Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making

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KEY WORDS: Poststructuralism; Class Analysis; Marxism; Political Economy.
Gérin-Lajoie, D. (2002). Identité bilingue et jeunes en Milieu francophone minoritaire: Un phénomène complexe. NALL Working Paper No. 62. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT. Available at:
La présente communication examine les parcours identitaires d’un groupe d’adolescents et d’adolescentes qui fréquentent l’école secondaire minoritaire de langue française. Cet examen se fait à partir du discours tenu par les jeunes sur le sujet et à partir des représentations qu’ils se font de ces parcours identitaires, en tenant compte du fait que ces représentations résultent de leur trajectoire de vie. Partant du principe que l’identité s’acquiert et constitue en fait une construction sociale (Barth, 1969; Juteau-Lee, 1983), qu’elle n’est donc pas quelque chose d’innée, la présente communication se penche sur la façon dont la notion d’identité s’articule chez les adolescents et les adolescentes, en s’intéressant plus précisément au discours tenu à ce sujet par ces derniers en tant qu’individus appartenant à une minorité linguistique. L’analyse proposée reconnaît au départ le rôle essentiel tenu par la langue dans le processus de construction et de représentation identitaires des individus. La langue est en effet au centre des rapports sociaux, puisque c’est en très grande partie par le biais de la communication que ces rapports s’établissent. Les résultats d’un programme de recherche de trois ans, récemment complété, serviront à illustrer ma réflexion. Les données ethnographiques recueillies auprès d’un groupe d’adolescentes et d’adolescents vivant en Ontario montrent, entre autres, que le processus de construction identitaire représente un phénomène des plus complexes et que les parcours identitaires, de même que les représentations que s’en font les jeunes sont dans un état de perpétuelle mouvance (From introduction).
KEY WORDS: Power Relations; Social Inequality; Work; Learning; Work and Learning Relationships.

Gouthro, P. A. (2002). Education for sale: At what cost? Lifelong learning and the marketplace. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 21(4), 334-346.

Critical and feminist analyses illustrate how the marketplace has influenced lifelong learning discourses to emphasize competition and individualism. Justice, equity, and critical thinking are suppressed when the marketplace predominates in education.
KEY WORDS: Competition; Critical Theory; Discourse Analysis; Economic Factors; Equal Education; Individualism; Lifelong Learning; Role of Education.

Green, A., Preston, J., & Sabates, R. (2003). Education, equality, and social cohesion: A distributional approach. Compare, 33(4), 453-470.

This article distinguishes social capital from societal cohesion and argues that education acts in different ways for each. The article goes on to develop a distributional model showing the relationship between equality of educational outcomes and various measures of social cohesion. A discussion of theories explaining country trends and variations in educational inequality and social inheritance in education is also presented.
KEY WORDS: Adult Literacy; Comparative Analysis; Comparative Education; Cultural Pluralism; Educational Policy; Equal Education; Foreign Countries; Global Approach; Learning Processes; Life Style; Secondary Education; Social Capital; Social Integration; Socialization.

Ground, I. E. (Ed.). (2000). Lifelong learning, equity and inclusion. Proceedings of the UACE Conference, March 29-31, 1999: Cambridge, UK: Universities Association for Continuing Education.

This document contains 41 plenary papers, speeches, papers, abstracts, and workshop presentations from a conference on continuing education, lifelong learning, equity, and inclusion in further education (FE) and higher education (HE). Some papers contain substantial bibliographies.
KEY WORDS: Access to Education; Adjustment (to Environment); Adult Learning; Articulation (Education); Case Studies; Change Agents; Community Education; Continuing Education; Corporate Education; Disabilities; Distance Education; Education Work Relationship; Educational Change; Educational Needs; Educational Policy; Educational Technology; Equal Education; Ethnic Groups; Experiential Learning; Foreign Countries; Inclusive Schools; Individual Development; Lifelong Learning; Mainstreaming; Minority Groups; Needs Assessment; Open Education; Parent School Relationship; Partnerships in Education; Postsecondary Education; Rural Education; School Business Relationship; Sex Differences; Social Integration; Staff Development; Student Educational Objectives; Technology Education.

Guthrie, J. W., & Springer, M. G. (2004). Returning to square one: From Plessy to Brown and back to Plessy. Peabody Journal of Education, 79(2), 5-32.

This paper describes significant legal & policy system changes in America's 50-year crusade to curtail or eliminate racially segregated public school. In retrospection, a more forceful initial policy system stance regarding judicial enforcement may well have resulted in greater desegregation success. After 5 decades of judicial & operational compliance trial & error, American public schools presently appear almost as racially segregated as before the landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education. The modern-day cause of school segregation relates more with income & housing patterns than with explicit apartheid policies. Regardless of cause, however, even if something much closer to equal educational opportunity exists now than was true 50 years ago, there clearly is not anything close, nationally, to racial parity of educational achievement. Aware of the remaining achievement gap, this paper posits that it is time to reconsider past policies built almost exclusively around busing & achieving physical mixes of Black & White students. It is now time to rely on new strategies involving elevated expectations, explicit learning standards, notions of financial "adequacy," & effective accountability. In effect, it is time to measure racial policy progress by student success, not by transportation & school resource processes.
KEY WORDS: Educational Inequality; Racial Segregation; Educational Policy; Judicial Decisions; School Desegregation; United States of America.

Hargittai, E., & Shafer, S. (2006). Differences in actual and perceived online skills: The role of gender. Social Science Quarterly, 87(2), 432-448.

The article covers literature on gender and technology, where findings suggest that women and men differ significantly in their attitudes toward their technological abilities. Concurrently, existing work on science and math abilities of students suggests that such perceived differences do not always translate into actual disparities. The authors explore the neglected area concerning gender differences with respect to Internet-use ability. They test how self-perceived abilities are related to actual abilities and how these may differ by gender. Findings suggest that men and women do not differ greatly in their online abilities. However, they find that women's self-assessed skill is significantly lower than that of men. It seems that women's lower self-assessment regarding their web-use skills may affect significantly the extent of their online behaviour and the types of uses to which they put the medium.
KEY WORDS: Skills; Gender Differences; Abilities; Self-perception; Technology; Internet; Technological Abilities.

Hattery, A. J. (2003). Sleeping in the box, thinking outside the box: Student reflections on innovative pedagogical tools for teaching about and promoting a greater understanding of social class inequality among undergraduates. Teaching Sociology, 31(4), 412-427.

Teaching about social stratification & social inequality is essential to any curriculum in sociology. Yet time and again students are not as excited about these courses as they are about others. In order to involve students in active learning, the author developed a course that used a variety of pedagogical strategies designed to provide experiential & service-learning situations to help students connect readings such as those by Marx, Olin Wright, & Davis & Moore with the situation of social class in contemporary US. Students were required to keep journals of their experiences to provide the data for this paper. Though there is considerable room for improvement, the data suggest that the teaching tools employed were successful in promoting a deeper level of learning around issues of inequality, particularly social class inequality, as it exists in the US.
KEY WORDS: Sociology Education; Social Stratification; Social Inequality; Teaching Methods; United States of America.

Jackson, S. (2003). Lifelong earning: Working-class women and lifelong learning. Gender and Education, 15(4), 365-376.

Argued is that despite the rhetoric that surrounds lifelong learning, barriers to participation for working-class women are too often ignored or made invisible. From a critique of current policies and practices of lifelong learning, the article addresses the diversities of working-class women's multiple identities while considering some of the (apparent) wider benefits of learning for working-class women. Concluded is that many working-class women are trapped in a cycle of lifelong earning that centers on low-paid, low-status jobs. In a learning society driven by market forces based in inequalities of gender, race, & class, there is no political escape.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Women's Education; Females; Working Class.

Jones, S. T. (2004). Living poverty and literacy learning: Sanctioning topics of students' lives. Language Arts, 81(6), 461-469.

This article examines the social class differences among students and its impact students' engagement with literacy practices in the classrooms. The article stresses that teachers must hear and validate stories of poverty as an effective strategy to gain class-specific understanding.
KEY WORDS: Social Differences; Poverty; Literacy Education; Social Class; Language Teachers; Teaching Methods; Relevance (Education).

Karen, D. (2005). No child left behind? Sociology ignored! Sociology of Education, 78(2), 165-169.

As part of a special journal symposium on the George W. Bush administration's 2001 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, the author argues that this legislation was implemented with poor funding & an even worse implementation plan. Most egregiously, NCLB is based on an insufficient understanding or complete contradiction of a large body of sociological & other research that has identified factors in schools & communities that impact the academic achievement of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The NCLB provisions are examined & potential contributions that sociologists can make in its implementation & evaluation are reviewed. Particular attention is paid to the ways that the social structure of inequality in the US shapes children's achievement, a fact that the NCLB's focus on test scores as a measure of school success ignores.
KEY WORDS: Academic Achievement; Educational Policy; Disadvantaged; Opportunity Structures; Learning; Schools; Achievement Tests; Sociological Research; Sociology Education.

Lamb, S., Long, M., & Malley, J. (1998). Access and equity in vocational education and training: Results from longitudinal surveys of Australian youth. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.

A study examined access and equity in vocational education and training (VET) in Australia for youth from different social and educational backgrounds using data from a program of national longitudinal surveys. Secondary VET participation was low; youth from lower socioeconomic backgrounds were more likely to enroll; and students were more likely to proceed to further studies in the postschool VET sector. Post-school education and training participation had grown, with substantially increased rates of entry to higher education for girls and to postschool VET for boys; higher education was the main destination for youth from higher status origins, VET for those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and early school leavers; and rural youth were more likely to participate in VET. Apprenticeship continued to be male dominated; it was stronger among lower socioeconomic groups and was chosen by middle and low achievers. Traineeships were important for females. Technical and further education (TAFE) completion rates varied by course, rural or urban location, and level of schooling attained. Work-based findings showed younger employees received less formal and more informal training, and higher educational qualifications were associated with higher levels of training. Durations of unemployment were shorter and earnings higher for males with apprenticeship training or who participated in TAFE diploma courses; female higher education graduates had a substantial earnings advantage; and males with a TAFE diploma training or who completed apprenticeship had the highest average weekly earnings.
KEY WORDS: Academic Achievement; Access to Education; Apprenticeships; Educational Background; Educational Benefits; Educational Discrimination; Enrollment Influences; Enrollment Rate; Enrollment Trends; Equal Education; Foreign Countries; Geographic Location; Longitudinal Studies; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education; Vocational Education; Youth; Australia.

Lewis, L. S. (2003). Will education reform create more opportunity? Society, 40(5(265)), 57-61.

This article analyses the value of the "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001" (H.R.1) which is intended to "close the achievement gap" among America's children. The main goals of the program are to increase standardized test scores, decrease student/teacher ratios, & improve the quality of teachers. Although well intentioned, the law is likely to fail because it is based on five questionable assumptions: (1) school attendance is valued by all individuals; (2) school practices significantly affect academic achievement; (3) cognitive skills are learned almost exclusively in school; (4) socioeconomic success is largely determined by the possession of cognitive skills; & (5) education creates opportunities.
KEY WORDS: United States of America; Educational Policy; Educational Reform; Theoretical Problems; Academic Achievement; Social Inequality; Income Inequality; Educational Opportunities; Social Influence.

MacNevin, A. L. (2004). Embodying sociological mindfulness: Learning about social inequality through the body. Teaching Sociology, 32(3), 314-321.

This article uses a sociology teaching method that communicates the reality of social inequality through attention to everyday body language & proxemics. By using role playing & nonverbal exercises, students are reminded that power relations are an intimate & intuitive experience. Body language, as observed by Edward Sapir (1949), is "an elaborate & secret code that is written nowhere, known by none & understood by all." Body language maintains an intricate role in maintaining social order, through subtly communicating dominance, threat, & submission (Henley 1977). Along with assigned readings in body & social class, gender, & power, as part of a third-year sociology course called "Body & Society," developed by the author, the exercises offer a moving understanding of dominance & subordination in intimate relationships & in formal status hierarchies.
KEY WORDS: Sociology Education; Nonverbal Communication; Social Inequality; Spatial Behavior; Power; Hierarchy; Role Playing; Teaching Methods.

Marks, A. (2000). Lifelong learning and the 'breadwinner ideology': Addressing the problems of lack of participation by adult, working-class males in higher education on Merseyside. Educational Studies, 26(3), 303-319.

Considering the cultural and economic positions of working-class men in the context of Merseyside, their attitudes towards education and the effects on their levels of participation in higher education. Taken from research into mature students in British universities, the author suggests that universities themselves need to change if they are to offer an image and environment that will appeal to the adult working class, and in particular the adult working-class male and the universities must reassess their 'community' role.
KEY WORDS: Lifelong Learning; Males; Men; British University; Working-Class.

McCowan, T. (2003, March). Participation and education in the landless people's movement of Brazil. Retrieved July, 2006, from /index.php?pageID=article&articleID=6

This article analyses the significance of participation in the educational work of the Landless People’s Movement of Brazil (MST), a social movement for agrarian reform that has established a network of schools in its communities. In contrast to the tokenist approaches of many government and supranational agencies, the MST’s view of participation is grounded in principles of radical democracy and social justice. The movement aims to enable the landless to participate fully as citizens in society and to be active in challenging and reformulating societal structures. Education in the MST is related to participation in two ways: first the education system itself is participatory, allowing the involvement of all stakeholders in planning, implementation and evaluation; second, education is a means by which landless people can develop the skills and knowledge to participate more effectively in the wider society. While there are certain areas, such as gender, where the MST is still developing an effective strategy, the movement demonstrates high levels of internal participatory equality, and has developed a pedagogy designed to enable transformatory participation in the political, economic and cultural spheres.
KEY WORDS: Work and Learning; Globalization; Class Struggle; Class Relations; Brazil; Education and State.

Mehran, G. (1999). Lifelong learning: New opportunities for women in a Muslim country (Iran). Comparative Education, 35(2), 201-215.

Examines literacy education for women in postrevolutionary Iran and whether it empowers women. Discusses seemingly contradictory roles demanded of Muslim women (traditional wife and mother plus social and political supporter of revolutionary ideology) and the role of literacy education in linking women to the sociopolitical network. Analyzes content of textbooks and reading materials in literacy classes.
KEY WORDS: Adult Basic Education; Content Analysis; Cultural Maintenance; Empowerment; Females; Foreign Countries; Islamic Culture; Literacy Education; Muslims; Propaganda; Sex Role; Textbook Content; Traditionalism; Women's Education; Iran.

Merrill, B. (2004). Biographies, class and learning: The experiences of adult learners. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 12(1), 73-94.

Adult education in the United Kingdom is historically connected with working-class movements in the nineteenth century. Recently, with the popularity of postmodernism, social class has become a neglected concept among sociologists & adult educators. An increase in participation strategies has raised the number of adult students returning to education, many from the working class. This article examines the biographies of working-class learners to illustrate the continued centrality of class & class inequalities in the lives of adult learners. Biographies reveal how class inequalities confine learning in many ways, making it a risk; however, through the utilization of agency, education can also be transformative. Adult educators need to take note of the voices of working-class adult learners & challenge the structures, policy & practices in their institutions in order to improve the learning experiences as well as to reassert class in academic debates.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Learning; United Kingdom; Autobiographical Materials; Social Class; Working Class; Social Inequality.

Mojab, S., & McDonald, S. (2001). Women, violence and informal learning. NALL Working Paper No. 41. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT. Available at:

A comparative study of the impact of violence on immigrant women's learning was conducted among immigrant women of two communities in the Toronto area: the Spanish-speaking community and the Kurds. The two authors of the study each worked with one of the communities in which they had knowledge of the language. An in-depth, non-structured, conversational interview was used with 14 women of each group in order to document the life histories of these women as they experienced them. The Spanish-speaking women also participated in a workshop wherein they focused on learning about the law. All the women had been involved in violence, whether the mostly-domestic violence that the Spanish-speaking women had experienced or the political violence in which the Kurdish women or their husbands, sons, and brothers had participated. The study, reported separately for each group, found that the experience of violence places stress on the women that impedes their learning. The study also found that learning should be viewed as larger than just the learning of content--it includes learning to trust and act on their own behalf and take charge of their own learning. Some of the recommendations of the study included having peer-oriented learning groups to teach women about the legal system and the provision of legal materials in their native languages.
KEY WORDS: Adult Basic Education; Adult Literacy; Anxiety; Battered Women; Cognitive Style; Developed Nations; Educational Attitudes; Fear; Females; Foreign Countries; Functional Literacy; Immigrants; Informal Education; Kurdish; Language of Instruction; Law Related Education; Laws; Learning Processes; Learning Strategies; Legal Problems; Literacy Education; Minority Groups; Peer Teaching; Personal Narratives; Refugees; Spanish Speaking; Stress Variables; Teaching Methods; Victims of Crime; Violence; War; Women's Education; Kurds; Ontario (Toronto).

Mojab, S., Wall, N. B., & McDonald, S. (2002). Collaborative learning for change. NALL Working Paper No. 51. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT. Available at:

This guide is designed as a community-based resource for women who are interested in developing leadership skills in group facilitation, community building, and community action. It provides an integrated feminist anti-oppression learning framework that links social justice issues and the questions of race, gender, class, and all other forms of marginalization to the question of how women learn. The guide includes six workshops that emphasize the connections between learning and action that allow women to develop their consciousness of the actions required to bring about necessary change in their lives as women. Introductory materials discuss the research that lead to this guide and suggestions for conducting the workshops, including useful tools for building group processes. Each session outline consists of some or all of these components: check-in, debriefing, informational materials, warm-up exercise, exercises, and closure. Sessions are (1) women's experiences are the basis of learning; (2) facilitating group processes; (3) learning strategies (4) gender bias in the law; (5) funding; and (6) outreach and organizing. (YLB)
KEY WORDS: Adult Learning; Citizen Participation; Community Cooperation; Consciousness Raising; Empowerment; Experiential Learning; Family Violence; Females; Group Activities; Learning Strategies; Racial Discrimination; Social Change; Student Centered Curriculum; Womens Education; Marginalized Groups.

Overwien, B. (2000). Informal learning and the role of social movements. International Review of Education, 46(6), 621-640.

Discusses the benefits of an enlarged view of learning that emphasizes the abilities of the individual learner and the role of the teacher as partner in a joint educational process and includes informal acquisition of skills on-the-job. Argues that much is to be learned from popular educational movements in Latin America.

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