formación vistos en la sección anterior, coincide con la observación de
Malo (2003, p.99), quién subraya que en los últimos años en España cobra
especial relevancia la situación laboral de las personas discapacitadas. Esto
hace que el gobierno preste mayor atención en atender también las demandas
formativas de este colectivo como medio para favorecer su inserción
laboral25. Según un estudio realizado sobre la política de inserción ofertadas
a este sector de la población en Bélgica, se reconoce un debilitamiento de las
políticas del estado del bienestar (welfare), constatando los autores que este
tipo de políticas de activación al empleo se da también en otros países como
Gran Bretaña, con recortes en sus ayudas asistenciales en tanto se les
promueve en la búsqueda de empleo (workfare), situación que definen de
“incitación al empleo de los discapacitados/as” (Roets et al., 2011, p.2). Hay
que destacar con respecto a las políticas de activación al empleo, y entre
estas la política de formación para el empleo, que la participación en la
formación implica que la persona discapacitada se relacione con sus iguales,
compartiendo intereses y preocupaciones (Lawy and Biesta, 2006). Es cierto
que los programas de formación de Escuelas Taller, Casas de Oficios y
Talleres de Empleo priorizan el trabajo pagado, “activación al empleo que
recuerda a sus participantes discapacitados, no tanto la estricta obligación de
trabajar, como sí el derecho al empleo” (Roets et al., 2011, p.11). No
obstante, se insiste en que es importante considerar otras matizaciones en
torno a la participación de las personas desempleadas, y de los agentes
locales implicados en esta formación, y que apuntan a la necesidad de
analizar y profundizar en las consecuencias que tiene la participación en las
acciones formativas para la vida cotidiana de la persona discapacitada, y
para la representatividad e intereses de los agentes locales participantes, no
necesariamente vinculando la participación con el único propósito de la
inserción laboral.
En lo que respecta a las áreas formativas, partiendo de la información
recabada de los proyectos aprobados en 2010 en Andalucía, se distinguen
particularmente seis áreas formativas26. Comparando las especialidades
formativas de los proyectos desarrollados en las ocho provincias andaluzas
se comprueba que no existe una diferencia significativa entre las
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 115
especialidades ofertadas desarrolladas en cada una de ellas. Muy al
contrario, se observa una repetición de las mismas especialidades formativas
en todas y cada una de estas provincias, coincidiendo las ocho provincias en
las mismas reiteradas actividades profesionales27. Esto tiene mucho que ver
con la forma en la que se ha diseñado esta formación para el empleo desde
arriba, empezando por instancias superiores de la Unión Europea, y
corroborada por el gobierno central español. En concreto, se hace referencia
a la relación existente entre las áreas formativas de TE, ET y CO con la
apuesta hecha por la Comisión Europea por los nuevos yacimientos de
empleo para fomento del desarrollo local, partiendo de la promoción del
patrimonio cultural y natural y de otros servicios de atención comunitaria.
Éstas tienen una relación directa con las áreas formativas de los yacimientos
de empleo28 que recoge el Libro Blanco de Crecimiento, Competitividad y
Empleo publicado en 1994. Incluso antes, la apuesta por el fomento
patrimonial como medio para el desarrollo económico ya está implícita en el
concepto de patrimonio que recoge la Ley del Patrimonio Histórico
Español29, ya que define el patrimonio en términos generales, como realidad
que incluye el patrimonio documental y bibliográfico, los yacimientos y
zonas arqueológicas, así como los sitios naturales, jardines y parques, e
insiste en el preámbulo que dicho patrimonio merece de la sensibilidad de
los ciudadanos, pues cumple una función social. Por tanto, desde una
perspectiva más amplia, el patrimonio se entiende como un bien social,
valorándose su promoción en tanto recurso social, económico y cultural
(Caravaca, et al., 1997, p.144). En esta misma línea, las ET, CO y TE se
ajustan a la nueva concepción del patrimonio que remite a un bien social,
económico y cultural. A este respecto, Juara (1993, p.32) recoge justamente
cómo la modalidad formativa de ET y CO, regulada en 198830, subrayaba
entonces el interés de esta formación para la recuperación y promoción del
patrimonio cultural y natural, pero también con objeto de que contribuya a la
mejora de las condiciones de vida de la comunidad.
A partir de esta definición amplia de patrimonio, concebido como un
medio para el fomento del empleo en el entorno comunitario, cabría esperar
exitosos logros en la inserción laboral de los formados en estos programas
formativos si las premisas teóricas planteadas desde las instancias superiores
de la Comisión Europea, y del gobierno central, se hubiesen demostrado
efectivas. Pero las evaluaciones realizadas sobre el nivel y calidad de la
116 Carvajal Muñoz – Formación para el Empleo
inserción laboral del alumnado de esta modalidad formativa resultan poco
plausibles. Alujas (2005, p.197-198) destaca para España que la tasa de
inserción laboral del alumnado masculino supera al femenino, aunque la
inserción laboral femenina mejoró en los últimos años, pero en general se
trataba de una inserción laboral con alta incidencia de contratos temporales,
y en su mayoría referidos a trabajos de especialidades formativas no
relacionadas con la formación recibida. En esta línea, De Miguel et al.
(2008) realizaron una investigación en Asturias entre 2001 y 2004 utilizando
técnicas cuantitativa y cualitativa (encuestas, entrevistas y grupos de
discusión) con participantes de 100 proyectos de Talleres de Empleo. El
alumnado era en su mayoría mujeres, con edades comprendidas entre 25 a
45 años, y de nivel académico limitado, ya que apenas había finalizado los
estudios básicos. Los autores reconocían la necesidad de mejoras
significativas en la implementación de este programa para favorecer la
inserción laboral. En cuanto al grado de satisfacción del alumnado, Suárez
(2004, p.309) realizó una investigación utilizando la técnica de la encuesta y
entrevista en profundidad con alumnas de Talleres de Empleo en Sevilla,
constatando su alta satisfacción por la formación recibida, pero también
destacaba la preocupación que expresaron por la inserción laboral, por lo que
demandaban la adopción de medidas que mejorasen las opciones de
inserción una vez terminada la formación.
Tampoco hay que perder de vista que esta modalidad formativa de ET,
CO y TE se encuadra dentro de la promoción que se hace por la educación
permanente31, y como tal impulsora del desarrollo social y personal (Sotés,
2005, p.173). En cierto modo, se busca que la formación contribuya a “la
educación integral de la persona”, como se comentó antes al referir sobre los
módulos formativos transversales de estos programas, junto con el
“desarrollo del entorno comunitario” (Cabello, 2002, p.185-186). Esta
combinación de formación y educación va pareja a la participación de
instituciones diversas de la sociedad civil en la implementación de estos
programas formativos. En 2010, la participación en esta modalidad
formativa de entidades locales de cariz social, como asociaciones,
federaciones y organizaciones no gubernamentales, representaron un 6% del
total de los proyectos; las fundaciones, consorcios e institutos un 7,5%, las
Diputaciones un 5%, y los Organismos Autónomos Locales32, pertenecientes
al gobierno municipal, otro 5%. En su conjunto, la corporación municipal
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 117
acaparó el 79,4%, incluyendo en esta suma el porcentaje anterior de los
Organismo Autónomo Local (5%), junto con el 57,5% de proyectos
aprobados a los ayuntamientos, y el 17,2% aprobado a las mancomunidades.
Esto indica que el grueso mayor de los proyectos aprobados, casi el 60%,
fueron para ayuntamientos, seguidos de las Mancomunidades. Por tanto, al
comparar la participación del consistorio con la de los agentes locales de la
sociedad civil se constata que estos últimos, aún siendo muy significativa su
participación, es escasa con respecto al protagonismo dado al gobierno
municipal en esta modalidad formativa de ET, CO y TE.
Conclusiones y Consideraciones Finales
Sintetizando los resultados más destacados del estudio, entre la participación
de los agentes locales se constata el alto protagonismo de la corporación
municipal en la realización de los proyectos de ET, CO y TE. En los casos
particulares de Osuna y Estepa también se confirma una alta participación de
los ayuntamientos y de empresas públicas en la realización de cursos de
formación, en cambio, en el conjunto andaluz la participación de las
corporaciones municipales en la implementación de estos cursos sólo supone
un 13%, frente al 47% de entidades sin ánimo de lucro. A esto se le une que
la tipología de las especialidades formativas que homologan los centros
colaboradores para sus cursos de formación está muy determinada por las
características de la entidad33, pero también lo está por las directrices que se
marcan desde arriba, desde instancias superiores34. En no pocas ocasiones se
tienen en cuenta también las demandas formativas de los desempleados, caso
de los ayuntamientos particularmente. La determinación de las instancias
superiores está claramente presente en las especialidades formativas de los
programas de ET, CO y TE, ya que han delimitado sus áreas formativas en
temas específicos en torno al patrimonio y los servicios a la comunidad,
según recoge su normativa.
En cuanto a la participación de los desempleados/as se confirma la
presencia de colectivos muy heterogéneos, aunque en la modalidad de cursos
de formación se impartieron principalmente para desempleados/as en
general, siendo muy reducido el número de cursos específicos para mujeres,
para discapacitados, u otros colectivos en riesgo de exclusión. La misma
heterogeneidad se da también entre el alumnado de ET, CO y TE. No
118 Carvajal Muñoz – Formación para el Empleo
obstante, en los últimos años, a partir de 1999, se incrementa
considerablemente el número de TE en detrimento de las ET y CO, por lo
que hay una mayor participación de desempleados/as de 25 o más,
preferentemente mujeres, que supera el 50% del total del alumnados.
Asimismo, se constata un porcentaje muy pequeño, pero significativo, de
proyectos de TE para colectivos de discapacitados en todas las provincias
andaluzas en 2010. Por último, hay que destacar la tendencia que está
tomando la formación para el empleo adecuándose a las particularidades de
cada desempleado/a en base a los itinerarios formativos. Tanto la
clasificación que se hace de la población desempleada, basada en criterios
referidos a edad, género, vulnerabilidad social, como los objetivos que se
marcan estas acciones formativas según normativa, indicando la
construcción social de identidades que van parejas a una nueva organización
sociopolítica, diferente a la que se dio en la sociedad salarial.
Siguiendo a Di Domenico et al. (2010, p.687), sería necesario pensar en
programas de intervención frente al problema del desempleo que sean
eficaces a la realidad concreta de cada territorio, evitando las teorizaciones o
planteamientos abstractos. Es cierto que las entidades locales se han
adaptado a los criterios que marcan estas modalidades formativas de un
modo bastante pragmático, hasta donde los programas les permiten, e
incluso podría decirse que se han adaptado con sentido práctico y
marcadamente individualista. Esta realidad va unida al hecho de que en lo
que se refiere a los objetivos teóricos que recogen las normativas, entre los
que destaca el favorecer la inserción laboral de las personas desempleadas,
los resultados son bastante insatisfactorios. En parte, por haberse diseñado
desde instancias superiores (organismos internacionales y de ahí a los
Estados), de una forma general y teórica; pero también por las
particularidades propias de las entidades locales existentes en cada territorio.
En este sentido, falta un basamento más sólido en el diseño de la política de
formación adaptable a las peculiaridades de los mercados de trabajos, y a la
vida relacional en sí, propiciando una mayor y mejor interacción entre las
entidades locales que ofrecen formación, y de éstas con los desempleados/as
y con los agentes del tejido empresarial local y autonómico. Este rediseño de
la política de formación debe completarse con otras actuaciones mediante las
que sea posible, de un modo eficaz y eficiente, la inserción laboral, y/o
contribuyan a mejorar realmente la convivencia en la comunidad (Moral,
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 119
2007:178).
Notas
1
La Orden de 31 de julio de 1985 del Plan Nacional de Formación e Inserción Profesional
regulada los cursos de Formación Profesional Ocupacional a partir de los ochenta, y estaban
impartidos por centros colaboradores del INEM (Instituto Nacional de Empleo). La
modalidad formativa de los programas de TE y CO funcionan desde 1985 combinando
formación teórica y práctica. Ambos programas van dirigidos a personas desempleadas
menores de 25 años. Los TE tienen una duración máxima de 2 años y las CO de 1 año. La
formación se imparte en alternancia con el trabajo o práctica profesional, y se da prioridad a
los proyectos cuyas características fundamentales sean la participación activa de los jóvenes y
su relación inmediata con el entorno comunitario (Art. 4, de la Orden de 29 de marzo de
1988). Los TE funcionan desde 1999, también combinan un periodo formativo con la
práctica profesional, van dirigidos a personas desempleadas de 25 o más años, con una
duración mínima de seis meses y máxima de 1 año (Art. 1-3 del Real Decreto 282/1999 de 22
de febrero que establece la aprobación de los TE).
2
Se realizaron entrevistas en profundidad a monitores de cursos, alcaldes de los dos
municipios, técnicos de formación de los ayuntamientos en estas dos localidades, a los
responsables en la delegación en Sevilla, y a los representantes de las entidades locales que
impartieron entre 2003 a 2009 estas acciones formativas (Carvajal, 2002, 2010, 2014).
3
Real Decreto 427/1993 de 26 de marzo sobre la transferencia de competencia de este
programa formativo de la administración central a la comunidad autónoma andaluza.
4
Pueden ser centros colaboradores las entidades locales, públicas o privadas, con o sin ánimo
de lucro, que reunan una serie de requisitos mínimos de condiciones higiénicas, acústicas, de
habitabilidad y de seguridad, de espacios disponibles y que dispongan de profesorado
adecuado (Real Decreto 631/1993).
5
La crisis económica comprendida en el periodo que va de 2011 a 2015, afecta a la oferta de
cursos y número de alumnados beneficiados, reduciéndose en 1285 los cursos, y en 17178
alumnos/as menos en 2009 con respecto a 2005, según los monográficos consultados de 2005
y 2009, y publicados por la Junta de Andalucía.
6
La información detallada sobre estos monográficos viene en la bibliografía. Pero conviene
referir que se tratan de pequeños cuadernillos, a modo de informes anuales muy descriptivos
sobre la marcha de este programa en Andalucía, distinguiendo entre tipología de entidades
locales, colectivos de desempleados, diferencias entre provincias, entre otras cuestiones.
7
Las corporaciones locales realizaron un 13% del total de los cursos, las entidades privadas
un 30%, las entidades públicas un 10%, y las entidades sin ánimo de lucro un 47%. Hay que
tener en cuenta que entre las entidades sin ánimo de lucro se incluyen también asociaciones
que están bajo la responsabilidad de los ayuntamientos, con lo que se ampliaría la
competencia de las corporaciones municipales en estas acciones formativas para el conjunto
andaluz.
8
De los datos recabados en la Consejería de empleo sobre los centros colaboradores de los
municipios de Osuna y Estepa sobre los cursos y centros que los impartieron en el periodo de
2003 a 2009, se confirma que el ayuntamiento de Estepa realizó un 40% de los cursos para
este periodo. El ayuntamiento de Osuna algo menos, un 25% del total de los que se
120 Carvajal Muñoz – Formación para el Empleo
impartieron. Pero ambos municipios disponían (y disponen) de organismos públicos, como
Mancomunidades y otras instituciones en Estepa, y la Fundación Pública Francisco
Maldonado de Estudios Universitarios, que hacen que el porcentaje de cursos impartidos bajo
el patrocinio de la corporación municipal se eleve considerablemente, superando el 60% del
total de cursos para cada caso.
9
Evidentemente, la normativa de cualificación profesional de la formación para el empleo
contempla otras áreas formativas, en concreto, en la página Web consultada para la
elaboración de la tabla 2 se registran hasta 27 áreas formativas, pero aquí sólo se destacan las
más significativas por ser las áreas formativas que más centros colaboradores han
homologado en Andalucía.
10
Información obtenida de: http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/empleo/macenco/avanzada.jsp
11
En 2012 el 11% de los centros colaboradores estaban homologados en esta especialidad
formativa, en 2015 llega al 13%.
12
Los monográficos de la Junta de Andalucía clasifican a la población desempleada en
desempleados en general, en colectivos de mujeres, de jóvenes, de discapacitados, colectivos
pertenecientes a minorías étnicas u otros grupos desfavorecidos, a los privados de libertad, y a
los colectivos de inmigrantes. Esta clasificación de los desempleados es bien distinta a la que
se comentó antes en la que se incluía una atención preferente también para atender a
necesidades formativas debidas a la reconversión industrial, teniendo esta una relación mucho
más directa con el ámbito laboral.
13
En el trabajo de campo realizado en estos municipios también se comprueba la interacción
existente entre asociaciones y sindicatos con sus superiores jerárquicos. Así, las asociaciones
de discapacitados dependen en buena medida de la Confederación, aunque también cuentan
con el respaldo del ayuntamiento. Los sindicatos están supeditados principalmente a las
directrices de la federación provincial. Las demás asociaciones necesitan de la colaboración
también del ayuntamiento, que les facilita el local, y en no pocas ocasiones les asesora en qué
acciones formativas solicitar a la Junta. Esta panorámica subraya cómo existe
interdependencia o interpenetración entre la sociedad civil y el Estado, que ya ha sido
estudiada en otros países (Maloney, et al, 2000).
14
Sobre el poder que tiene clasificar a la población para la construcción social de la realidad
véase también Douglas (1996), Hacking (1985), Foucault (2005).
15
Los discursos que constituyen esta política de formación para el empleo tiene mucho que
ver con cuestiones importantes en torno a temas centrales relativos a la crisis de la sociedad
salarial (Carvajal, 2010:70).
16
El Decreto 335/2009 de 22 de septiembre, en su Art. 3, distingue entre itinerario formativo,
programa formativo, proyecto formativo y plan de formación, muy encaminados a adecuar la
formación a las características individuales de los demandantes de empleo.
17
Decreto 225/2009 de 22 septiembre de integración de la Formación Profesional
Ocupacional y la Formación continúa.. En capítulo 1, disposiciones generales, artículo 2.
18
Como recoge la Orden Ministerial de 29 de marzo de 1988 que regulaba esta modalidad de
formación para el empleo, se beneficiaban de estas acciones formativas los jóvenes menores
de 25 años con dificultades de inserción laboral.
19
El traspaso de esta competencia formativa a la Junta de Andalucía se da por Real Decreto
467/2003 de 25 de abril.
20
Los Talleres de Empleo se aprueban por Real Decreto 282/1999, de 22 de febrero.
21
Según la Orden 21 de noviembre de 2008, el programa formativo da preferencia a la
formación para colectivos con especiales dificultades de inserción laboral, como mujeres,
jóvenes menores de 25 años, parados de larga duración, demandantes en riesgos de exclusión,
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 121
personas con discapacidad, minorías étnicas e inmigrantes legalmente documentados, entre
otros
22
Se recoge en el artículo 6 de la Orden de 5 de diciembre de 2006 que se regulan los
programas de Escuelas Taller, Casas de Oficios y Talleres de Empleo.
23
Resiliencia entendida como el resultado de un proceso adaptativo de las personas en
interacción con su entorno que les lleva a desarrollarse de forma más sana (Rutter, 1993).
24
En concreto, les aprobaron Talleres de Empleo para colectivos con discapacidad a las
asociaciones y federaciones de discapacitados/as de las provincias de Sevilla, Málaga,
Almería, Jaén, Granada y Cádiz, en 2010, destacando la federación andaluza de personas con
discapacidad física en Sevilla y Málaga, la federación andaluza de personas sordas en Sevilla
y Jaén, Aspaym (asociación de discapacitados medulares y de grandes discapacidades físicas)
en Granada, El saliente (Asociación de personas con discapacidad) en Almería, Amivel
(Asociación Minusválidos Veleños y de la Axarquía) en Málaga, y la Asociación Provincial
de Familiares de Personas con Trastorno de Espectro Autista en Cádiz.
25
Caswell et al. (2010:386) también refieren el caso de Australia, donde algunos colectivos
de discapacitados, catalogados antes como no válidos para trabajar, se les etiqueta a partir de
2006 como válidos para el trabajo. Asimismo, en Dinamarca, a partir de 2003 grupos de
discapacitados/as con derecho a asistencia social vieron reducidos estos derechos en tanto se
les incentivaba al empleo, entrando así en la dinámica de las políticas de activación.
26
Las seis áreas formativas desarrolladas principalmente en los Talleres de Empleo son: 1.
Servicios socioculturales y a la comunidad; 2. Servicios de atención al entorno natural; 3.
Servicios turísticos; 4. Servicios patrimoniales; 5. Oficios tradicionales; y por último, 6.
Instalador de equipos de energía renovable.
27
En particular, destacan las siguientes actividades laborales en Talleres de Empleo de estas
provincias andaluzas: Animación sociocultural, atención a discapacitados, atención a la
infancia, ayuda a domicilio, cultivo de plantas aromáticas, monitor de espacios naturales,
agente de turismo rural, de turismo de aventura, agente de desarrollo turístico, restauración de
patrimonio, además de actividades en oficios tradicionales como: elaboración de conserva,
licores y pasteles, ebanistería, mampostería, apicultura, guarnicionería, marroquinería, entre
otros oficios de la misma índole.
28
La referencia a los nuevos yacimientos de empleo viene recogida en el preámbulo del Real
Decreto 281/1999 que aprueban los TE, en el que se reconoce literalmente que “este
programa de formación y empleo llevará a cabo actividades relacionadas con los nuevos
yacimientos de empleo en interés general y social, promovidas por entidades públicas o
privadas sin ánimo de lucro”. En cuanto a la modalidad formativa de cursos de formación, el
Decreto 204/1997 de 3 septiembre que establece los programas de Formación Profesional
Ocupacional de la Junta de Andalucía reconoce en su Art. 4.7, entre las especialidades
homologables a los centros colaboradores la de los nuevos yacimientos de empleo (servicios
de utilidad colectiva, servicios de ocio y culturales, servicios personalizados de carácter
cotidiano).
29
Ley 16/1985 de 25 junio.
30
En Orden Ministerial 1988 de 29 de marzo que ofrece una primera regulación de las
Escuelas Taller y Casas de Oficios.
31
Hay muchos ejemplos referido a normativas que insisten en la formación a lo largo de la
vida como una característica ya consustancial a la formación para el empleo. Por hacer
referencia a alguna de estas, el Decreto 225/2009 de 22 de septiembre que integra la
formación profesional ocupacional, que recoge la sección anterior de este trabajo, con la
formación continua, llamándose ahora Formación Profesional para el Empleo. Esta normativa
122 Carvajal Muñoz – Formación para el Empleo
hace referencia expresa a la necesidad de fomentar la formación a lo largo de la vida “en
adaptación permanente de la población activa a las cualificaciones demandadas en el entorno
laboral y permitiéndoles su realización personal y social”.
32
Los Organismos Autónomos Locales están regulados por la Ley 57/2003 de 16 de
diciembre y dependen de los gobiernos municipales.
33
Así, las empresas privadas se homologan en las especialidades formativas que permiten sus
instalaciones y su personal cualificado, ya se trate de una academia de informática o una
autoescuela éstas homologarán con relación a su perfil profesional. Lo mismo hacen los
centros educativos en general que se homologan para funcionar como centro colaborador.
34
El Real Decreto 34/2008 de 18 de enero, que regula los certificados profesionales, los
definen como instrumentos de acreditación oficial bajo la adecuación a las Cualificaciones
Profesionales del Catálogo Nacional de cualificación Profesional.
Referencias
Alonso Benito, L. (2007). Crisis de la ciudadanía laboral. Barcelona:
Anthropos.
Aluja Ruiz, J.A. (2005). Las políticas de formación/empleo: Medida
singular del eje de formación de las políticas activas de mercado de
trabajo en España. Trabajo: Revista Andaluza de Relaciones
Laborales, 16, 189-208.
Billett, S., Seddon, T., (2004). Building Community through Social
Partnership around Vocational Education and Training. Journal of
Vocational Education and Training. 56(1), 51-68.
Cabello Martínez, M.J. (2002). Educación permanente y Educación Social.
Controversias y compromisos. Málaga: Aljibe.
Cansino Muñoz-Repiso, J.M., Sánchez Braza, A. (2009). Evaluación del
programa de escuelas taller y casas de oficio a partir de su efecto
sobre el tiempo de búsqueda del primer empleo. El caso de Sevilla.
Estudios de Economía Aplicada, 27(1), 1-22.
Carabaca Barroso, I., Colorado Campos, D., Fernández Salinas, V.
Paneque Salgado, P., Puente Asuero, R., Romero Moragas, C.
(1997). Patrimonio cultural, territorio y políticas públicas. El caso de
Andalucía. Estudios Regionales, 47, 143-160.
Carvajal Muñoz, M.R. (2014). La política de formación para
desempleados/as en el entorno local y sus implicaciones sociales y
políticas. Margen: Revista de Trabajo Social, 74, 1-19.
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 123
Carvajal Muñoz, M.R. (2012). La relación micro macro en la política de
formación para el empleo. Una aportación teórica y metodológica.
Nómadas. Revista Crítica de Ciencias Sociales y Jurídicas, 34(2), 119.
Carvajal Muñoz, M.R. (2010). La formación para el empleo bajo una
perspectiva foucaultiana. RASE. Revista de la Asociación de
Sociología de la Educación, 3(1), 66-83.
Carvajal Muñoz, M.R. (2002). Los cursos de formación ocupacional para
desempleados en cuatro municipios de la comarca sierra sur
sevillana: ¿Formación para la inserción laboral o intercambio de
intereses múltiples entre las organizaciones participantes? Témpora,
5, 103-123.
Caswell, D., Marston, G., Elm, J., (2010). Unemployed citizen or “at risk”
client? Classification systems and employment services in Denmark
and Australia. Critical Social Policy, 30(3), 384-404.
De Miguel Díaz, M., Pereira González, M., Pascual Diez, J., Carrio
Fernández, E.M. (2008). Propuestas para la mejora de las Escuelas
taller, Casas de Oficios y Talleres de empleo. Revista Española de
Orientación y Psicología Pedagógica, 19(3), 316-327.
Delfino, A. (2011). Marienthal ¿allá lejos y hace tiempo? Potencialidades y
límites de los conceptos fundantes de la Sociología de la
desocupación para los estudios latinoamericanos actuales.
Fermentum. Revista Venezolana de Sociología y Antropología, 60,
11-34.
Di Domenico, M.L., Haugh, H., Tracey, P. (2010). Social Bricolage:
Theorizing Social Value Creation in Social Enterprise.
Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 34(4), 681-703.
Douglas, M. (1996). Cómo piensan las instituciones. Madrid: Alianza
Editorial.
Finn, D. (2000). Welfare to Work: The local dimension. Journal of
European Social Policy, 10(1), 43-57.
Foucault, M. (2005). La hermenéutica del sujeto. Madrid: Akal.
Juara, C. (1993). Escuelas Taller: la creación de empleo desde la
recuperación del patrimonio. Colección informes, nº 19. Madrid:
Centro de Publicaciones Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad social.
124 Carvajal Muñoz – Formación para el Empleo
Hacking, I. (1985). Making up people, in Heller, T., Sosna, M., and
Wellbery, D. Reconstructing Individualism. Stanford: Stanford
University Press.
Hutchinson, J., Campbel, M., (1998). Working in Partnership: Lessons from
the Literature. DFEE, Research Report, no 69. London: Department
for Education and Employment.
Lawy, R., Biesta, G. (2006). Citizenship-as-practice: the educational
implications of an inclusive and relational understanding of
citizenship. British Journal of Educational Studies, 54, 34-50.
Libro Blanco de Crecimiento, Competitividad y Empleo. Retos y Pistas
para entrar en el siglo XXI, (1994). Bruselas: Comisión Europea.
Malo Ocaña, M.A. (2003). Las personas con discapacidad en el mercado de
trabajo español. Revista del Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos
Sociales, 46, 99- 126.
Maloney, W., Smith, G., Stoker, G. (2000). Social Capital and Urban
Governance: Adding a more Contextualized “Top-Down”
Perspective, Political Studies, 48(4), 802–820.
Marinetto, M. (2003). Who wants to be an active citizen?: The politics and
practice of community involvement. Sociology, 37(1), 103:120.
Marston, G., Mcdonald, C., Wright, S. (2011). The Role of Non-profit
organizations in the Mixed Economy of Welfare-to-Work in the UK
and Australia. Social Policy and Administration, 45(3), 299-318.
Marston, G., Mcdonald, C. (2005). Workfare as welfare: governing
unemployment in the advanced liberal stante. Critical Social Policy,
25(3), 374-401.
Martínez Lucio, M., Skule, S., Kruse, W., Trappmann, V. (2007).
Regulating Skill Formation in Europe: German, Norwegian and
Spanish Policies on Transferable Skills. European Journal of
Industrial Relations. 13(3), 323-340.
Monográfico. Formación Para El Empleo. Estadísticas de alumnos
formados en cursos de formación para el empleo. (2009). Sevilla:
Consejería de Empleo. Servicio Andaluz de Empleo.
Monográfico. Formación Para El Empleo. Estadísticas de alumnos
formados en cursos de formación para el empleo. (2005). Sevilla:
Consejería de Empleo. Servicio Andaluz de Empleo.
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 125
Moral Jiménez, M. (2007). Preparación para el trabajo de los jóvenes
contemporáneos en una sociedad postindustrial: Trabajo, educación y
globalización. Estudios de Educación, 13, 171-194.
Peck, J. (1998). New Labourers: Making a New Deal for the “Workless
Class”, paper presented at the Annual conference of the Royal
Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers (January).
London: Guildford.
Pérez- Díaz, V., Fernández, J.C. (2002). La educación profesional en
España. Madrid: Fundación Santillana.
Roets Griet, R., Claes, L., Vandekinderen, C. (2011). Reinventing the
employable citizen: a perspective for social work. British Journal of
Social Work, 7, 1-17.
Rosanvallon, P. (2012). Reflexiones sobre la igualdad en una era de
desigualdades. Estudios Internacionales. Revista del Instituto de
Estudios Internacionales de la Universidad de Chile, 171, 119-135.
Rutter, M. (1993). Resilience: Some conceptual consideration. Journal of
Adolescent Health, 14(8), 626-631.
Sabán Vera, C. (2009). La educación permanente y la enseñanza por
competencias en la Unesco y en la Unión Europea. Madrid: Grupo
Editorial Universitario.
Sánchez Esteban, N. (2010). Los programas de Escuelas Taller, Casas de
Oficios y Talleres de Empleo en España: un instrumento de
formación, una herramienta para la conservación del patrimonio, un
mecanismo de intervención social. Boletín CF+S, 42/43. Simposio
Internacional Desarrollo, Ciudad y Sostenibilidad, 70, 453-462.
Sanchis, E. (2003). La experiencia de paro. Política y Sociedad, 40(1), 161183.
Serrano P., Amparo, Fernández Rodríguez, C., Artiaga Leiras, A. (2012).
Ingenierías de la subjetividad: el caso de la orientación para el
empleo. REIS. Revista Española de Investigación Sociológica, 138,
41-61.
Sotés Elizalde, M.A. (2005). Enseñanza no reglada y capacitación
profesional: una visión de la educación como derecho económico,
social y cultural”. Estudios sobre Educación, 8, 165-192.
Spinosa, M. (2007). Del empleo a la empleabilidad, de la educación a la
educabilidad, en Drolas, Ana, Lenguita, Paula, Montes, Juan (eds.).
126 Carvajal Muñoz – Formación para el Empleo
Relaciones de poder y trabajo. Las formas contemporáneas de
explotación. Buenos Aires: Poder y Trabajo Editores, pp. 243-255.
Suárez Ortega, M. (2004). Los talleres de empleo como recursos para la
formación y la inserción laboral femenina: Estudio de caso.
Enseñanza & Teaching: Revista Interuniversitaria de didáctica, 22,
301-316.
Turok, I.,Webster, D. (1998). The New Deal: Jeopardised by the Geography
of Unemployment?. Local Economy, 12(4), 309-327.
Vaquero García, A. (2005). El abandono escolar temprano en España.
Programas y acciones para su reducción. Eduga: Revista galega do
Ensino, 47, 1442-1464.
Referencias Legislativas
DECRETO 225/2009 de 22 septiembre de integración de formación
profesional ocupacional y de la formación continúa.
DECRETO 335/2009 de 22 septiembre que regula la ordenación de la
formación para el empleo en Andalucía.
LEY 57/2003 de 16 diciembre que regula los organismos autónomos
locales.
LEY 16/1985 de 25 junio de Patrimonio Histórico Español.
ORDEN de 29 marzo de 1988 que regula los Escuelas Taller y las Casas de
Oficios.
ORDEN de 28 de abril de 2011 por la que se aprueba el programa integral
de empleo en Andalucía.
ORDEN de 23 de octubre de 2009 por la que se desarrollo el Decreto
335/2009.
ORDEN 56 de 16 de febrero de 2003, por la que se modifica la Orden de 12
de diciembre de 2000, de Convocatoria y Desarrollo de los
Programas de Formación Profesional Ocupacional.
ORDEN de 25 de julio de 2000 por el que se regula el procedimiento de
autorización administrativa para la actividad como Centro
colaborador de Formación Profesional Ocupacional de la Junta de
Andalucía.
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 127
ORDEN de 5 diciembre de 2006 que regula los programas de Escuelas
Taller, Casas de Oficios y Talleres de Empleo.
ORDEN de 17 de marzo de 1998, de convocatoria y desarrollo de los
programas de Formación Profesional Ocupacional.
ORDEN de 31 de julio de 1985 del Plan Nacional de Formación e Inserción
Profesional.
REAL DECRETO 427/1993 de 26 de marzo, de la transferencia de la
gestión de la formación profesional ocupacional a la comunidad
autónoma andaluza.
REAL DECRETO 631/1993 de 3 mayo que regula el plan nacional de
formación e inserción profesional.
REAL DECRETO 797/1995 por el que se establece directrices sobre los
certificados de profesionalidad y los correspondientes contenidos
mínimos de formación profesional ocupacional.
REAL DECRETO 282/1999, de 22 de febrero donde se regulan y aprueba
la creación del programa de Talleres de Empleo.
REAL DECRETO 467/2003 de 25 de abril sobre el traspaso de
competencia de la comunidad autónoma andaluza de la gestión del
Instituto Nacional de Empleo, en el ámbito de trabajo, empleo y
formación.
REAL DECRETO 34/2008 de 18 de enero que regula los certificados de
profesionalidad.
María Rosario Carvajal Muñozis Professor of Sociology in the
Department of Economy at University of Cádiz.
Contact Address: Direct correspondence to María Rosario Carvajal
Muñoz at Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y de la Comunicación,
Universidad de Cádiz (Campus de Jerez), Avda de la Universidad
núm. 4, CP: 11.406, Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz) - Cádiz. E-mail:
[email protected]
Instructions for authors, subscriptions and further details:
http://rise.hipatiapress.com
Explore Mother’s Educational Expectations and Aspirations: A
Case from China
HuiGuo Liu1
1) Indiana University, United States
th
Date of publication: June 25 , 2015
Edition period: June 2015-October 2015
To cite this article: Liu, H. (2015). Explore Mother’s Educational
Expectations and Aspirations: A Case from China. International Journal of
Sociology of Education, 4(2), 128-157. doi: 10.17583/rise.2015.1428
To link this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.17583/rise.2015.1428
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE
The terms and conditions of use are related to the Open Journal System
and to Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education Vol. 4 No. 2
June 2015 pp. 128-157
Explore Mother’s Educational
Expectations and Aspirations: A Case
from China
HuiGuo Liu
Indiana University
(Received: 17 February 2015; Accepted: 19 May 2015; Published: 25 June
2015)
Abstract
The research presented explores determinants of mother’s educational expectations
and aspirations. In contrast to the effects of social economic status (SES) that have
been examined in previous research, I have focused on a set of social psychological
variables. With the help of data collected from the Gansu Survey of Children and
Families, a survey of Chinese 9 to 12-year-old children in rural areas, I have
analyzed mothers’ educational expectations and aspirations for their children using
multinomial logistic regression. Evidence suggests important effects of personality
(specifically confidence) and subjective economic status on mothers’ educational
expectations. This lends support to the “pushed-from-behind” theory of attainment
in which educational decisions are at least partly driven by opaque (beyond
individual consciousness) social psychological mechanisms. The results call for
further incorporation of social psychological variables into scholarship on
educational decisions, and more generally, into the field of educational stratification.
Moreover, the results also shed light on the theoretical and conceptual
differentiation between educational expectations and aspirations.
Keywords: social psychological mechanisms, educational expectations,
educational aspirations, relative economic status, optimism
2015 Hipatia Press
ISSN: 2014-3575
DOI: 10.17583/rise.2015.1428
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education Vol. 4 No. 2
June 2015 pp. 128-157
Explorar Expectativas y Aspiraciones
Educativas de la Madre: Un caso de
China
HuiGuo Liu
Indiana University
(Recibido: 17 Febrero 2015; Aceptado: 19 Mayo 2015; Publicado: 25 Junio
2015)
Resumen
La investigación presentada explora los determinantes de las expectativas y las
aspiraciones educativas de la madre. En contraste con los efectos de la situación
económica y social (SES) que han sido examinados en investigaciones anteriores,
me he centrado en un conjunto de variables psico-sociales. Con la ayuda de los datos
obtenidos de la Encuesta de Gansu de Niños y Familias, una encuesta a niños chinos
de 9 a 12 años de edad en las zonas rurales, he analizado las expectativas educativas
y aspiraciones de las madres para sus hijos mediante regresión logística
multinomial. La evidencia sugiere efectos importantes de la personalidad (en
concreto de confianza) y la situación económica subjetiva en las expectativas
educativas de las madres. Esto apoya la teoría "pushed-from-behind" del logro en el
que las decisiones educativas son al menos en parte impulsados por opacos (más allá
de la conciencia individual) mecanismos psico-sociales. Los resultados llaman a una
mayor incorporación de las variables psico-sociales en las decisiones educativas, y
más en general, en el campo de la estratificación educativa. Por otra parte, los
resultados también arrojan luz sobre la diferenciación teórica y conceptual entre las
expectativas y aspiraciones educativas.
Palabras clave: mecanismos psico-sociales, expectativas educativas, aspiraciones
educativas, educational expectations, estatus económico familiar, optimismo.
2015 Hipatia Press
ISSN: 2014-3575
DOI: 10.17583/rise.2015.1428
130 Liu – Mother’s Educational Expectations and Aspirations
well and Shah (1967) developed the Wisconsin social
psychological model based on the classical attainment model
(Blau & Duncan, 1967). Their findings suggest that educational
aspirations have strong effects on educational attainment. Much
has been achieved following this line of research to explore mechanisms
linking students’ social background socioeconomic status and educational
and occupational achievements (See Sewell & Hauser, 1993 for a more
comprehensive review). Earlier efforts by the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study
of Social and Psychological Factors in Aspirations and Achievements
devoted elaborations and modifications of path causal models. For example,
the influence of significant others were taken into account (Sewell, Haller, &
Portes, 1969); contextual effects such as school characteristics were added in
the models (Alexander & Eckland, 1975); gender differences in aspirations
also drew scholars’ attentions (Rosen & Aneshensel, 1978; Zhang, Kao, &
Hannum, 2007). Later on, racial differences in educational aspirations
became the central focus of educational stratification, though in the original
WLS sample racial differences were not extensively examined because of
the racially homogenous sample where only less than 2% were black then.
Scholars have tried to explain the racial differences in educational
achievement with regards to differences in students and parental educational
aspirations and expectations. In general, Asian American children, viewed as
the model minority, have the highest educational expectations (Goyette &
Xie, 1999) and Hispanic children have the lowest (Goldenberg, Gallimore,
Reese, & Garnier, 2001). Different studies have emphasized research
differently, with some identifying the background origins of the racial
differences in educational aspirations and achievements (Goyett & Xie,
1999; Hao & Bonstead-Bruns, 1998); however, others are more interested in
the mechanisms linking the background variables and outcomes (Cheng &
Starks, 2002; Goldenberg et al., 2001). In this paper, I focus exclusively on
parental educational expectations and aspirations as outcome variables, and
incorporate more mediating variables to uncover the mechanisms linking
family backgrounds and parental educational aspirations and expectations.
Earlier studies demonstrated the complicated racial differences in
mechanisms of forming parental educational expectations (Davis-Kean,
2005), in order to keep the results simple this time, I employ a racially
homogenous sample from rural China. The three proposed mediating
S
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 131
variables inspired from Gambetta’s theoretical framework (1987), subjective
economic status, optimism, financial expectations from children in the
future, are found to have significant mediating effects linking background
family characteristics on the one hand and parental educational expectations
on the other hand. However, few significant mediating effects are found for
parental aspirations. In light of these findings, this study calls for a more
detailed examinations of mechanisms generating parental expectations and
aspirations, and also a more serious theoretical and conceptual
differentiation between educational expectations and aspirations.
Parental Educational Expectations and Aspirations
Stratification in education has long been a central focus of sociology. Large
bodies of work have developed concerning educational stratification with
reference to socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, and immigrants. These
studies tend to emphasize the importance of the family in understanding
stratification through avenues such as parental investment and educational
activities. Parental investment and other activities in educating children have
been treated as important intervening variables. Parental behavior is not only
influenced by socioeconomic status (including parents’ education level and
the wealth and income of a family), but also contributes independently to
students’ educational expectations.
Sewell and Shah (1968) examined “parental encouragement”, asking
students about their perceptions pertaining to parental attitudes toward
students’ college expectations. In another study, Hao and Bonstead-Bruns
(1998) examined families’ social capital rather than their human and
economic capital to account for the levels of academic achievement
experienced by Asian and Mexican immigrant children. Of further
relevance, Hao and Bonstead-Bruns (1998) compared within-family social
capital and between-family social capital and argued that within-family
social capital was most important in explaining Asian immigrants’ academic
achievement.
Using past educational stratification scholarship as my point of departure,
I explore the determinants of mothers’ educational expectations and
aspirations. There are reasons to treat parental educational expectations and
aspirations as dependent variables. First, parental educational expectations
132 Liu – Mother’s Educational Expectations and Aspirations
have a strong effect on students’ educational expectations (Goyette & Xie,
1999), and as a result, knowledge about determinants of parents’ educational
expectations may help explain students’ educational expectations. Goyette
and Xie (1999) examined the effects of parental expectations to help explain
the significant Asian-white gap in educational outcomes. However, it is
unsatisfactory to simply treat parental expectations as exogenous. Instead,
parental expectations should be viewed as endogenous. For example Sewell
et al. (1969) argued that parental expectations helped explain the relationship
between socioeconomic background and students’ educational expectations.
The causal chain identified in Sewell et al.’s work (1969) could be
summarized as follows: Socioeconomic status determines children’s
educational and occupational aspirations through significant others’
influence, and children’s educational and occupational aspirations further
help to explain their educational and occupational achievements. Their work
elaborates the classic status-attainment path model (Blau & Duncan, 1967)
by showing the effect of parental aspirations in explaining the relationship
between socioeconomic status and students’ educational aspirations. By
employing perceived parental aspiration, one item that Sewell, et al. (1969)
used to operationalize significant others’ influence as a mediating variable,
they suggest looking at parental aspirations as an endogenous variable,
arguing that socioeconomic status impacts parental aspirations. Research
exploring the effect of socioeconomic status on parental aspiration and
expectation can elaborate Sewell et al.’s work (1969), and help us better
understand the status-attainment path model. Thus, I propose looking at
social psychological factors in addition to the traditional socioeconomic and
demographic factors, helping explain the effects of socioeconomic
background on parental educational expectations and aspirations.
A second reason for treating parental expectations and aspirations as
dependent variables is that parents’ educational decisions for children are
likely to better reflect their relative positions in society than children’s
because young children’s educational plans are still very abstract (Kao &
Tienda, 1998), while parental educational expectations and aspirations tend
to be more concrete, making them better predictors of actual children
achievement. For example, some researchers have considered expectations
as a central ingredient in rational choice (Alexander & Cook, 1979). As a
result, parents with greater knowledge of the stratification system are
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 133
typically more rational than children, which is especially true when children
are young, making their expectations and aspirations more reliable
reflections of dimensions of the stratification process.
Another gap in research on educational aspiration and expectation was
identified by Kao and Tienda (1998). They pointed out that research
endeavors should include comparison of expectations and aspirations.
Unfortunately, their data lacked measurements on both concepts and little
research since then, to my knowledge, has filled this gap. As a result, I look
at both educational expectation and aspiration and compare their
determinants.
In light of these research gaps, I seek to elaborate new mechanisms of
relevance. Much work in educational stratification (e.g., Goyette & Xie,
1999; Sewell et al., 1969) has focused on parents’ expectations or aspirations
for their children as an explanation for socioeconomic differences in
children’s educational goals and achievements. There is strong evidence that
parents’ expectations and aspirations mediate the relationship of family
socioeconomic status on children’s educational outcomes. However, little
research has focused on the determinants of parents’ expectations and
aspirations, and even less research has looked beyond socioeconomic,
demographic, and social capital variables. By concentrating on parental
expectations and aspirations as outcomes and proposing social psychological
variables to interpret those outcomes, I seek to gauge the possible relevance
of new mechanisms of interest to provide more details of the causal chains
developed in the status-attainment path model. In this way, it may be
possible to further elucidate the interrelationships of social
contexts/backgrounds and possible important social psychological processes
that underpin the stratification process. Parental educational expectations
and aspirations are chosen over those of children because they tend to be
more reliable and concrete, thus are better predictors of the actual
attainments. Last but not least, with a few exceptions, research has rarely
simultaneously studied expectations and aspirations, two related by not
identical concepts. In this study, I separate and compare expectations and
aspirations to address this gap in literature.
134 Liu – Mother’s Educational Expectations and Aspirations
Social Psychological Processes
In contrast to most discussions of parents’ educational expectations and
aspirations (Hao & Bonstead-Bruns, 1998; Zhang, Kao, & Hannum, 2007),
this study focuses on social psychological variables, rather than only
socioeconomic and demographic measurements. There are compelling
reasons to examine the impact of social psychological processes on parental
expectations and aspirations.
Wilson and Portes (1975, p.359) viewed the educational attainment
process in two different ways, emphasizing both “structural” variables and
“social psychological” variables. The “structural” theory is an educational
attainment process that involves adjusting one’s aspirations to objective
socioeconomic background and academic abilities. The “social
psychological” perspective suggests that educational aspirations are adjusted
in accordance with individual self-assessments of socioeconomic status and
scholastic abilities. In this case, social psychological variables function as
important intervening variables, mediating an unknown proportion of the
effect of socioeconomic status on educational aspirations.
By comparing these two fundamental perspectives, Wilson and Portes
(1975) argued that structural variables’ direct effects and social
psychological variables’ mediating effects should be empirically examined
and case by case. As a result, analysis should include relevant social
psychological variables as well as objective structural variables to examine
their potential mediating effects.
Another reason for the incorporation of social psychological variables is
that considering the social psychological approach helps to shed new light
on a theoretical controversy. Gambetta’s study (1987), which analyzed
students’ educational plans in Italy, identified three main theoretical views.
They are the structuralist view, the pushed-from-behind view, and the
pulled-from-front view. The structuralist view leaves little room for
individual choice of education plans, which is largely and directly
determined by students’ social structural position. The main controversy
exists mainly between the alternative pushed-from-behind and pulled-fromfront views. The pushed-from-behind view assumes that “a given piece of
behavior follows from causes, either social or psychological, that are opaque
to individual consciousness” (Gambetta, 1987, p.11). Two perspectives are
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 135
suggested as push-from-behind mechanisms: cultural causation (e.g.,
Bourdieu & Passeron, 1977) and economic causation (e.g., Elster, 1983). In
contrast, the pulled-from-front view is proposed by Boudon (1981) and
emphasizes rational choice.
However, few quantitative studies of educational stratification directly
identify variables of relevance to the opaque social psychological causes or
to rational choice mechanisms. One exception is Zhang, Kao, and Hannum’s
study (2007) of gender equality of mothers’ educational aspirations. Their
study found that mothers’ educational aspirations for their children were
largely conceptualized as an investment plan with regard to education for
their children. Furthermore, mothers’ anticipation of returns from children
had a significant positive effect on educational aspirations for their children,
which provides some support for the rational choice mechanisms. As a
supplement to their research, I will examine the alternative perspective, the
opaque social psychological causes, using key social psychological
variables. This sheds some light on Gambetta’s work (1987), who included
few direct measurements of social psychological variables.
The first proposed social psychological variable related to the opaque
social psychological causes in this study are mothers’ self-reported relative
economic status. This variable can be viewed as the experiential component
of social structure. Aneshensel and Sucoff (1996) suggested that subjective
perceptions of the neighborhood mediated between its objective
characteristics and adolescents’ mental health outcomes. Following the same
logic, there is reason to expect parallel mediating effects of the experiential
components of structural position with respect to parental educational
decisions for their children. This could help to articulate the mechanism of
the pushed-from-behind view, particularly for the perspective of economic
causation.
Such experiential components of structural position can also be viewed
from the relative deprivation theory in order to understand the importance of
self-reported economic status compared to others. According to Crosby
(1976), the term “relative deprivation” was first used by Stouffer (1949) to
study soldiers' morale during World War II. Since then, a number of
theoretical and empirical studies have been conducted to elaborate this
theory as well as apply it in various fields and contexts to test a variety of
outcomes. For example, Crosby (1976) developed a formal model of relative
136 Liu – Mother’s Educational Expectations and Aspirations
deprivation. Chester (1976) argued perceived relative deprivation as a cause
of property crime. Clark and Oswald (1996) reported the inverse relationship
between comparison wage rates and workers’ reported satisfaction level.
Kondo et al. (2008) documented that relative deprivation predicted poor selfreported health in Japan. Chuang, Li, Wu, and Chao (2007) examined the
effects of relative deprivation on drinking and smoking in Taiwan. Recent
developments of relative deprivation extended beyond traditional areas like
social movement, deviance, and health outcomes to educational
achievements. For example, Wilkinson and Pickett (2007) have documented
that among rich countries, levels of relative deprivation, measured by
income inequality, is negatively associated with educational achievement at
country level. In light of these examples, I conceptualize parents’ selfreported low relative economic status as an indicator of relative deprivation.
Following the logic of relative deprivation in other relevant studies that
relative deprivation produces resentment, propensity for deviance, and/or
low morale, I hypothesize that parents who report low relative economic
status also tend to lack motivation for upward mobility due to low morale, or
to reject formal routine of upward mobility, e.g., through education.
Ultimately, they tend to have low educational expectations and aspirations
for their children after controlling for objective measurements of
socioeconomic status and other demographic variables.
Another set of proposed variables key to social psychological processes
could be personality characteristics. Some work on educational aspirations
employs optimism as an ad hoc explanation for racial differences (e.g., Kao
& Tienda, 1998), suggesting a positive relationship between optimism and
educational aspirations. In particular, Diener et al. (1999) described
optimism as a “generalized tendency to expect favorable outcomes in one’s
life” (p.281). In the context of this study, I expect that parents who are more
optimistic are more likely to report higher educational expectations and
aspirations for their children. In contrast to the studies mentioned above, I
seek to test such a relationship using items directly measuring level of
optimism.
Together, then, there are ample reasons to incorporate additional social
psychological variables in models of parents’ educational expectations and
aspirations for their children. Examining subjective relative economic
position and optimism enables new insights into the educational
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 137
stratification process. I focus, in particular, on the rural Chinese social
context as a useful case study with which to begin a suitable investigation.
The data and broader rationale for this case study are discussed below.
Chinese Context
Chinese culture has long placed importance on education. The proverb “Xue
Er You Ze Shi (学而优则仕)”, meaning success in education leads the way
to power, has deep historical roots. There is a growing body of literature on
educational stratification in China (e.g., Zhou, Moen, & Tuma, 1998;
Hannum, 2002). With regard to this, knowledge gained from this case study
of rural China contributes to our understanding of educational stratification
mechanisms in China, and those in developing countries in general
(Buchmann & Hannum, 2001). Specifically, Buchmann and Hannum (2001)
identified four broad areas common in educational stratification literature in
developing countries: (1) macro-structural forces, (2) family background’s
impact, (3) school factors, and (4) consequences of educational stratification
on social mobility. This study adds to the current literature by bringing the
micro and subtle social psychological processes into the picture. In addition,
this study speaks directly to Zhang, Kao, and Hannum’s study (2007): From
a gender inequality perspective, they show mothers’ gender attitudes and
expected returns from children in the future explain differences in mothers’
educational aspirations for boys and girls. To achieve this goal, I use the
same data and research context. Another important reason is that China,
especially rural China, provides a relatively homogenous population
precluding most confounding factors such race and immigrant status in other
studies (e.g., Kao & Tienda, 1998; Goyette & Xie, 1999), making the
examination of proposed mechanisms more efficient and straightforward.
This research strategy is also adopted by other scholars. For instance, in a
study of levels of aspiration and social class, Reissman (1953) limited
research subjects to white, male, native-born adults, because “variations in
any of these factors could be confounding and would require separate study”
(p.235).
138 Liu – Mother’s Educational Expectations and Aspirations
Data and Methods
Data Description
The year 2000 data I analyze are part of Gansu Survey of Children and
Families (GSCF). Gansu is one of the poorest and most undeveloped
provinces in China. Two thousand children from one hundred villages
(exactly 20 children per village) were sampled. Target children and their
mothers, homeroom teachers, school principals and village leaders were
asked questions on health, economic conditions, attitudes, feelings, selfconceptions, jobs, relationships among relatives and other such issues. To be
exact, there were 7 types of questionnaires: for children, mothers,
households, teachers, homeroom teachers, school principals, and village
leaders. There were also available academic test data of children. Due to data
limitation, parental educational aspirations and expectations, parents’ social
psychological variables as well as other relevant variables of interest, are
derived for mothers only.
Variable measurement. The primary focus of my paper related to social
psychological variable while employing socioeconomic status as an
independent variable. Gender, academic ability and the number of siblings
and factors denoting mothers’ ways of educating children were also
controlled.
Dependent variables
Mother’s Educational Expectations and Aspirations. Two questions
concerning mothers’ educational plans were used in this study. The first
asked the highest grade a mother wished her child to finish, and the other
asked the highest grade a mother thought her child would finish. About
68.1% of mothers wished their children to attend college or higher, and
27.4% of mothers believed that their children would attend college or higher.
In this study, I examined the effects of a set of characteristics on
expectations and on aspirations. Three response categories were generated
from the questionnaires for both dependent variables: attend college or
higher, finish senior high school, and finish junior high school or lower. I
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 139
noted that finishing junior high school and finishing elementary school, two
options in the questionnaires, are collapsed in the analysis because finishing
junior high school is compulsory in China (there are only a few whose
answer is “finish elementary school”). For these dependent variables with
three categories, I used multinomial logistic regression.
Independent variables
Socioeconomic status. Socioeconomic status has long been known to
contribute to parental educational expectations (Sewell & Shah, 1968).
Previous research has found parental educational expectations to be a
powerful intervening variable between socioeconomic background and
children’s educational aspirations. In light of this, if we try to focus on the
contribution of other variables to mother’s educational expectations,
socioeconomic status must be controlled. When measuring socioeconomic
status, I followed previous work using this dataset (Zhang, Kao, & Hannum,
2007) and conceptualized it as mothers’ years of education and total
household value (as multiples of 10000 yuan).
Measured academic ability. The math and verbal scores of children’s
previous semester on a 100-point scale were used to measure children’s
academic achievement. Previous studies have found that parental
expectations influence child school performance, as measured by tested
academic ability. As a result, tested academic ability must be controlled
when considering other related determinants (for detailed reasons to include
tested academic ability, also see Zhang, Kao, & Hannum, 2007). Here, the
score is standardized by centering on the mean and rescaling with standard
deviation.
Number of siblings. Research using the dilution-perspective concludes
that having more children will tend to dilute family resources. Thus with
fixed family resources, having more children means less resources for each
child (Buchmann, 2000). From this perspective, I employed the number of
siblings as a relevant control variable.
Mother’s ways of educating children. Zhang, Kao, and Hannum (2007)
argued that “A mother’s educational aspirations for her child may influence
parenting practices at home” (p.135). As a result, parents’ ways of educating
children should be included in the analysis as covariates. In Hao and
140 Liu – Mother’s Educational Expectations and Aspirations
Bonstead-Bruns’ study (1998, p.182), parental interactions with their
children or involment in their children’s activities were synthesized into
three factors using factor analysis. Their factors are: 1) parents' involvement
in children's school learning at home; 2) parents taking children to
extracurricular classes and activities; 3) parents' involvement with the child
in other learning activities. Following similar methods described in their
paper for generating factors representing parent’s interaction with children
or involvement in children’s study activities, I first selected 20 items, and
then based on the results from both exploratory factor analysis and
confirmatory factor analysis, I identified 5 factors. From an ad hoc
perspective, I concluded that they are: 1) familiarity with children’s routine
life; 2) involvement in learning activities in schools (analogous to the 1st
factor in Hao and Bonstead-Bruns’ work); 3) other (learning) activities at
homes (analogous to the 2nd factor in Hao and Bonstead-Bruns’ work); 4)
not beating and scolding children; 5) affection and encouragement. For
further details, see Appendix A.
Social psychological variables. The first social psychological variable I
considered was subjective economic status. Respondents were asked, “How
would you rate your family's economic situation in the context of your
village?” Answers of “good” and “above the average” were collapsed as one
category, and the other two categories are the answers of “below the
average” and “very bad,” respectively.
The second social psychological variable I considered was optimism.
This was measured by a question asking mothers “do you have confidence in
your future life”, leading to answer categories: “fully agree” (conceptualized
as very optimistic), “agree” (conceptualized as optimistic), and either
“disagree” or “totally disagree” (conceptualized as not optimistic).
Mother’s Expectation of Financial Return from Children. Mother’s
future financial return expected from children was measured by a question
asking mothers “how much financial aid do you expect from your children”,
leading to answer categories: “a lot”, “some”, and “very little or none”. This
variable provided the opportunity to test the alternative pulled-from-front
mechanism and rational choice theory in particular. The same item was used
by Zhang, Kao, and Hannum (2007). Descriptive statistics are presented in
table 1.
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 141
Table 1
Characteristics of the Study Sample (N = 1882)
Variables
Mother’s Aspiration
Finish junior high school
Finish senor high school
Attend college or up
Mother’s Expectation
Finish junior high school
Finish senor high school
Attend college or up
Gender of Child
Male
Female
Household Value (in 10k)
Number of Siblings
Mother’s Years of
Education
Standardized Test Score
Subjective Economic
Status
Above Average
Below Average
Very Bad
Confident in Future
Very Confident
Confident
Not Confident
Financial Aid Expected
from Child
A lot
Some
Very little or None
Percentage
%
Mean
(std. dev.)
Minimum
Maximum
1.14(1.84)
1.31(0.72)
0.01
0.00
31.29
5.00
7.02(3.49)
0.00
15.00
0.00(1.00)
-1.54
2.75
9.40
22.48
68.12
30.23
42.35
27.42
54.41
45.59
42.19
42.35
15.46
18.81
70.24
10.95
18.12
66.21
14.35
Results
(1) Traditional View
I first examined the traditional views of the origin of mothers’ educational
expectations and aspirations which looked at typical SES independent
variables. For this analysis, I considered the baseline model. Coefficients
and standard errors are presented in table 2.
142 Liu – Mother’s Educational Expectations and Aspirations
For objective economic status, measured as total household value, there
are significant positive effects on both aspirations and expectations. For
every one 10000 yuan increase in total household value: the odds of having
an aspiration of college and up over an aspiration of finishing junior school
or lower increases significantly (p=0.009) by a factor of 1.328 1, and the odds
of having an expectation of college and up over an expectation of finishing
junior school or lower also increases significantly (p=0.034) by a factor of
1.0942, holding all other variables in the baseline model constant. Mother’s
years of education, the gender of the child, and the test score of the child
also have significant effects on both educational expectations and
aspirations. For example, for a male child, the odds of his mother having
educational expectations of college and up over an expectation of finishing
junior school or lower is 1.6223 (p=0.000) times of that for a female child,
other variables in the model held constant. Having more siblings is
associated with decreasing educational expectations, which is consistent
with the dilution perspective. However, the number of siblings has no effect
on educational aspirations.
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 143
Table 2
Multinomial Regression of Mothers’ Educational Expectations and Aspirations for
Child: Baseline Model (N=1882)
Independent Variables
Model 1(expectations)
Coeffients
Coeffients
(SE)
(SE)
College&up
Senior
vs. Junior
vs. Junior
Model 2(aspirations)
Coeffients
Coeffients
(SE)
(SE)
College&up
Senior
vs. Junior
vs. Junior
Household Value
(by 10000 yuan)
0.090*
(.042)
0.064
(.041)
0.284**
(.108)
0.154
(.114)
Male Child (1,0)
0.484***
(.129)
0.595***
(.115)
0.958***
(.175)
0.735***
(.190)
# of Sibings
-0.315**
(.093)
-0.080
(.079)
-0.061
(.114)
-0.036
(.124)
0.027
(.019)
0.078***
(.017)
0.098***
(.024)
0.065*
(.026)
0.267***
(.065)
0.172**
(.059)
0.216*
(.088)
0.094
(.095)
Familiar with Children’s
Routine Life
0.001
(.090)
0.029
(.080)
0.110
(.115)
0.031
(.125)
Involvement in Learning
Activities in School
0.193
(.116)
0.108
(.104)
0.200
(.153)
0.068
(.167)
Other (learning) Activities at
Home
0.120
(.166)
0.069
(.148)
-0.054
(.219)
0.247
(.238)
0.462***
(.095)
0.206*
(.083)
0.364**
(.119)
0.267*
(.129)
0.291*
(.141)
0.124
(.125)
0.348
(.185)
-0.174
(.202)
Comparison
Controls
Mother’s years of education
Standardized test score of child
Ways of Educating Child
Not Beat and Scold Child
Affection & Encouragement
-2Log Likelihood
3859.153
Notes: *p<.05; **p<.01; ***p<.001 (two-tailed tests)
2902.575
144 Liu – Mother’s Educational Expectations and Aspirations
(2) Social Psychological Models
In model 3 (see table 3), subjective economic status has a significant
effect on expectations and a non-significant effect on aspirations when
included in the model. Since the objective measurement of economic status
as total household value ceases to bear any significant effects on educational
expectations in social psychological models compared to the baseline model
1, there is evidence that those effects identified in traditional view are now
mediated by this social psychological factor. For example, for those mothers
reporting economic status as very good and above average in the village
compared to those reporting very bad, the odds of expectations of attending
college (and above) over finishing junior school (or lower) increases
significantly (p=0.000) by a factor of 2.0754. However, while subjective
perceptions of economic status appear to influence educational expectations,
it’s not the case for educational aspirations: as shown in model 5 (see table
4), subjective economic status does not have any significant effect anymore,
while coefficients of object economic status remain significant after
controlling for subjective economic status.
When optimism, conceptualized as “confidence in your future” is
included in model 4 (see table 3), it too has effects on expectations. For
example, mothers with full confidence in the future are more likely to have
expectations of attending college and above.
Optimism also mediates the effects of objective economic status on
mothers’ expectation compared with baseline model 1. Here too, then, a
second psychological factor appears critical to the formation of parental
educational expectations.
Optimism also affects aspirations in model 6 (see table 4), but neither of
the two social psychological factors mediates influences of objective
economic status on educational aspirations.
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 145
Table 3
Multinomial Regression of Mothers’ Educational Expectations for Child: Social
Psychological Model (N=1882)
Independent Variables
Coeffients
(SE)
College&up
vs. Junior
Comparison
Model 3
Coeffients
(SE)
Senior
vs. Junior
Coeffients
(SE)
College&up
vs. Junior
Model 4
Coeffients
(SE)
Senior
vs. Junior
Controls
Household Value
(by 10000 yuan)
Male Child (1,0)
# of Sibings
Mother’s years of education
Standardized test score of
child
Ways of Educating Child
Familiar with Children’s
Routine Life
Involvement in Learning
Activities in School
Other (learning) Activities at
Home
Not Beat and Scold Child
Affection & Encouragement
Social Psychological
Variables
Family Economy Good in
Village (very bad as omitted
category)
Very Good or Above Average
Below Average
0.050
(.041)
0.454***
(.130)
-0.305**
(.094)
0.025
(.019)
0.250***
(.065)
0.040
(.039)
0.570***
(.116)
-0.080
(.080)
0.076***
(.017)
0.158**
(.059)
0.082
(.042)
0.455***
(.130)
-0.311**
(.094)
0.026
(.019)
0.264***
(.065)
0.061
(.040)
0.587***
(.116)
-0.077
(.079)
0.078***
(.017)
0172**
(.059)
-0.010
(.091)
0.186
(.116)
0.084
(.167)
0.444***
(.096)
0.301*
(.142)
0.005
(.081)
0.102
(.104)
0.057
(.149)
0.203*
(.084)
0.127
(.126)
-0.015
(.091)
0.160
(.117)
0.122
(.167)
0.469***
(.096)
0.285*
(.142)
0.023
(.080)
0.097
(.104)
0.070
(.148)
0.207*
(.083)
0.120
(.125)
0.730***
(.194)
0.263
(.191)
0.578**
(.173)
0.513**
(.164)
Confident in Future
Life(disagree as omitted
category)
Fully Agree
0.794**
(.262)
0.572*
(.221)
Agree Somewhat
-2Log Likelihood
3832.182
0.246
(.219)
0.125
(.173)
3848.967
146 Liu – Mother’s Educational Expectations and Aspirations
Table 4
Multinomial Regression of Mothers’ Educational Aspirations for Child: Social
Psychological Model (N=1882)
Model 5
Independent Variables
Comparison
Model 6
Coeffients
(SE)
College&up vs.
Junior
Coeffients
(SE)
Senior
vs. Junior
Coeffients
(SE)
College&up vs.
Junior
Coeffient
s
(SE)
Senior
vs. Junior
0.238*
(.108)
0.933***
(.175)
-0.063
(.114)
0.098***
(.024)
0.199*
(.088)
0.127
(.114)
0.715***
(.190)
-0.046
(.124)
0.066*
(.026)
0.081
(.096)
0.271**
(.107)
0.949
(.175)
-0.067
(.114)
0.102***
(.024
0.212**
(.088)
0.144
(.114)
0.736***
(.190)
-0.043
(.124)
0.069**
(.026)
0092
(.096)
0.093
(.116)
0.192
(.153)
-0.069
(.218)
0.359**
(.119)
0.357
(.185)
0.005
(.126)
0.061
(.167)
0.248
(.238)
0.273*
(.129)
-0.168
(.201)
0.097
(.115)
0.185
(.154)
-0.034
(.219)
0.376**
(.119)
0.335
(.186)
0.025
(.125)
0.064
(.167)
0.264
(.239)
0.276*
(.129)
-0.184
(.202)
0.447
(.237)
0.334
(.218)
0.274
(.262)
0.467
(.240)
0.405
(.306)
0.589**
(.231)
0.151
(.335)
0.391
(.252)
Controls
Household Value
(by 10000 yuan)
Male
# of Sibings
Mother’s years of education
Standardized test score
Ways of Educating Child
Familiar with Children’s Routine
Life
Involvement in Learning
Activities in School
Other (learning) Activities at
Home
Not Beat and Scold Child
Affection & Encouragement
Social Psychological Variables
Family Economy Good in Village
(very bad as omitted category)
Very Good or Above Average
Below Average
Confident in Future Life(disagree
as omitted category)
Fully Agree
Agree Somewhat
-2Log Likelihood
2893.166
Notes: *p<.05; **p<.01; ***p<.001 (two-tailed tests)
2895.751
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 147
In table 5, full models for mothers’ educational expectations and
aspirations are presented. In the full models, two proposed social
psychological variables are included as independent variables
simultaneously as well as mothers’ expectation of financial return from
children, an indicator for testing rational choice theory. For the two proposed
social psychological variables, the full models have similar patterns as those
shown in table 3 and table 4: both subjective economic status and optimism
have significant effects on mothers’ educational expectations, but few
significant effects could be identified for aspirations5. Similarly, there are
significant effects of mothers’ expectations of financial return from children
on mothers’ educational expectations, while none could be found on
aspirations6.
148 Liu – Mother’s Educational Expectations and Aspirations
Table 5
Multinomial Regression of Mothers’ Educational Expectations and Aspirations for
Child: Full Model (N=1857)
Independent Variables
Comparison
Model 7 (expectation)
Coeffients
(SE)
Coeffients
(SE)
Model 8 (aspiration)
Coeffients
(SE)
Coeffients
(SE)
College&up vs.
Junior
Senior
vs. Junior
College&up vs.
Junior
Senior
vs. Junior
0.047
(.041)
0.419**
(.132)
-0.291**
(.095)
0.023
(.019)
0.243***
(.066)
0.039
(.039)
0.548***
(.117)
-0.063
(.080)
0.076***
(.017)
0145*
(.060)
0.222*
(.106)
0.925***
(.177)
-0.059
(.116)
0.106***
(.025)
0.213*
(.089)
0.115
(.112)
0.747***
(.193)
-0.032
(.126)
0.071**
(.027)
0.096
(.097)
-0.041
(.093)
0.163
(.118)
0.090
(.168)
0.421***
(.097)
0.277
(.143)
-0.019
(.082)
0.102
(.106)
0.058
(.151)
0.183*
(.085)
0.116
(.128)
0.094
(.117)
0.164
(.155)
-0.011
(.222)
0.371**
(.121)
0.327
(.188)
0.022
(.128)
0.045
(.169)
0.304
(.242)
0.287*
(.132)
-0.190
(.204)
0.657**
(.198)
0.211
(.194)
0.529**
(.176)
0.473**
(.116)
0.378
(.241)
0.292
(.223)
0.222
(.266)
0.425
(.245)
0.743**
(.266)
0.452*
(.226)
0.191
(.225)
-0.009
(.178)
0.313
(.312)
0.496*
(.238)
-0.000
(.341)
0.265
(.259)
Controls
Household Value
(by 10000 yuan)
Male Child (1,0)
# of Sibings
Mother’s years of education
Standardized test score
Ways of Educating Child
Familiar with Children’s Routine Life
Involvement in Learning Activities in
School
Other (learning) Activities at Home
Not Beat and Scold Child
Affection & Encouragement
Social Psychological Variables
Family Economy Good in Village (very bad
as omitted category)
Very Good or Above Average
Below Average
Confident in Future Life(disagree as omitted
category)
Fully Agree
Agree Somewhat
Rational Choice Indicator
Financial Return from Children (little as
omitted category)
A lot
Some
-2Log Likelihood
0.494*
(.224)
0.246
(.184)
0.525*
(.205)
0.483**
(.163)
3768.998
Notes: *p<.05; **p<.01; ***p<.001 (two-tailed tests)
0.436
(.296)
0.301
(.227)
0.292
(.319)
0.109
(.246)
2837.766
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 149
Discussion and Conclusion
How might social psychological factors advance scholarly understanding of
the formation of educational expectations and aspirations? Sewell et al.
(1969) first incorporated educational and occupational expectations and
aspirations into the stratification process. Since then, the approach has
developed into two traditions of employing aspirations as explanatory or
mediating variables to account for other stratification outcomes (e.g., Hao
and Bonstead-Bruns, 1998) as Sewell et al. originally did (1969), or
alternatively, as a means of explaining expectations and aspirations with
reference to demographic and social economic factors (e.g., Goyette & Xie,
1999). Both traditions are viable, yet underdeveloped. I have sought to
incorporate social psychological mechanisms implicated in other
sociological or psychological literature. One such focus is subjective
economic status compared to others, suggested in relative deprivation
theory, which could also be viewed as the experiential component of
structure implicated in the mental health literature (Aneshensel & Sucoff,
1996). The other is on optimism which I have incorporated from the
personality literature (Diener et al., 1999). Although my examination is only
an initial attempt to push stratification theory to further engage social
psychological concepts and processes, the preliminary positive results call
for future studies. More generally, the social psychological approach to
stratification may have much more to offer.
These findings also shed some light on the theoretical differences
between expectations and aspirations. Test score and the number of siblings
have stronger influences on expectations than on aspirations. Gender of
children, social economic status and mothers’ years of education are
important for educational aspirations. These results are informative
concerning the complexity of the influence of social structural and
demographic processes.
The influence of the two proposed social psychological variables also
have different patterns. Both subjective economic status and optimism
examined in the models show mediating effects on expectations. However,
the results are different for aspirations. The two proposed social
psychological variables show few if any mediating effects. Nevertheless,
optimism still bears significant impact on aspirations, while subjective
150 Liu – Mother’s Educational Expectations and Aspirations
economic status does not. Of further relevance, those effects of optimism on
aspirations appear to be independent of factors identified in traditional
models of status attainment. Thus, the novel measure of optimism adds new
perspective and findings with respect to the traditional theory of status
attainment.
In light of the different patterns revealed for parental expectations and
aspirations, future research should examine which is the better predictor of
children’s final educational and occupational achievements. This is helpful
for understanding the importance of different mechanisms identified in the
study presented here.
Consider again, the controversy between pushed-from-behind and pulledfrom-front views identified by Gambetta (1987). This study does not
preclude the relevance of pulled-from-front view which assumes rational
behaviors of decision-makers, as the indicator of rational choice theory also
shows significant effects on mothers’ educational expectations. However,
my analyses also identify social psychological mechanisms which appear to
make educational decision-making a far from purely rational process. With
respect to the subjective economic status, an indicator of relative
deprivation, its mediating effects show evidence of linking structural
position to decision-making. This helps to begin identifying the opaque
social psychological causes of pushed-from-behind view derived from the
economic causation perspective.
It should be emphasized that such a process may be context specific
(Wilson & Portes, 1975). The empirical results from a Chinese rural context
may not necessarily apply to another context characterized by a different
social structure or culture. It points to the importance of research extension:
Only when evidence from a variety of societal contexts has accumulated can
scholars begin to have a better understanding of the theoretical controversy
between the pushed-from-behind and pulled-from-front views.
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 151
Notes
1
e^0.284=1.328
e^0.090=1.094
3
e^0.484=1.623
4
e^(0.730)=2.075.
5
Chi-square test of subjective economic status for aspirations: p=0.100; Chi-square test of
optimism: p=0.235.
6
Chi-square test of mothers’ expectations of financial return from children: p=0.515.
2
References
Alexander, K. L., & Eckland, B. K. (1975). Contextual effects in the high
school attainment process. American Sociological Review, 40(3),
402-416.
Alexander, K. L., & Cook, M. A. (1979). The motivational relevance of
educational plans: questioning the conventional wisdom. Social
Psychology Quarterly, 42(3), 202-213.
Aneshensel, C. S., & Sucoff, C. A. (1996). The neighborhood context of
adolescent mental health. Journal of Health and Social Behavior,
37(4), 293-310.
Blau, P. M., & Duncan, O. D. (1967). The American occupational
structure. New York: Wiley.
Boudieu, P., & Passeron, J. (1977). Reproduction in education, society, and
culture. Translated by Richard Nice. London: Sage Publications.
Boudon, R. (1981). The logic of social action: An introduction to
sociological analysis. Translated by David Silverman with the
assistance of Gillian Silverman. Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Buchmann, C. (2000). Family structure, parental perceptions, and child
labor in Kenya: What factors determine who is enrolled in school?
Social Forces, 78(4), 1349-1378.
Buchmann, C., & Hannum, E. (2001). Education and stratification in
developing countries: A review of theories and research. Annual
Review of Sociology, 27, 77–102.
152 Liu – Mother’s Educational Expectations and Aspirations
Cheng, S., & Starks, B. (2002). Racial differences in the effects of
significant others on students' educational expectations. Sociology of
Education, 75(4), 306-327. doi: 10.2307/3090281
Chester, C. R. (1976). Perceived relative deprivation as a cause of property
crime. Crime & Delinquency, 22(1), 17-30.
Chuang, Y., Li, Y., Wu, Y., & Chao, H. J. (2007). A multilevel analysis of
neighborhood and individual effects on individual smoking and
drinking in Taiwan. BMC Public Health, 7, 151. doi:10.1186/14712458-7-151
Clark, A. E., & Oswald, A. J. (1996). Satisfaction and comparison income.
Journal of Public Economics, 61(3), 359-381.
Crosby, F. (1976). A model of egoistical relative deprivation. Psychological
Review, 83(2), 85-113.
Davis-Kean, P. E. (2005). The influence of parent education and family
income on child achievement: The indirect role of parental
expectations and the home environment. Journal of Family
Psychology, 19(2), 294-304.
Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective
well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin,
125(2), 276-302.
Elster, J. (1983). Sour grapes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gambetta, D. (1987). Were they pushed or did they jump? Individual
decision mechanisms in education. New York: Cambridge University
Press.
Goldenberg, C., Gallimore, R., Reese, L., & Garnier, H. (2001). Cause or
effect? A longitudinal study of immigrant Latino parents' aspirations
and expectations, and their children's school performance. Education
doi:
&
Educational
Research,
38(3),
548-582.
10.3102/00028312038003547
Goyette, K., & Xie, Y. (1999). Educational expectations of Asian American
youths: Determinants and ethnic differences. Sociology of Education,
72(1), 22-36.
Hannum, E. (2002). Educational stratification by ethnicity in China:
Enrollment and attainment in the early reform years. Demography,
39(1), 95-117.
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 153
Hao, L., & Bonstead-Bruns, M. (1998). Parent-child differences in
educational expectations and the academic achievement of immigrant
and native students. Sociology of Education, 71(3), 175-198.
Kao, G., & Tienda, M. (1998). Educational aspirations of minority youth.
American Journal of Education, 106(3), 349-384.
Kondo, N., Kawachi, I., Subramanian, S. V., Takeda, Y., & Yamagata, Z.
(2008). Do social comparisons explain the association between
income inequality and health?: Relative deprivation and perceived
health among male and female Japanese individuals. Social Science
& Medicine, 67(6), 982-987. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.06.002
Reissman, L. (1953). Levels of aspiration and social class. American
Sociological Review, 18(3), 233-242.
Rosen, B. C., & Aneshensel, C. S. (1978). Sex differences in the
educational-occupational expectation process. Social Forces, 57(1),
164-186.
Sewell, W. H., & Shah, V. P. (1967). Socioeconomic status, intelligence,
and the attainment of higher education. Sociology of Education,
40(1), 1-23.
Sewell, W. H., & Shah, V. P. (1968). Social class, parent encouragement,
and educational aspirations. The American Journal of Sociology,
73(5), 559-572.
Sewell, W. H., Haller, A. O., & Portes, A. (1969). The educational and
early occupational attainment process. American Sociological
Review, 34(1), 82-92.
Sewell, W. H., & Hauser, R. (1993). A review of the Wisconsin
Longitudinal Study of Social and Psychological Factors in Aspiration
and Achievement, 1963-1993. University of Wisconsin-Madison
(Center for Demography and Ecology) Working Paper No. 92-01.
Stouffer, S. (1949). The American soldier, I:Adjustment during army life.
Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Wilkinson, R. G., & Pickett, K. E. (2007). The problems of relative
deprivation: Why some societies do better than others. Social Science
& Medicine, 65(9), 1965-1978.
Wilson, K. L., & Portes, A. (1975). The educational attainment process:
Results from a national sample. The American Journal of Sociology,
81(2), 343-363.
154 Liu – Mother’s Educational Expectations and Aspirations
Zhang, Y., Kao, G., & Hannum, E. (2007). Do mothers in rural China
practice gender equality in educational aspirations for their children?
Comparative Education Review, 51(2), 131-158.
Zhou, X., Moen, P., & Tuma, N. B. (1998). Educational stratification in
urban China: 1949-94. Sociology of Education, 71(3), 199-222.
HuiGuo Liu is Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at Indiana University
Contact Address: Direct correspondence to HuiGuo Liu at Ballantine
Hall 744, 1020 E. Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington, IN, 47405-7103,
United States. E-mail: [email protected]
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 155
Appendix
In Hao and Bonstead-Bruns’ study (1998, p.182), parental interactions with
children or involvement in their study activities were synthesized into three
factors using factor analysis: 1) parents' involvement in children's school
learning at home; 2) parents taking children to extracurricular classes and
activities; 3) parents' involvement with the child in other learning activities.
Following similar methods described in their paper for generating factors
representing parent’s interaction with children or involvement in children’s
study activities, I selected 20 items. They are listed as follows:
X1: Do you or your husband know who your child's friends are?
X2: Do you or your husband know where your child goes after school?
X3: Do you or your husband know what your child does after school?
Y1: Parents' meeting held by teacher or the school principal.
Y2: Talk with the homeroom teacher or school principal.
Y3: Work as a volunteer in the school.
Y4: Attend school's activities, such as artistic performance, sports meetings.
Y5: Observe classes.
Y6: Inquire about the child's performance from the teacher.
Z1: Accompany the child to read storybooks.
Z2: Help the child to do his assignments.
Z3: Do family chores with the child, such as washing clothes, dishes,
cooking etc.
Z4: Do activities that the child likes with the child, such as playing cards,
playing hide-and-seek, playing ball etc.
Z5: Take the child to bookstores or shops.
Z6: Praise the child.
Z7: Show affection to the child, such as hugging, patting etc.
Z8: Scold the child. (Reverse the order)
Z9: Beat the child. (Reverse the order)
Z10: Highly praise the child in front of others.
Z11: Discuss with the child on the topic of his/her interest.
I reversed the order of question Z8 and Z9, making all 20 questions in
unified theoretical order. With the exploratory factor analysis (EFA) for
156 Liu – Mother’s Educational Expectations and Aspirations
ordered variables at first (see table 6) I chose to use the 5-factor model. I
then used the confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and again quite clearly
found that the 5-factor model was more desirable. (The comparison of 4factor CFA model and 5-factor CFA model is presented in table 7.)
With this decision, I further studied the wording of the questionnaires to
see how to name the groups in an ad hoc perspective. The ad hoc
explanations of groups are listed as follows:
f1 (X1-X3): familiar with children’s routine life.
f2 (Y1-Y6): involvement in learning activities in schools, analogous to
the 1st factor in Hao and Bonstead-Bruns’ work.
f3 (Z1-Z5): other (learning) activities at homes, analogous to the 2nd
factor in Hao and Bonstead-Bruns’ work.
f4 (Z8 and Z9): Not beat and scold children.
f5 (Z6, Z7, Z10, Z11): Affection, encouragement.
Table 6
Exploratory Factor Analysis Model Selection Statistics
EFA:1
factor
EFA:2
factor
EFA:3
factor
EFA:4
factor
EFA:5
factor
EFA:6
factor
CFI
0.669
0.818
0.888
0.938
0.968
0.970
TLI
0.630
0.771
0.839
0.898
0.939
0.954
RMSEA
0.096
0.076
0.063
0.051
0.039
0.034
SRMR
0.192
0.133
0.102
0.062
0.041
0.033
Groupin
g results
N.A.
(X, Z8,
Z9)/
(Y, other Z
questions)
(X)/(Z8,
Z9)/
(Y, other Z
questions)
(X)/(Z8,
Z9)/
(Y)/
(other Z
questions)
(X)/(Z8,
Z9)/
(Y)/
(Z1-Z5)/
(Z6, Z7,
Z10, Z11)
(X)/(Z8,Z9
)/
(Y)/
(Z1-Z5)/
(Z6,Z7,
Z10, Z11)
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 157
Table 7
Confirmatory Factor Analysis Model Selection Statistics
CFA: 4 factor
CFA: 5 factor
CFI
0.895
0.921
TLI
0.929
0.946
RMSEA
0.062
0.054
WRMR
2.089
1.802
Instructions for authors, subscriptions and further details:
http://rise.hipatiapress.com
Rancière: Pedagogy and Politics
David Ernest Harris1
1) University of St Mark and St John
th
Date of publication: June 25 , 2015
Edition period: June 2015-October 2015
To cite this article: Harris, D.E. (2015). Rancière: Pedagogy and Politics.
International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2), 158-181. doi:
10.17583/rise.2015.1479
To link this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.17583/rise.2015.1479
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE
The terms and conditions of use are related to the Open Journal System
and to Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education Vol. 4 No. 2
June 2015 pp. 158-181
Rancière: Pedagogy and Politics
David Ernest Harris
University of St Mark and St
John
(Received: 18 March 2015; Accepted: 23 May 2015; Published: 25 June
2015)
Abstract
Rancière’s work on education is becoming widely known, but it must be understood
in its context to avoid any misleadingly conventional readings and to grasp its
general importance. The work on industrial history is obviously connected, but so
are the more technical academic criticisms of Althusser, Bourdieu and Marx. These
add considerably to conventional discussion by identifying a crucial contradiction
between emancipatory goals and necessary hierarchies based on expertise.
Rancière’s work on aesthetics as a democratic arena has inspired some recent
educational experiments in participation. His historical research can also be seen as
providing support for current educational struggles against neoliberalism. Rancière’s
methods are assessed critically in turn, and the connections with Foucault can be
seen to both unify the work overall and raise difficulties of its own.
Keywords: Rancière, Althusser, Bourdieu, emancipatory education, Foucault,
Marx
2015 Hipatia Press
ISSN: 2014-3575
DOI: 10.17583/rise.2015.1479
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education Vol. 4 No. 2
June 2015 pp. 158-181
Rancière: Pedagogía y Política
David Ernest Harris
University of St Mark and St
John
(Recibido: 18 Marzo 2015; Aceptado: 23 Mayo 2015; Publicado: 25 Junio
2015)
Resumen
La obra de Rancière sobre educación se está llegando a conocer ampliamente. Pero
debe entenderse en su contexto para evitar lecturas falazmente convencionales y
para aprehender su importancia general. Su trabajo sobre historia industrial está
obviamente relacionado, así como lo están las críticas a Althusser, Bourdieu y Marx.
Éstas contribuyen considerablemente a las discusiones convencionales al identificar
contradicciones cruciales entre los objetivos de emancipación y la jerarquía
necesaria basada en el conocimiento. El trabajo de Rancière sobre estética como
esfera democrática ha inspirado algunos experimentos educacionales recientes sobre
participación. Su investigación histórica también puede verse como un apoyo a las
presentes luchas de la educación contra el neoliberalismo. Se evaluarán
rigurosamente los métodos de Rancière en orden, y sus conexiones con Foucault, las
cuales al mismo tiempo unifican la obra en general y presentan dificultades propias..
Palabras clave: Rancière, Althusser, Bourdieu, educación emancipadora,
Foucault, Marx
2015 Hipatia Press
ISSN: 2014-3575
DOI: 10.17583/rise.2015.1479
160 Harris – Rancière: Pedagogy and Politics
he Ignorant Schoolmaster (Rancière, 1991) concerns the
activities and principles of Joseph Jacotot, an educationalist in
Belgium and France in the 1830s. Rancière merges his voice
with that of Jacotot in an interesting way in his account. Jacotot
and the students had no shared language, and Jacotot began by giving them
a popular classic text published in both French and Dutch. Students had to
memorise each page of the text to teach themselves French and were
regularly tested on their knowledge. To his surprise, apparently, Jacotot
found that students were able to develop fluency in French using this
method. External assessors agreed that students had produced work of an
acceptable quality.
Jacotot/Rancière argued that people were perfectly capable of learning
for themselves without the usual skilled pedagogy, therefore. Indeed, they
learned even if pedagogues themselves knew nothing about the subject.
There must be a fundamental equality of intelligence among human beings
of whatever social station. Knowledge could also be developed in any
direction by a process of linking the new to what was known already. Both
claims contrast strongly with those of conventional models which involved
specialist skilled and sequential explication.
Rancière’s comments look like the well-established attack on traditional
methods of teaching, another confirmation of the fundamental intelligence,
equality, and creativity of children The idea that emancipatory knowledge
can be developed from making connections between what is known and
unknown can seem like one of the classic defences of non-disciplinary
‘discovery’ or project–based pedagogies.
However, Jacotot/Rancière also suggests features that would not be so
popular with modern progressives. There is a demand that students
undertake rote learning, for example, and be tested frequently on their
knowledge. This is learning focused on definite objects or images, on ‘a
third thing – a book or some other piece of writing – alien to both [parties]
and to which they can refer’ (Rancière 2011b, p. 15). There are no excuses:
rote learning was boring, for example, but student laziness had to be
countered. When students dismissed academic learning as elitist, Jacotot
pointed out that their own pride in their common sense or their practical
expertise was also elitist, and, very often, showed strong contempt for
‘ordinary people’.
T
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 161
Most current educational thinking would see possessing technical or
academic knowledge as the only acceptable basis for authority. Certainly
the alternatives seem undesirable –teachers can also claim authority based
on their age, social class, gender or ethnicity, but none of these can be
supported in modern education. Charismatic authority is also possible but
unpredictable: if Jacotot relied on it, it is not surprising that the method
could not be duplicated or institutionalized.
However, conventional explication depends on expert insights to
diagnose the difficulties and suggest effective and well-founded
emancipatory remedies. The problem is that expertise also produces
permanent hierarchical relations between teacher and taught, because the
ignorant can never catch up and bridge the gap between themselves and
their teachers. Indeed, expert pedagogues have a specialist explanation of
ignorance which leads them to diagnose it in a range of behaviours, and to
suspect it is ever-present. They are also constantly developing their own
expertise, maintaining the gap between themselves and those progressing
through earlier stages. This contradiction between emancipatory goals and
hierarchical processes is the major critical theme in much of Rancière’s
other work, it can be argued.
Misrecognising Rancière’s Critique?
Rancière himself was active in the student movement in France in 1968,
and once admired Maoist practice that saw university academics forced to
do manual labour, and to teach subjects in ways that were radically
accessible to the masses, instead of following the normal scholarly routes to
personal reward (Rancière, 1974). Rancière withdrew his support later, but
‘equal intelligence’ was originally a Maoist slogan (Bosteels, 2011, p. 28).
Abstracting the work on education from its context in radical politics
clearly offers risks. Biesta advocates dissensus, 'an interruption of the police
order' in Rancière’s terms (2010, p. 59) to revitalize university politics. It
is probable that he does not mean radical university politics, of the kind that
Rancière once embraced, or even contemporary forms of student strikes and
occupations, but without specification a call for more interest in educational
politics could mean anything. After all, neoliberal policies have
successfully introduced dissensus into the modern university, some of them
162 Harris – Rancière: Pedagogy and Politics
in the name of disrupting the existing conservative order.
This political element of context is sometimes (mis)recognised in a more
technical direction. Biesta (2010, p. 40) notes that the work on Jacotot and
pedagogy is connected to 'Marxist notions of ideology and false
consciousness'. However, Biesta does not pursue this critical work very far,
claiming limited time and space. Biesta (2010, p. 44) refers us instead to
Eagleton’s textbook on ideology and quotes him as saying:
all thought is socially determined—following Karl Marx's dictum
that "it is not the consciousness of men that determines their being
but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their
consciousness"—but also, and more importantly… ideology is
thought "which denies this determination"
Biesta contrasts this reductionist economism with its usual opposite in
liberal thought -- ‘the assumption of the equality of all human beings'
(2010, p. 57). This looks like a common rhetorical device where essential
equality is opposed to a reductionist ‘economism’ as the only apparent
alternative: the two extremes are linked in an ‘ideological couplet’
(Althusser & Balibar 1975). For Marxists, essentialism is equally reductive,
however, and tautological. Idealist analyses consist of endlessly
‘recognizing’ the selected essential quality in concrete cases, but what is
defined as essential is itself really a generalization based on limited
experience. Any concrete analysis can only reflect this essentialism back in
a ‘mirror structure’, as Althusser’s (1972) critique of Rousseau shows.
Rancière could also be open to the charge of essentialism: he does seem
to embrace the notion of equal intelligence as ‘a presupposition or axiom’
(Biesta 2010, p. 51). This axiom is then constantly recognized, at work in
pedagogy and utopian socialism in 1830s France, in French university
politics in the 1970s, and in contemporary critiques of aesthetics, in a way
that risks mirroring or tautology.
However, Rancière himself did not accept Marx’s words as anything
other than a preliminary polemic, and he suggests that Marx went on to
argue that the classic philosophical conceptions of materialism and idealism
both ‘belonged to the same theoretical configuration’ and needed to be
opposed by a new politicized conception of materialism ‘founded on the
human history of production’ (Rancière, 2011a, p. 12—13).
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 163
Here and elsewhere, if we pursue these issues into Rancière’s actual
work, we can see the ways in which it differs from liberal educational
thought. We will also not be limited to revisiting the eternal struggle
between ‘traditional’ and ‘progressive’, a likely tendency noted in Biesta’s
article itself (Biesta 2010, p. 59).
Historical studies
Rancière’s account of Jacotot’s approach is clearly linked to his discussion
of socialist politics in the 1830s in France. However, this work is also a
critique of Marx, since neither Marx nor Engels saw potential in the forms
of personal resistance or of Christian and utopian socialism that were
emerging in that period, often among craftsmen and skilled workers. The
reasons for this lie in the contradiction identified earlier between expert
diagnosis and Marxist politics: if we consider such politics as involving an
informal pedagogy to explain the implications of the theory, connections
with the work on Jacotot become clear.
Those early political movements showed the critical potential that
interests Rancière. In particular, some early socialists, formed around
figures such as Saint-Simon and Fourier, developed the beginnings of a
theory of surplus value, without referring to Marx. They noted employers’
excessive annoyance at workers taking days off to celebrate ‘Saint
Monday’, and worked out that although this saved a day’s wages,
absenteeism must also deprive the employer of a surplus generated by each
day’s labour (2012, p. 56). Other workers, engaged in building the new
‘optical prisons’, were able to record a critique of the new totalising
disciplinary regimes they implied (88), as anticipations of Foucault (1977).
Above all, workers displayed aesthetic sensibilities, expressed in pride
in their work, or joy in walks in the countryside, and in their dreams of a
better life. What made this seditious was their demand for full recognition
as human beings, for encounters with others as fully human. Those workers
were able to support their challenges by exploiting the ambiguities of
liberal and other humanist arguments. For Marx, and later disciples like
Althusser, however, those arguments were ideological and only Marxist
science would produce emancipation.
164 Harris – Rancière: Pedagogy and Politics
Marx and Materialism
To deepen his critique, Rancière (2004) begins with the thesis in Marx and
Engels that only the proletariat, the industrial working class organised as a
mass, is capable of successful revolution against capitalism. Marx and
Engels (1848) saw the growth of the proletariat as the result of a
polarisation of social life, a concrete and visible contradiction, rooted in the
development of modern industry with its stark divisions between workers
and owners. Until this contradiction deepened, all sorts of misguided
policies would emerge, where workers compromised with the bourgeois
order, and these included the positions adopted by French socialists in the
1830s.
Marx certainly attacks Proudhon as an inadequate scholar, scornfully
rebuking him for reducing the full impact of the radical notion of
contradiction, to the banalities of bourgeois dualism: ‘For him the dialectic
movement is... [merely]...the dogmatic distinction between good and bad’
(Marx 1847, chapter 2, 4th observation). In a subsequent letter (Marx,
1865) he remarks that misunderstandings arose inevitably from Proudhon’s
‘lack of German’. He goes on to add, sarcastically: ‘After my expulsion
from Paris Herr Karl Grün continued what I had begun [teaching Proudhon
about Hegelianism]. As a teacher of German philosophy he also had the
advantage over me that he himself understood nothing about it’. There is no
support for ignorant schoolmasters here!
In order to achieve communism, Marx and Engels argued, the proletariat
must first be prepared to lose everything, for theoretical as well as political
reasons. Material circumstances determined ideas in capitalism, and even
radical thought alone could never escape capitalist limits. Capitalism itself
must be smashed before we can all philosophize without constraint. This
critique is paradoxical, though, Rancière insists. Marxist materialism is
excellent as a critical tool to expose as ideological the universalistic claims
of rival philosophies, but it is open to the familiar critique that it must be an
ideology itself, equally explicable as a normal worldview produced by
certain social conditions.
Proletarian revolution did not take place in 1848, so the analysis could
not be validated. Worst still, in France in 1851, Napoleon III came to power
and he was supported by bourgeois and worker groups, as well as financiers
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 165
and peasants. Rancière says Marx (1852) saw Bonapartism as a failure of
nerve by the bourgeoisie, who refused to assume their proper historic role
as dominant class in France, even though the conditions were theoretically
optimal. However, Marx came to reconsider Napoleon’s regime as enabling
French capitalism to modernize, to put it back on track for the eventual
crisis after all, which rescued the theory, temporarily at least.
Rancière notes that Marx and Engels were still hoping that polarization
and collapse would occur, well into the late 19th Century, after events such
as the expansion of trade in the Americas, or the Austro-Prussian War, both
of which they thought would produce deep crises. They were continually
disappointed, not least by the eagerness of British workers to seek their
fortunes in the gold rushes in California and Australia and to recreate the
bourgeois order there.
Disillusioned, Marx threw himself into scholarly work, writing Capital
as an expert, ‘scientific’ account for posterity. Even here, Rancière (2004)
insists, Capital offers a rather odd science: it could not rely on mere facts
and figures, or laws and predictions for that matter, because these
arguments could be misunderstood or, worse, interpreted conventionally. It
also featured political infighting -- Rancière sees the famous discussion of
the secret dual nature of commodities as aimed at Proudhon’s notion of
worker cooperatives naively exchanging goods as much as at bourgeois
political economy. As the increasingly frail Marx developed a consoling
‘sacrifice ethic’, in modern terms, his changing priorities became clear – he
would spend his time deepening his expertise, exhaustively reading the
work on agrarian ground rents, say, at the expense of any direct
involvement in politics.
Althusser, Science and Ideology
In a more contemporary version of the debate, Althusser’s essay on
‘ideological state apparatuses’ (Althusser, 1977) became well known
among educationalists in particular, since it nominated the education system
as one of the major apparatuses. The argument showed that ideology could
be embedded in practices as well as ideas (Rancière claims that he
suggested this to Althusser, and reference to 'a power organized in a
number of institutions' appears in Rancière. 1974, p. 6).
166 Harris – Rancière: Pedagogy and Politics
Althusser’s notion of ‘ideology in general’ turned on the practices by
which people came to think of themselves as free individuals. The
education system showed the mechanism at its most effective, although
Althusser borrowed terms to describe the process from the operation of the
Church (‘hailing’), and the legal system, (‘interpellation’). The operations
of these systems convinced people that they were autonomous subjects, but
only at the price of acceptance of the process. To develop the educational
example, more explicitly than Althusser did, students have to subject
themselves to the teaching and assessment system that reserves the right to
grade them, and expresses ideological values as it does so: for those who
succeed, there is the gratifying sense that they have become capable,
mature, autonomous individuals.
However, this essay was greeted in British radical circles with almost
unanimous critique, often of an unusually personal and bitter nature. The
essay left no room for any sort of resistance to the operation of the
apparatuses, by radical teachers and students in particular. To quote just one
influential critique (Erben & Gleason, 1977, p. 73):
[Althusser’s approach] fails to adequately address the processes
through which those who work in schools may act to influence both
the conditions of their work, and the wider social context of which
schooling is a part...it is necessary that...teachers and students be
regarded as important .
Althusser would doubtless have replied by seeing what he called
‘heroic’ teachers as important in a comradely and sympathetic way, but this
sort of reaction is clearly humanist and thus open to the critique outlined
below.
Althusser attempted to rehabilitate Marxism as a distinct science, in the
face of what had been the dominant humanist trend, which was to read
Marx instead as one of a number of philosophers advocating the cause of
‘Man’ as a free agent. Marx’s early works did seem to offer a focus on the
dehumanising operations of the economic system, which alienated people
from each other, from the products of their labour, and from their very
nature, or ‘species being’. Alienation operated through a process of
reification, where human constructs, like economic and social relations,
took on a thing-like fixed quality, becoming seemingly immovable and
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 167
unchangeable. However, Althusser and Balibar (1975) argued that these
‘humanist’ readings of Marx, including Sartre’s, were mistaken, and that
the early work was eventually to be rejected in favour of a more mature
science, which developed distinctive concepts, especially ‘mode of
production’. Only these concepts enabled the scientific, valid, investigation
of concrete social and political structures. Communist parties would use
the findings to offer the masses the correct line in politics and steer them
away from ideologies.
Rancière (2011a) offers a technical critique. Ironically echoing Marx on
Proudhon, he says that the first step in domesticating Marxism is always to
turn it into an abstract philosophy. This process of abstraction is seen best
in Althusser’s famous division between science and ideology, developed
after inputs from a number of concrete sources, including a cautious
account of science in the Soviet Union, yet looking as if it is a purely
scholarly discovery from rereading Marx. Althusser actually relied on other
bourgeois philosophers of science, especially Spinoza on ‘structural
causality’, admitted in Althusser (1976).
Once established, the science/ideology split could then be applied to
contemporary politics, such as defending the French Communist Party line,
using the authority of its Marxist science against various popular forms of
protest outside the Party. In particular, revolting students in May 1968 were
not seen as proper revolutionaries but as promoting petty bourgeois
ideologies and naïve spontaneism (Althusser, 2011). Rancière finally split
with Althusser over this, seeing students in 1968 as creative thinkers
offering new forms of emancipation, like their predecessors in the 1830s.
Echoes of this partisanship influence his critique of Bourdieu too, as we
shall see.
However, there are questions for Rancière as well. How was it that
Althusser and even Marx could not see where their commitments were
leading, while Rancière can? Something like a division between Rancièrian
science and Marxist ideology is surely implied here? Rancière suggests that
Althusser specifically turned a blind eye to some subsequent applications of
his work, or even manipulated the possibilities himself, in the cause of the
Party. Marx, however, incorporated personal tastes, political
disappointment, and a resigned exclusion from activist politics in a way
which he did not fully recognise or acknowledge. It is also possible to argue
168 Harris – Rancière: Pedagogy and Politics
that Marx and Althusser both understandably misrecognized their own
position, but this would be particularly ironic for Rancière, since he has
little time for the concept of misrecognition, as we shall see. In Rancière’s
own particular case, it might have been the struggles of 1968 that provided
the necessary experience to avoid misrecognition and intellectual
mystification. This is workable, but it now seems that social conditions
have to be right before critical intelligence or capacity develops, an
important qualification to the general argument.
Rancière seems to be basing the superiority of his stance on a conception
of himself as some free floating intellectual above these forms of political
commitment or bias, but his own activist commitments and preferences are
also clear. As an example of their influence, Rancière’s persuasive ‘literary’
style, seen best in the historical studies, could be read as the elaborated
views of a romantic reader of working class movements, finding
consolation in history after his own political defeats in the 1960s and 1970s.
Rancière’s aversion to the empirical, displayed well in his critique of
Bourdieu, below, also leaves him rather short of current cases to analyze.
He seems particularly incurious about modern examples of anarchosyndicalism, says Brown (2011), who cites arguments from modern groups
for expert analysis of currently complex patterns of ownership and control
instead of spontaneist movements like the workers’ occupation of single
factories admired by Rancière in the 1960s. As a result, the work of Marx
and Althusser is being revalued by current activists.
Rancière’s politics, based on the abstract axiom of equal intelligence
makes it difficult to connect with other current political struggles, like those
in feminism. Although his critique of Marx has helped question the
centrality of class, prioritising gender could also be problematic. Mejia (nd)
has argued, for example, that the specifics of the situation of groups such as
black poor women tend to get lost. Their position is based on their
particular experiences of colonialism, which provided a specific identity
produced by a complex combination of class, ‘race’ and gender. This can
put them at odds with more purist political positions, whether those of
white women or male anti-colonialists. The same specificity, and the need
to represent it in personal experience has meant they are marginalized by
Rancière’s theory as well, however, which speaks from a universalist
position.
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 169
Bourdieu and Sociology as a Self-Serving ‘Science of the Hidden’
We can see in Rancière’s critiques hints of some familiar sociological
themes, for example where it is argued that Marx seems to have mediated
his personal experience of reformist worker organizations through a system
of pre-established elite tastes. We could easily see these tastes as habitual,
that is located in a Bourdieuvian habitus, which explains their uncritical and
immediate application to the issues. It is therefore surprising, perhaps, to
find Rancière critiquing Bourdieu and his sociology with the same energy
that he displayed in his attack on Marxism.
A structured misrecognition by the masses runs throughout all
Bourdieu’s work, for Rancière (2004). Universities reproduce privilege for
the dominant groups, but this goes on behind the backs of those being
educated in schools and in universities themselves. They are prone to see
success as the result of particular ‘gifts’, Bourdieu and Passeron (1979)
argued, although there is a hidden connection between educational success
and the possession of cultural capital. Universities can thus pose as open to
everyone, operating on the basis of merit alone, but they conceal how their
very operations turn privilege into merit. This works so well that most
people exclude themselves in advance from even applying to universities,
on the familiar grounds that university ‘is not for them’, in a hidden
correspondence between ‘personal’ ambition and the requirements of
universities to reproduce the social relations of dominance. Rancière (2004,
p. 172) sarcastically renders this as arguing that 'the examination
dissimulates, in its dissimulation, the continuing elimination that
dissimulates itself in the school that pretends not to eliminate'.
Seeing these processes as hidden clearly leaves a role for the expert
analyst again, who alone can explain that the university curriculum is a
‘cultural arbitrary’ with an inexplicit and elitist pedagogy, which ignores its
most obvious ‘rational’ purpose to communicate academic knowledge.
However, Rancière argues that the analysis itself produces the entire system
of misrecognition as a methodological artefact, using a combination of
invalid evidence, and deeper disciplinary loyalties and dispositions.
Rancière focuses the methodological aspect of his critique on
Bourdieu’s (1984) massive study of leisure patterns in France, Distinction.
There are familiar problems affecting all empirical studies and they can be
170 Harris – Rancière: Pedagogy and Politics
found in Bourdieu’s work on education too. In Distinction, the problems are
central. In attempting to show how taste for music varies by social class, for
example, Bourdieu did not actually play any music to respondents, but
rather asked them questions about musical types. The results confirmed for
Bourdieu that the masses disliked classical music (Rancière’s version
would doubtless render this as being unable to appreciate elite music). For
Rancière however, these results ignored the complexity of actual musical
tastes: he notes that there has always been much mixing of musical genres,
and that classical music now appears as 'a disco hit tune, a movie
soundtrack, or in the background of a commercial' (Rancière 2004, p. 186).
The research itself widened social differences, and brought about 'the
suppression of intermediaries, of points of meeting and exchange' (189).
These charges have been much debated in discussions of Bourdieu, and,
indeed, in Bourdieu’s own work. Distinction is well-provided with material
for a more sympathetic reading, for example when Bourdieu acknowledges
that ‘certain categories were extremely heterogeneous, as regards both their
objective characteristics and their preferences’ (1984, p. 505). Bourdieu has
surely never been a naive empiricist, and he has always said that the point is
to use empirical data, with as few illusions as possible, in order to test and
develop theory. It is a practical matter of trading the loss of precision for a
gain in systematicity. The goal is to test hypotheses about the relations
between choices in tastes as an indicator of the relations between social
classes, not to offer full empirical explanations for actual tastes. He is also
well aware that other methods are required, and, indeed, uses them: an
initial programme of ‘extended interview and ethnographic observation’
(503), ongoing observations of real situations and questioning (also
apparent in the work on education, in Bourdieu and Passeron, 1979, for
example). Finally, there is a determined attempt to enable ‘the informed
reader’ (1984, p. 507) to check the work for themselves. By contrast,
Rancière simply asserts that all respondents must be producing ‘audience
effects’, giving inauthentic answers designed to placate the questioner or
some other imagined audience.
However, Rancière has another dimension to his critique. Regardless of
any technical merits, the research depends on there being special objects of
study -- symbolic practices -- which only sociology can study because they
are autonomous and material enough not to be grasped by economics or
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 171
philosophy. Bourdieu (1996, p. 73) sees the education system as having
central symbolic functions too, it might be added, offering 'the rite of
institution aimed at producing a separate, sacred group', a nobility, while
claiming to be simply technical and rational.
In order to patrol sociology’s boundaries, Bourdieu must read
philosophy as ideological, especially Kantian aesthetics as we shall see.
Marxism was seen as overemphasising the role of the relations of
production specifically, and both Marxist economics and philosophy were
recaptured by seeing them as elements of the doxa, to be studied themselves
as cultural phenomena. Philosophy reproduces aristocratic tastes, and
Marxism becomes part of the general disenchantment of the bourgeois
world, as particular cases 'of the economy of symbolic practices' (Rancière,
2004, p. 168). In the case of the masses, however, empirical studies are
required of their opinions and how they are ranked.
Rancière’s methodological and political critiques are therefore linked.
Bourdieu’s science might reject ‘positivism’ or ‘empiricism’, but it shares
their attempts to stabilize reality by developing discrete concepts and fixed
‘objective’ categories of social experience. In order to study special objects
known only to sociological experts, social and political volatility must be
contained.
A key aspect of the dispute with Bourdieu focuses on the 'Postscript:
Towards a "Vulgar" Critique of "Pure" Critiques' in Bourdieu (1984).
Bourdieu argues that the concepts of philosophy seem to be abstract ones,
derived from carefully reading earlier philosophers, and then worked up by
creative thought. However, some philosophers have clearly assumed the
value of political and social circumstances in their thought – and Plato’s
legitimation of the Athenian social order is the favourite target here, for
Bourdieu and Rancière. Philosophers imagine they can rise above the
effects of their own social locations altogether. In particular Kantian
theories of the aesthetic appear as:
totally ahistorical, like all philosophical thought that is worthy of the
name… [It is] perfectly ethnocentric, since it takes for its sole datum
the lived experience of a homo aestheticus who is none other than the
subject of aesthetic discourse constituted as the universal subject of
aesthetic experience (Bourdieu, 1984, p. 493)
172 Harris – Rancière: Pedagogy and Politics
Theories of pure taste display 'an empirical social relation' nonetheless
(Bourdieu, 1984, p. 490). An object which 'insists on being [simply]
enjoyed' is particularly threatening to the essential human power of making
judgments, for Kantians, because it offer 'a sort of reduction to animality,
corporeality, the belly and sex' (489). Since this bodily experience ‘“by no
means confer[s] credit or distinction upon its possessor”' (489), quoting
Kant, people who enjoy it must be vulgar. This is the basis of the
‘[essential] opposition between the cultivated bourgeoisie and the
people…barbarously wallowing in pure enjoyment’ (490). A pure aesthetic
is also constantly renewed as an occupational ideology for artists, and the
notion of pure intellectual activity has the same effect for ‘philosophy
professors’ who want to find their place between aristocracy and labour and
so develop a legitimizing ‘typically professorial aesthetic’: that also
explains their activities in ‘hunting down historicism and sociologism’
(493).
The legacy of Kantian approaches informs the current ‘high aesthetic’,
the working system of pure taste in contemporary France that is researched
and explored empirically in Distinction. Good taste is expressed in a
commitment to formalism, an emotional detachment, a discerning
discrimination based on an informed grasp of the formal properties of films,
paintings or literature. It deliberately distinguishes itself from the ‘popular
aesthetic’, based on emotional response, empathy and the enjoyment of
content. The two approaches are illustrated by actual responses by
respondents from different social classes seeing a photograph of an old
woman’s worn hands. A manual worker expressed immediate sympathy
with the suffering represented by the gnarled fingers, whereas a Parisian
(elite) engineer showed:
an aestheticising reference to painting, sculpture, or
literature...[which indicates]... the neutralization and distancing
which bourgeois discourse about the social world requires and
performs. “I find this a very beautiful photograph...It puts me in mind
of Flaubert’s old servant-woman”’ (Bourdieu, 1984, p. 45).
Rancière (2004) explains away the worker’s response as an audience
effect again. For him, Kant is being tactically re-read by Bourdieu to set up
criteria which can be tested, and Rancière sees this as positivist and wholly
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 173
inappropriate. As before, the method squeezes out any heterogeneity or
mixing of tastes. There is no recognition of struggles to recuperate minor
cultures or desacralize higher ones. Bourdieu seems unaware of past efforts
to popularize elite culture, and he dismisses efforts the other way around, so
to speak. When rebellious students in 1968 demanded to study popular texts
on their university courses, for example, Bourdieu saw this only as a
confirmation of class tastes in students, wanting to take revenge on their
professors, or a confirmation of the superior tastes of the most
knowledgeable bourgeois, who can manage vulgarity. Although Bourdieu
might disapprove of the system that upholds the opposition ‘between the
cultivated bourgeoisie and the people’ (Bourdieu 1984, p. 490), he comes to
support this opposition nonetheless.
Aesthetics
Above all, aesthetic sensibility can never be reduced to social class closure
nor domesticated by the language of sociologists. Rancière (2002) was to
develop the notion of the aesthetic as an autonomous area offering a unique
medium open to all. To summarize this extensive work, Rancière (2011b)
begins with a critique of radical forms of theatre that set out to involve the
audience. There we find the same division between the ignorant and the
knowledgeable, preserved even while attempting to undermine it. The book
goes on to argue that visual images offer the most democratic form, offering
the most accessible ‘pensive images’, (which provoke subjective thought in
the viewer), acting as the ‘third things’ discussed in the work on pedagogy.
There is also admiration for modern non-representational art forms as
having escaped conventions which then opens possible responses. Art has
become autonomous as far as social relations are concerned, and is
therefore potentially universal.
This work has inspired some recent radical experiments in aesthetic
education and pedagogy. Rancière’s views are contrasted favourably with
those of Freire, for example (Lewis, 2011). Freire uses images in his
‘culture circles’, but wants them to be decoded in a prescribed manner,
Lewis argues, rather than seeing students as 'creative interpreters and
translators' (2011, p. 39). This contradicts Freire’s democratic goals just as
in radical theatre. Lewis suggests instead that performance or installation art
174 Harris – Rancière: Pedagogy and Politics
offers a more promising form of open and emancipatory education.
More conventionally, Lambert (2011) describes her project aiming 'to
unsettle and redistribute social, cultural, political and economic power
geometries' and to construct different knowledge spaces at Warwick
University, UK. Rancière’s work provided 'rich theoretical resources'
(2011, p. 42), prompting thinking about how to transform classrooms to
produce different 'visceral and emotional affects'. Breaking with traditional
ways to present research findings, a multimedia exhibition format was
adopted instead in a new 'sensual space' (34). Students themselves had to
make decisions about how to use the space in different situations. Effects
were mixed and limited by the overall conventions of the University, but
teachers and students were prompted to think differently about knowledge
and about their roles, Lambert claims.
Rancière (2002) himself comes closes to recognising the need for some
sort of pedagogic intervention in these encounters, since there is a paradox
in contemporary art. It is autonomous enough to remain critical of popular
taste, but artistic works can become heteronomous, alien, inaccessible to the
public, which blocks critical impact. Some sort of expert explanation is
required to provide public access, but that would require the public to
submit to a hierarchical relation as they would need to learn something of
the specialist terminology of art and art criticism. Rancière does not
immediately dismiss any expert intervention here as reproducing ignorance
in the name of the ‘police order’. Instead, he acknowledges that there might
be a ‘certain undecidability in the “politics of aesthetics”’ (2002, p. 151).
Radical populism is not the only way to proceed in this case. He can only
suggest we should proceed by ‘playing a heteronomy against an autonomy
[and vice versa]… Playing one linkage between art and non art against
another such linkage’ (150).
This looks rather abstract but it might inform the specific proposals in
Pelletier and Jarvis (2013) discussing creative writing courses. They note
that Rancière has also argued for the value of preserving some conventional
artistic forms, like the narrative structure of novels, against fully avantgarde works that risked immediate rejection as incomprehensible. Realist
narrative in particular might be retained because it provides some sort of
‘molar’ structure within which more challenging ‘expressive’ moments
might be included. Overall, this is surely the familiar notion of ‘optimal
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 175
challenge’ in modern pedagogy, preserving a tactical balance between the
familiar and unfamiliar. Rancière needs to revise his conception of
pedagogy more generally, in both educational and political contexts, and
investigate empirical practices.
Rancière’s Method
Rancière’s methodology rules out conventional empirical investigations,
however. Interpreting the historical material can be taken as an illustration.
Biesta (2010) identifies the method as involving the merging of voices, but
this style is not used in all the other works, especially the critiques of rival
approaches. Instead, Rancière’s method is better grasped as a kind of
‘deconstruction’ (Reid’s Introduction to Rancière, 2012) borrowed from
Foucault, as we shall argue below.
Commenting on his own historical writing style, Rancière (2006, p. 20)
says it was:
necessary to blur the boundaries between empirical history and pure
philosophy; the boundaries between disciplines and the hierarchies
between levels of discourse. .. It was not a case of the facts and their
interpretation... what it came down to me to do was a work of
translation, showing how these tales of springtime Sundays and the
philosopher’s dialogues translated into one another. It was necessary
to invent the idiom appropriate to this translation and
countertranslation...this idiom could only be read by those who would
translate it on the basis of their own intellectual adventure.
It is also clear that Rancière is not claiming any positive concrete
findings from his historical review. These would be ‘“impossible”’ (Reid’s
Introduction to Rancière, 2012, p. xxviii), because there could be no science
of the emergence of socialism, and no attempt to represent with privileged
categories the voices of the excluded and voiceless. The only alternative
was to offer a knowledge that at least resists the dominant tendencies to
‘smother’ anything which is insupportable in conventional terms.
This is obviously close to Foucault’s attempt to organize ’an insurrection
of subjugated knowledges’, (Foucault 1980, p. 81) designed to:
176 Harris – Rancière: Pedagogy and Politics
entertain the claims to attention of local, discontinuous, disqualified,
illegitimate knowledges against the claim of a unitary body of theory
which would filter, hierarchise and order them in the name of some
true knowledge and some arbitrary idea of what constitutes a science
and its objects (83).
Foucault’s critique of positivism is also evident in Rancière’s discussion
of Marxist science, suggesting, more or less, that modern sciences emerge
as discourses uniting different elements of language, practice and
institutions. Discursive objects have their own rules of ordering, as
'practices that systematically form the objects of which they
speak' (Foucault, 1974, p. 49). Discursive formations relate together the
formation of objects, concepts, subject positions and strategic choices
(116). Specifically, Foucault (1979, p. 38) argues that we should attempt to
uncover discursive formations as ‘systems of dispersion, regularities in
choices’, rather than operate with categories such as science or ideology.
As a source of critique, Foucault could undermine any discourses
claiming universality, including Marxism, by restoring 'the system of
practical and discursive constraints that allowed [them] to be uttered at all'.
This critique is itself an example of 'the expressions through which the
struggle and questions of our present seek to give voice to a new freedom'
(Rancière, 2011a, 124), so discursive undermining becomes a kind of
political struggle in theory after all. Without immediate political relevance,
Rancière once saw philosophy as merely the ‘hum of cultural chit chat'
(Rancière 2011a, p. 113). Rancière’s early political positions included
Maoism as we have seen, and then ‘workerist humanism’ (Reid in
Rancière, 2012). In the ensuing absence of opportunities to practise his own
radical politics, perhaps Foucault helped provide a more abstract and
academic alternative in the politics of discourses.
A discursive turn could also underpin Rancière’s demand for radical
equality if we see that it is discourses, not individuals, which are
fundamentally equal. Discourses construct their own objects and
explanations, and there can be no hidden dimension that sociologists or
Marxists can investigate to explain them. Individuals might suffer from
amnesia about the processes of discursive construction, requiring the
service of a geneaologist, but discourses must always be transparent to
themselves ultimately. This ‘nominalism’ (Bosteels, 2011) also produces a
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 177
serious problem with relativism as we shall see.
Modern politics is now a matter of forming up dissenting discourses to
challenge boundaries established by conventional divisions of labour,
especially the mental/manual split. Rancière says this will disrupt ‘the
police order’. Biesta (nd) translates this into an abstract struggle for
inclusion in education more generally, a right to have one’s voice heard
despite discourses which disqualify. Rancière’s principles are unable to
distinguish between these discourses, however, and could be used to
support widely differing positions as we suggested. More generally, a
dilemma familiar to any practising pedagogue awaits in deciding whether to
include even those voices that would themselves not tolerate others.
Problems with Foucault and his politics can only be discussed briefly.
DeCerteau (1984) seems particularly appropriate here in connecting the
methodological and the political again. Optical and panoptical procedures
dominate Foucault’s more concrete accounts, for example, and these
procedures somehow emerge from a huge mass of detailed policies and
plans. But what privileges these particular procedures? For DeCerteau,
Foucault himself imposes coherence through the exhaustive nature of
details gathered from different sources, which leads to implicit claims for
universality. The key technique to manage and domesticate details is
narrative, but narrative skill is a matter of discernment or taste (which
would obviously give Bourdieu an opening). Foucault renders his work as
research which pretends to be 'eclipsed by the erudition and the taxonomies
that [his theory] manipulates' (1984, p. 80). Foucault and Rancière are both
very good at using rhetoric and detailed description -- ‘he [Foucault] makes
what he says appear evident to the public he has in view' (79).
For Baudrillard (1987), after Foucault everything became ‘politics’, and
so nothing distinctive could be studied. When Foucault announced that
power was dispersed through social life, it became inexplicable and
untraceable -- it disappeared. Well organized and well resourced politicians
will continue to dominate the politics of effective compulsion, without even
bothering to claim any symbolic dimensions to their activities. Baudrillard
(1987) says that Foucault (and Rancière, and perhaps even Biesta) seem to
be assuming some Deleuzian notion of a universal, pulsating, abstract
desire to make sense of the world, to produce unconventional and
rhizomatic discourses, but apathy is far more common among the masses,
178 Harris – Rancière: Pedagogy and Politics
and should be seen as a political strategy itself.
Conclusion
Rancière’s extensive work in a number of fields can be seen as offering an
important form of immanent critique, questioning whether egalitarian and
emancipatory proposals still leave sources of inequality unexamined.
Whether classic French school explication is widespread in a modern
education system is in doubt, but current pedagogies still need analysis to
decide whether they preserve a permanent distinction between the
knowledgeable and the ignorant.
The same points extend to radical theorising – even systematic and
insightful thinkers like Althusser, Bourdieu, Freire and Marx can still
produce contradictions and paradoxes. Marxism clearly has a
transformative emancipatory potential, and Mills (2008) demonstrates a
similar one in Bourdieu. However, Rancière points to a pedagogic form of
authoritarianism in both, where the very categories central to the
transformative process are available only to academic experts. However,
these contradictions really need to be actively investigated in concrete
circumstances, rather than insisting on a fundamental commitment to equal
intelligences as a safeguard.
There is an axiomatic and rather abstract and purist element in
Rancière’s work, and a scholastic relativism in addressing the nonaxiomatic. This helps him develop uncompromising critiques of any
position – but compromises are inevitable in concrete circumstances, and
abstract critique misses that some positions are more liberating than others.
Most of the writers he discusses operate with the paradoxes of attempting to
work within unequal systems, rather than opting for utopian solutions, and
this also includes most practising pedagogues. The debate with Bourdieu
shows the options. Bourdieu operates with the data on inequality that he can
access and with empirical techniques that have known flaws and limits.
Rancière’s axiom of equal intelligence stays uncontaminated by any such
flaws but he can offer only rhetoric and essentialist recognitions, using
case-studies, often of exceptional individuals.
Finally, many pedagogues would see the main site of workplace
despotism these days in neoliberal managerial regimes, and Foucaldian and
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 179
Rancièrian analysis would be useful as a source of critique to deny their
claims to universality. Rancière’s historical work might encourage
pedagogues and students to demand that they are treated as knowledgeable
human beings with a right to leisure and an aesthetic life, as much as did the
workers in France in the 1830s. Rediscovering the ‘equal intelligence’ of
educational personnel against managerial expertise could be useful to show
alternatives.
References
Althusser, L. (1969). For Marx. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.
Althusser, L. (1972). Politics and History, Part 2. New Left Books:
London.
Althusser, L. (1976). Essays in Self - Criticism. New Left Books.
Althusser, L. (1977). Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes
Towards an Investigation). In his Lenin and Philosophy and Other
Essays (pp. 122—76). London: New Left Books.
Althusser, L. (2011). Student problems. Radical Philosophy, 170, 8—15.
Althusser, L. & Balibar, E. (1975). Reading Capital. London: New Left
Books.
Baudrillard, J. (1987). Forget Foucault. New York: Semiotext(e) Foreign
Agents.
Biesta, G. (2010). A New Logic of Emancipation: the Methodology of
Jacques Rancière. Educational Theory, 60, 39--59. doi:
10.1111/j.1741-5446.2009.00345.x
Biesta, G. (nd) Democracy, Education and the Question of Inclusion.
University of Exeter, School of Education and Lifelong Learning,
Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU.
Bosteels, B. (2011). Reviewing Rancière. Or, the persistence of
discrepancies. Radical Philosophy 170, 25-31.
Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: a social critique of the judgment of taste.
London: Routledge.
Bourdieu, P. (1988). Homo Academicus. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Bourdieu, P. (1996) The State Nobility, with the collaboration of Monique
De Saint Martin. Cambridge: Polity Press.
180 Harris – Rancière: Pedagogy and Politics
Bourdieu, P. & Passeron, J--C. (1979). The Inheritors: French students
and their relation to culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Brown, N. (2011). Red years. Althusser's lesson, Rancière's error and the
real movement of history. Radical Philosophy, 170, 16 – 24.
De Certeau, M. (1984). The Practice of Everyday Life. University of
California Press: Berkeley.
Erben, M. & Gleason, D. (1977). Education as Reproduction: A critical
examination of some aspects of the work of Louis Althusser. In M.
Young & G. Whitty (Eds.) Society, State and Schooling, (pp. 73—
92), Ringmer: The Falmer Press.
Foucault, M. (1974). The Archaeology of Knowledge. London: Tavistock
Publications.
Foucault, M. (1977). Discipline and Punish: the birth of the prison.
London: Penguin Books.
Foucault, M. (1980). Power/Knowledge. Selected interviews and other
writings 1972—1977. Brighton: Harvester Press.
Lambert , C. (2011) Psycho classrooms: teaching as a work of art. Social
doi:
and
Cultural
Geography
12,
27--45.
10.1080/14649365.2010.542479
Marx, K.
(1847). The Poverty of Philosophy. Retrieved from
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/povertyphilosophy/ch02.htm
Marx, K. (1852). The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. Retrieved
from
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1852/18thbrumaire/
Marx, K. (1865). On Proudhon: Letter to JB Schweizer. Retrieved from
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1865/letters/65_01_24
.htm
Marx, K. & Engels, F. (1932) [1845—6] The German Ideology. Retrieved
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/germanfrom
ideology/
Marx, K. & Engels, F. (1848). Manifesto of the Communist Party.
Retrieved
from
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communistmanifesto/
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 181
Mejia, L. (nd). We speak in Tongues: A Woman of Colour Critique of
Jacques
Rancière’s
Political
Subject.
Retrieved
from
http://www.academia.edu/3575255/_We_Speak_In_Tongues_A_W
oman_of_Colour_Critique_of_Jacques_Rancières_Political_Subjec
Mills, C. (2008). Reproduction and Transformation of the Inequalities of
Schooling: the transformative potential of the theoretical constructs
of Bourdieu. British Journal of Sociology of Education 29, 79-89.
doi:10.1080/01425690701737481
Pelletier, C. & Jarvis, T. (2103). The Paradoxical Pedagogy of Creative
Writing.’ In O. Davies (Ed.) Rancière Now, (pp. 85—100),
Cambridge: Polity Press.
Rancière, J. (1974). On the theory of ideology (the politics of Althusser).
Radical Philosophy 7, 2-15.
Rancière, J. (1991). The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in
Intellectual Emancipation. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Rancière, J. (2002). The aesthetic revolution and its outcomes:
emplotments of autonomy and heteronomy. New Left Review 14,
Mar. – Apr.
Rancière, J. (2003). Politics and Aesthetics: an interview. Angelaki 8(2)
191-21.
Rancière, J. (2004). The Philosopher and His Poor. Durham: Duke
University Press.
Rancière, J. (2006). Thinking between disciplines: an aesthetics of
knowledge. Parrhesia 1, 1-12.
Rancière, J. (2011a) Althusser's Lesson. London: Continuum International
Publishing.
Rancière, J. (2011b). The Emancipated Spectator. London: Verso.
Rancière, J. (2012). Proletarian Nights: The Workers’ Dream in
Nineteenth Century France. London: Verso.
David Ernest Harris is Emeritus professor at University of St Mark
and St John.
Contact Address: Direct correspondence to David Ernest Harris at
University of St Mark and St John, Derriford Road, Plymouth, Devon
PL6 8BH, United Kingdom. E-mail: [email protected]
Instructions for authors, subscriptions and further details:
http://rise.hipatiapress.com
The Status, Roles and Challenges of Teaching English Language
in Ethiopia Context: the Case of Selected Primary and
Secondary Schools in Hawassa University Technology Village
Area
Mebratu Mulatu Bachore1
1) Hawassa University, Ethiopia
th
Date of publication: June 25 , 2015
Edition period: June 2015-October 2015
To cite this article: Harris, D.E. (2015). The Status, Roles and Challenges
of Teaching English Language in Ethiopia Context: the case of Selected
Primary and Secondary Schools in Hawassa University Technology Village
Area. International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2), 182-196. doi:
10.17583/rise.2015.1515
To link this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.17583/rise.2015.1515
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE
The terms and conditions of use are related to the Open Journal System
and to Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education Vol. 4 No. 2
June 2015 pp. 182-196
The Status, Roles and Challenges of Teaching English
Language in Ethiopia Context: the Case of Selected
Primary and Secondary Schools in Hawassa University
Technology Village Area
Mebratu Mulatu Bachore
Hawassa University
(Received: 13 May 2015; Accepted: 6 June 2015; Published: 25 June 2015)
Abstract
The main objectives of the study was to determine the status, roles and challenges of
teaching English Language in Ethiopia Context, particularly in Selected Primary and
Secondary Schools in Hawassa University Technology Village Area. The
participants were English language and natural science teachers, students and school
administrators. The research instruments employed to collect data were the
questionnaire and interview. According to the results of the study, there were serious
English language proficiency problems in the English teachers, students and
teachers of other subjects in the area. The problems ranged from their ability of
English language to their view which they were sharing to their students regarding
the language. Similarly, results showed that teachers of other subjects ignore the
language needs of students in content courses whenever they want to rush to cover
the syllabus. When the root of the problems was discovered, there are various
contributing factors such as poor capacity building activities, unavailability of
opportunities to use the language except the English class. Hence, English language
and other subject teachers should understand the learners’ need of English language
and the challenges the face, and employ different techniques and strategies to
alleviate the problems.
Keywords: roles of English, classroom challenges, interventions, EFL
2015 Hipatia Press
ISSN: 2014-3575
DOI: 10.17583/rise.2015.1515
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education Vol. 4 No. 2
June 2015 pp. 182-196
El Estatus, Roles y Desafíos de la Enseñanza de Inglés en
el Contexto de Etiopía: El Caso de las Escuelas
Primarias y Secundarias Seleccionadas en Hawassa
University Technology Village Area
Mebratu Mulatu Bachore
Hawassa University
(Recibido: 13 Mayo 2015; Aceptado: 6 Junio 2015; Publicado: 25 Junio
2015)
Resumen
El principal objetivo del estudio fue determinar el estatus, roles y desafíos de la
enseñanza del Inglés en el contexto de Etiopía particularmente en escuelas primarias
y secundarias seleccionadas en la Universidad de Tecnología Hawassa Village Area.
Los participantes fueron estudiantes y profesores de Inglés y ciencias naturales y
administradores de la escuela. Los instrumentos de investigación utilizados para
recopilar datos fueron el cuestionario y la entrevista. Según los resultados del
estudio, hubo serios problemas de competencia lingüística en Inglés en los
profesores de inglés y de otras asignaturas, y en estudiantes. Los problemas iban
desde su capacidad en el idioma hasta lo que desde su punto de vista estaban
compartiendo con sus estudiantes. Los resultados mostraron que los profesores de
otras asignaturas ignoran las necesidades lingüísticas de los estudiantes en los cursos
de contenido debido a la prisa para cubrir el programa de estudios. Cuando se
descubrió la raíz del problema, hay varios factores que contribuyen, como las escasa
capacidad de creación de actividades, y la falta de disponibilidad de oportunidades
para usar el lenguaje. Por lo tanto, los profesores de inglés y otras asignaturas deben
entender la necesidad del idioma y los desafíos de cara a los alumnos, y emplear
diferentes técnicas y estrategias para mitigar los problemas.
Palabras clave: roles del Inglés, desafíos del aula, intervenciones, EFL
2015 Hipatia Press
ISSN: 2014-3575
DOI: 10.17583/rise.2015.1515
184 Bachore – Teaching English Language in Ethiopia Context
T
he global spread of English over the last 40 years is remarkable.
It is unprecedented in several ways: by the increasing number of
users of the language; by its depth of penetration into societies
and by its range of functions. According to US Bureau of
Educational and Cultural Affairs, in worldwide over 1.4 billion people live
in countries where English has official status. One out of five of the world’s
population speaks English with some degree of competence. And by 2000,
one in five- over one billion people- will also be learning English. Over
70% of the world’s scientists read English. About 85% of the world’s mail
is written in English. And 90% of all information in the world’s electronic
retrieval systems is stored in English. By 2010, the number of people who
speak English as a second or foreign language will exceed the number of
native speakers (Hasman, 2009). This shows that English is used for more
purposes than ever before.
The present government (Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopian)
revived and strengthened the role of English as a medium of instruction. It
has been stated that the New Education and Training Policy, in1994, has
capitalized the role that English plays in the education system and the
recent introduction of English as a subject starting from Grade one and the
allocation of greater English contact hours at tertiary level indicate the
present government‘s concern and commitment to improve the quality of
English (Hailemichael, 1993; Haregwoine, 2008).
Since the introduction of the New Education and Training Policy in
1994, English has been taught as a subject in Grade 1 in all regions, without
exception. Some private schools even went to the extent of using English as
a medium of instruction at the primary level. Apart from this, according to
the policy, regional governments may determine their own policies on the
language of education in Grades 1 to 8. Thus in some regions local
languages are used as medium of instruction (MOI) in Grades 7 and 8 (e.g.
in Oromiya, Somali, and Tigray regions), in others English is still used as
MOI for non-language subjects (e.g. Gambella, SNNP State), and in yet
others English is partially used as MOI to teach science and mathematics
(e.g. Amhara Region).
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 185
Statement of the Problem
Schools are institutions where youths are prepared to address economic,
environmental, and cultural problems of their world. This requires active
participation and proper communication with every individual in the society
which they are going to join. In order to be active problem solvers, they
should be able to think with clarity, imagination, and empathy. Literacy
instruction is one avenue through which such contemporary critical
thinking might be taught (Kress, 2003). To accomplish this in global
manner, need to have citizens who express their critical thoughts in English
language which is becoming a tool for global communication.
These days, there is no doubt on the fact that the English language is
becoming something of a forerunner in global communication. It is the
language of choice in most countries of the word. Almost 70% of the
Internet is in English (Hasman, 2009). A good volume of the services
rendered through the internet is also in English. Thus, English is playing a
very significant role in bringing the world together. Therefore, many people
are involved in the job of teaching English to people of foreign origin.
In spite of the heightened interest in the English language, teachers often
face various difficulties and challenges while teaching English as a foreign
language. In addition, students could not follow their studies in different
academic institutions because their knowledge of English was poor and the
teachers could not help their students since they themselves were not good
at English (Alamiraw, 2005). Also, it is not specifically indicated where the
problem lies and what kind of difficulty that students and English language
teachers experience in their classroom. Even, the extent to which each
problems are related, and their major sources are not identified yet. Hence,
it is ideal to investigate the ongoing problems and challenges so as to
suggest possible intervention strategies. Similarly, it right to sort out the
problems related to students, teachers and schools so as to design possible
solutions.
Objectives of the Study
The study was conducted:
 Investigate the status of English language in the Hawassa
186 Bachore – Teaching English Language in Ethiopia Context



University technology village schools,
Identify the major challenges in teaching English in the schools,
Sort out the sources challenges experienced by students, teachers
and schools, and
Suggest strategies of intervention to solve the problems.
The Significance of the Study
The study was conducted in the schools which are in HU technology village
areas. Therefore, the teachers of English language and other subjects are
beneficiaries of the study as it clearly sorted out the problems and the
possible solutions related to the teaching of English language. Furthermore,
the study helps students to promote their ability of English language
indirectly. Similarly, institutions and organizations who are working in the
area get inputs for further interventions.
Reviews of Related Literature
English language has several and strong functions/roles in Ethiopia too. Of
those roles English is playing in Ethiopia, the educational/instructional role
is the long standing and dominant one. Trade and business communication,
advertisement and entertainment, administration and office communication
are some of the other growing roles English is fulfilling.
Educational Roles: English is taught as a subject from grade one and is
a medium of instruction from grade nine through colleges and universities
nation-wide. All universities in the country are supposed to use English as
their working language; they ought to produce documents, hold meetings,
write minutes and reports, etc. in English.
Apart from these nationally consistent practices, different regions have
adopted different regional policies and attitudes towards English in their
education system; some of the regions have made English to be a medium
of instruction from grade 5, some from grade 7 and some from grade 9
(Heugh et al, 2006). In those, schools students are supposed to carry out
their academic activities in English language. Especially, students are
required to read different academic books which are written in English
language. They are also required to demonstrate their understanding in the
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 187
form of term paper, assignment, project work and various reports through
English. Moreover, English language ability is mandatory even to access
information about different government institutions including the FDRE
Ministry of Education.
English in Entertainment and Media: One of the areas where English
is most accessible in Africa, which Ethiopia also shares, is probably
entertainment and the media. Though there are some local entertainment
videos, video films produced in Hollywood have inundated African/
Ethiopian urban areas. Football is another popular social event to which
Ethiopians have access through English, the English Premier League being
the most famous program. Television has played a significant role in
captivating Africans’/ Ethiopians’ attention. Despite some countries’
unwillingness to privatize their state-owned television companies (Shamim,
2008) or expand the range of their broadcasts, many international news and
entertainment programs are available for free or fee through private satellite
dishes.
In Ethiopia, by the 1990s, English was still rarely used in the media:
there was only one official newspaper, The Ethiopian Herald, one
television program and one radio broadcast in English (which was limited
to one hour per day). Today, radio broadcasts have still not changed much,
apart from FM stations transmitting music in English. But we now have far
more English language newspapers than ever before. The total number of
newspapers has increased dramatically from three to more than 15. A
simple internet search generates list of current print and online English
newspapers and magazines (15 in number).
Internet-based communication has also grown rapidly over recent years,
thanks to the expansion of IT facilities. Hence, people can access online
international news outlets, including the BBC and CNN. Despite the
relatively small number of citizens who are literate in English, it is amazing
to observe the eagerness of many – especially young people – to chat in
English. Several websites are available (including BBC opinion columns)
where Africans can debate politics, economics and so on.
English as the “Language of Diplomacy”: African countries use
English as one of the major working languages at AU meetings, seminars
and conferences. The leaders, policy makers and experts meet in different
cities in Africa to debate multifaceted issues, mostly using English. For
188 Bachore – Teaching English Language in Ethiopia Context
instance, AU parliamentary meetings are often conducted in English with
parallel translations into other international working languages such as
Arabic, French or Portuguese. Similar, in other continental organizations
like COMESSA, NEPAD, EGAD, etc. which Ethiopia has a leading role
either in hosting or chairing the sessions, African leaders come together to
debate different development issues (such as climate negotiations, peace
and stability, etc.) using English.
University professors who participated in the 5th International
Conference on Federalism, held in Ethiopia in December 2010, reported
that – although participants came from many countries where languages
other than English are spoken – all the sessions were conducted in English.
This indicates that English language literacy is quite vital to participate and
maintain mutual interest through negotiation.
Methods and Materials
Research Design
The study was a survey which was conducted on selected primary and
secondary schools in Hawassa University Technology Village. The survey
encompasses both qualitative and quantitative data.
Setting and Participants
As the study was a survey, it encompassed limited number of primary and
secondary schools. Hence, from the technology village, three secondary
schools; Tabour, Yirgalem and Wondogenet Secondary Schools were
selected based on their locations (clusters). In addition, four primary
schools were selected randomly. These are Ethiopia Tikdem, Dila Afrara,
Soyama and Morocho primary Schools.
The participants were English language and natural science teachers,
students and school administrators. From Each secondary school, two, ten
and two teachers, students and school administrators were selected
respectively through random sampling. Moreover, two, four and three
teachers, students and administrators were selected respectively. That
means 14 teachers, 46 students and 14 school administrators involved in the
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 189
study. Among the teachers, one from each school was a natural science
teacher.
Research Instruments
The research instruments employed to collect data were the questionnaire
and interview. The questionnaire was designed by the researcher by
adapting previously developed standard questionnaire in the area (Heugh
eta.al, 2006). This was done to maintain the validity and reliability of the
tool. It was administer to the selected English language teachers and
administrators. The data collected though the questionnaire was
quantitative. On the other hand, the interview which incorporated five basic
questions was administered to the students in different levels so as to collect
the required information. It was used to collect the qualitative data.
Data Collection and Analysis Procedures
First, the data was collected through administering the questionnaire to the
English teachers and school and administrators. Then, the students were
interviewed by the researcher and his assistant. This was a procedure that
was chosen to be followed so as to manage the data properly.
Regarding the analysis, the data from the questionnaire took the former
position as it was more of quantitative. Accordingly, the data was computed
in numerical figures and then analyzed in texts. Then after, the data from
the interview was analyzed in texts based on the thematic topics that were
sorted out based on the objectives of the research. That means, the data
from the interview was organized under main issues which were expected
to be treated in the objectives.
Results and Discussions
General Perception of English Language Status
The participants were asked about the significance of English language and
the status of teachers’ and students proficiency of English language. All
teacher and school administrators, except one English teacher who was
190 Bachore – Teaching English Language in Ethiopia Context
attending his third for degree, had BA/ BSc degree in their field.
Accordingly, regarding the significance of English Language, 100%
responded that it is very important for academic success. However, when it
comes to the teachers’ Skills and proficiency in English language in the
level they are teaching, 70% responded as ‘Very low’, 26% ‘Medium’ and
4% ‘High’. Surprisingly, their students’ English language ability was
termed ‘Very Low’ by 100% of the respondents.
Reasons for Poor Competence in English Language
The respondents were asked to explain the reasons behind the students’
poor skills and performance in English language. Among the lists, the most
common ones which were forwarded by 60% and more of the respondents
indicated the following ones. The reasons are sorted out in category for a
smooth discussion.
Table 1
Students Related Problems
No
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Specified Reasons
didn’t attend pre-school
Automatic promotion
Mother tongue influence (similar
representation of sounds in symbols)
The attempt of learning is only in Eng.
Class; (only limited time is given)
Considering English language as
something difficult to learn;
Being shy;
Not motivated to attend
Respondents in %
100%
67%
60%
Remarks
87%
94%
61%
72%
According to the above table, student related problems which were
confirmed by 80% and above population are not attend pre-school, the
attempt of learning is only in Eng. Class; (only limited time is given) and
considering English language as something difficult to learn. This indicates
that the students have wrong perception regarding the language. In addition,
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 191
it conveys the need to bridge gaps which are due to failure to attend
preschool class.
Table 2
Teacher Related Problems
No
1
2
3
4
5
Specified Problems
Poor level of encouraging students
during their attempt;
Using mother tongue frequently in
English period;
Not encourage to use the language in
other contexts and places;
Failure in using varieties of teaching
methods depending on the classroom
dynamics;
Don’t attempt to raise the awareness of
the students about the language;
Respondents in %
91%
Remarks
98%
86%
93%
86%
The above table clearly shows that most of the problems specified
towards the teachers were shared by almost all respondents as more than
85% of the respondents agreed in each problem. This shows that
intervention is required to alleviate those problems related to the teachers.
Especially, poor level of encouraging students during their attempt, using
mother tongue frequently in English period and failure in using varieties of
teaching methods depending on the classroom dynamics.
192 Bachore – Teaching English Language in Ethiopia Context
Table 3
Related to the Schools
No
1
2
3
4
Specified Problems
No resource allocation to Eng.
Language improvement;
No training, capacity building;
Failed to facilitate sharing experience
among teachers,
Giving emphasis not to the practical
progress rather to quantitative results
and scores;
Respondents in %
97%
Remarks
100%
88%
100%
Table 3 displays the causes of school related problems that contribute
for the students’ poor performance in English. Accordingly, all teachers,
100%, confirmed that they had not given any capacity building training of
the teaching of English language. Likewise, they said that schools give due
emphasis for the quantitative results of the students, not their actual
performance. Similarly, 97% and 88% respondents disclosed that schools
don’t allocate resources for the improvement of English and don’t give any
opportunity to share experiences with teachers in other schools respectively.
This implies that though the extent of the problems is different, the listed
problems are the common causes by which school administrators contribute
to the poor performances of their learners in English language.
Problems of English Language Learning Associated to Science
Teachers
In the study, natural science teachers were involved. Accordingly, they
forwarded the following problems which are associated to them:
 teachers who teach content do not recognize language learning
opportunities,
 having to learn a new language and required to acquire new subject
matter;
 Consider it to be of marginal relevance to the learning of science;
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 193


teachers ignore the language needs of students in content courses
when under pressure to cover the syllabus;
If, at all, there is any effort at all in incorporating language
development, they just concentrate on vocabulary development,
Suggested Strategies of Intervention
The stakeholders- teachers, students and the school administrators were
asked to suggest possible intervention strategies so as to alleviate problems
that are related to the teaching of English language in order improve the
learners’ performance. The following are among the common suggestions
forwarded.
Table 4
Suggested Strategies of Intervention
For Students
 Should be
encouraged to take
more time to
practice
 Avoid becoming
shy in class;
 Give due attention
to the procedures
that the teacher
gives in a class;
 Should work their
assignments, class
and home works;
 Perform activities
in group and pairs,
even after class;
For Teachers (English/
Other Subjects in
English
 Use variety of
techniques/
Methodologies of
real context such as
short dialogues,
dramas, songs,
poems, etc
 Let students
participate actively
in class;
 Design program for
students to carry
out different
activities such as
reading, etc.
 Read different
reference materials
to scale up their
competence;
For School
Administrators
 Setting English
language clubs,
 English language
day- Awareness;
 Setting English
mini- media in
schools;
 Design a training
and experience
sharing for English
teachers; and
 Make learning
materials such as
teacher’s book and
student’s text
available.
194 Bachore – Teaching English Language in Ethiopia Context
Conclusions and Recommendations
Conclusions
Many countries throughout the world are beginning to see English as a
basic educational requirement for all rather than simply as a desirable
accomplishment for some (Maurais & Morris, 2003). In addition, the latest
and the most advanced discoveries and inventions in science and
technology are being made available in English language which is
becoming the means of scientific discourse. Developing countries, like
Ethiopia, are in need of these scientific knowledge and technology.
However, the results of study have boldly revealed that the status of
English language is very poor in the primary and secondary schools.
Furthermore, this was common for the English teachers, students and
teachers of other subjects. The problem seems deep rooted due to various
contributing factors such as poor capacity building activities, unavailability
of opportunities to use the language except the English class and etc.
The problem was not only limited to the English language but also
extended to other subject teachers. In this case, the problem was both their
ability of English language and their view which they were sharing to their
students regarding the language. The students disclosed that teachers of
other subjects ignore the language needs of students in content courses
whenever they want to rush to cover the syllabus. If at all, the only
opportunity they give to their students was vocabulary, even that was by
translating in to mother tongue or Amaharic.
Recommendations
Thus, it is a high time to reform the way of teaching English language in the
way that it assist students (future professionals) to deal with the latest
scientific inquiries and technologies. Therefore, the following are
recommended suggestions to minimize the problem:
 Schools should develop additional programs as an opportunity for
students to practice the language more. In addition, the established
ELIC should work actively in student centered manner. Schools
should supply books, electronic technologies (DVD, TV, internet and
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(2) 195
other audio visual technologies) which reasonably build students
language ability.
 English language teachers should design important program and
activities based on their learners’ social and cultural context. Also,
they are expected to carry out research activities on how to develop
the learners’ (even adult learners) English language proficiency, and
they should advice their learners to increase their motivation to
practice English.
 Both English language and other subject teachers should get
intensive capacity building training so as to develop not only their
English language skills but also their attitude and understanding
towards the role of English language to their students in relation to
developing the learners’ subject wise knowledge.
 Learners should be trained to take responsibility for their own
learning and exploit opportunities which they encounter out of their
classes. They should not wait opportunities to come to them rather
they should create them. They should change their attitude and
motivate themselves considering the world wide influence of English
language.
References
Alamiraw G. (2005). A Study on Perception of Writing, academic
Instructions and Writing Performance. Addis Ababa (PhD
dissertation).
Barker, D. (2009). Readings on ELT materials. In S. Menon and J.
Lourdunathan (Eds.), Readings on ELT Materials. Petaling Jaya,
Malaysia: Pearson Malaysia.
Hailemichael A. (1993). Developing a service English syllabus to meet the
academic demands and constraints in the Ethiopian university
context. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Addis Ababa University: Addis
Ababa.
Haregewoin A. (2008). The effect of Communicative Grammar on the
accuracy of Academic Writing. Addis Ababa (PhD dissertation).
196 Bachore – Teaching English Language in Ethiopia Context
Hasman A. & Melvia A. (2009). U.S. Department of State, Bureau of
Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language
Programs, 39(1).
2010http://exchanges.state.gov/forum/vols/vol38/no1/p2.htm
Heugh, K., Benson, C., Berhanu B., Mekonnen A. (2006). Study on
Medium of Instruction in Primary Schools in Ethiopia, Final Report.
Ministry of Education, Addis Ababa. Unpublished paper.
http://www.vsointernational.org/where-wework/ ethiopia.asp.
Accessed on the 21st of October 2010.
Kress, G. (2003). Literacy in the new media age. New York, NY:
Routledge.
Maley, A. (2009). Global English: Implications to classroom . Com
TESOL Journal, 56(5), 16-20.
Maurais, J., & Morris, M. A. (Eds.) (2003). Languages in a globalising
world.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Metsheng, L. (2009). The Challenges of Teaching English in Ethiopia.
Retrived November 19, 2009
http://www.articlesbase.com/languages-articles/
Shamim, F. (2008). Trends, issues and challenges in English language
education in Pakistan. Asia Pacific Journal of Education 28(3), 235249. doi: 10.1080/02188790802267324
Mebratu Mulatu Bachore is Lecturer at School of Language Studies
and Communication, Hawassa Universitu, Hawassa Ethiopia.
Contact Address: Direct correspondence to Mebratu Mulatu Bachore
at School of Language Studies and Communication, Hawassa
Universitu, Hawassa University, Ethiopia. E-mail:
[email protected]
Instructions for authors, subscriptions and further details:
http://rise.hipatiapress.com
Organización de Centros Educativos en la Sociedad del
Conocimiento
Carlos Gómez1
1) University Rovira i Virgili, Spain
Date of publication: June 25th, 2015
Edition period: June 2015-October 2015
To cite this article: Gómez, C. (2015). Organización de Centros Educativos
en la Sociedad del Conocimiento [Review of the Book]. International Journal
of Sociology of Education, 4(2), 197-198. doi: 10.17583/rise.2015.1577
To link this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.17583/rise.2015.1577
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE
The terms and conditions of use are related to the Open Journal System
and to Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education Vol.4 No.2
June 2015 pp. 197-198
Reviews (I)
Cantón Mayo, I. y Pino Juste, M. (Coords.). (2014). Organización de
centros educativos en la sociedad del conocimiento. Madrid, Alianza
Editorial
a organización escolar ha sido abordada desde diferentes disciplinas.
La pedagogía, la psicología, el derecho o la sociología son solo
algunas de las que habitualmente encontramos información
específica, pero es precisamente ese hecho el que, en cierto modo,
nos da una visión sesgada de la importancia y del papel que la organización
escolar juega en el aprendizaje del alumnado y en la mejora de los centros
educativos.
La obra que coordinan Isabel Cantón y Margarita Pino suple esa carencia
ofreciendo a los lectores múltiples perspectivas sobre los aspectos
fundamentales de la organización escolar, desde su carácter epistemológico,
el marco normativo, la organización del centro, el profesorado o la
planificación, hasta los modelos de agrupamiento del alumnado o la
dirección escolar. Y, aunque diferentes capítulos del libro abordan nociones
fundamentales desde el punto de vista de la Sociología de la Educación
como son el papel que la sociedad, las familias, los profesores y los propios
estudiantes juegan en la organización de los centros; la diversidad de temas
se aborda desde un marco en el que, partiendo de una contextualización de la
organización escolar en sí misma, se diferencian 3 dimensiones: la
normativa, la interna del centro y, finalmente, la dimensión innovadora.
La primera dimensión aborda la influencia de la política educativa en el
propio centro, la influencia de la legislación y la normativa propia de los
centros educativos así como el papel de los estudiantes y profesores en
términos de participación en el centro.
La dimensión interna permite desgranar, a lo largo de diferentes
capítulos, los papeles de los sujetos que viven la escuela: alumnos,
profesores y directores y los agrupamientos dentro de las escuelas. Es decir,
hacer un análisis en profundidad de la organización del centro, tanto de las
L
RISE – International Journal of Sociology of Education, 3(2) 198
estructuras de carácter formal como la organización informal que ocurre en
cada centro.
Finalmente, la dimensión innovadora de la organización de centros,
fundamental desde el prisma de que es a través del conocimiento
organizativo como posibilita la mejora de los centros en particular y de la
educación en general.
Es precisamente este último aspecto el que resulta más importante para el
ámbito de la Sociología de la Educación en tanto en cuanto se aborda el
papel transformador de la escuela y de los sujetos que en ella se encuentran.
En este sentido, el capítulo “Cambio y mejora en los centros educativos”
presenta la innovación y el cambio como oportunidades para mejorar los
centros y discute cuáles son las condiciones para que, además de darse
cambios, éstos sean exitosos; cabe destacar el análisis sobre el papel del
profesorado y de los directivos como agentes de cambio en la búsqueda de la
mejora de los centros escolares así como en la creación de conocimiento
colectivo.
En la misma línea, el capítulo “Comunidad profesional de práctica”
aborda precisamente las relaciones interpersonales que se dan en la escuela,
no únicamente de manera informal, sino que la promoción de una actitud
cooperativa, apoyo entre docentes, comunicación en red, liderazgo
distribuido o reflexión sobre la práctica, permite perseguir las mejoras que
necesitan las escuelas.
En definitiva, aunque tiene especial importancia desde la Sociología de la
Educación pro abordar el papel de los diferentes colectivos y las mejoras de
los centros educativos, se trata de una obra que, por su interdisciplinariedad
y siempre desde el rigor científico, resulta no únicamente un buen manual
para alumnos de diferentes disciplinas, sino que puede servir de apoyo para
cualquier miembro de la comunidad educativa.
Carlos Gómez, Universidad de Zaragoza
[email protected]

Documentos relacionados