This paper delves beneath the widespread belief that education (often repackaged as human capital) is important in development to consider the role that the discipline
of education plays in shaping the wider discourses of development. In particular, it will explore recent texts by important figures in development economics (Collier,
Easterly, Sachs and Stiglitz) to see what they say (and don’t say) about education’s role in development and to contrast this with educationalists’ accounts. This will
lead on to a consideration of what the implications of such a reading are for the field of international and comparative education. The paper concludes that the
relative marginalisation of educational accounts in mainstream development thinking is a major challenge to which international and comparative education needs to respond.
Australia has been a significant provider of international education in the Asia-Pacific region since 1950 with the inception of the Colombo Plan. Thus, graduates from these early days would by now be mature professionals in a variety of fields, with several decades of professional and academic attainment enabled by their Australian education. Yet we actually know very little about the outcomes over time of the graduates of Australian international higher education. In this article, the authors review the scholarly literature on the outcomes of international education, education provided by Australian universities and by others, and critically consider some of the limitations of the data and the methodologies that have dominated this area of research. Finally, in an effort to put current debates on international education on a more informed basis, the authors outline a prospectus for future research to redress some of these shortcomings.
This paper tries to extend Sen's capability approach by introducing the issues of personal responsibility and collective capability, in addition to those of individual capability and collective responsibility. In addressing the issue of the subject's responsibility, we turn to the phenomenological tradition. This approach uses the concept of the person rather than that of the individual. In the analytical philosophy tradition the individual is defined by a set of freedoms and capabilities. The phenomenological approach, in contrast, views the person as embedded in a network of social relationships that determine a set of rights and obligations. In most situations, personal obligations have to be satisfied before the person can move on to satisfy his/her rights and freedoms. This means that freedom is viewed as being derived from responsibility, thus inversing the order of the capability approach. The subject's responsibility becomes fundamental, and a part of the 'richness' of the person. Responsibility expresses the capability to feel and be responsible, not only ex-post (i.e. once freedom has been exercised), but also ex-ante, by the capacity to exercise self-constraint on a voluntary basis in order to satisfy one's obligations towards others. Within his or her structure of capabilities, the person has to manage the twofold interacting sets of freedoms and responsibilities during the decision-making process. When we consider the person's agency, introducing responsibility leads, via commitment and social interactions, to a stronger vision of agency. However, this vision, which includes responsibility and social interactions, generates a collective capability that can be represented by a structure composed of the various personal capability structures.
Examines the factors motivating international student choice of the host country. It describes a "push-pull" model motivating the student's desire to seek overseas education and influencing the decision process in selection of a final study destination. Drawing on the findings from research studies undertaken in Indonesia, Taiwan, China and India, the paper examines the factors influencing host country selection and additional research that examines the factors influencing choice of final host institution. Based on these findings the paper argues that economic and social forces within the home country serve to "push" students abroad. However, the decision as to which host country they will select is dependent on a variety of "pull" factors. After drawing together the findings, the paper then examines the implications for governments and education institutions seeking to recruit international students.
Incl. abstract, tables & bibl. The issue of social-class-related patterns of access to Higher Education (HE) has become a matter of public debate in the UK recently, but is on the whole portrayed one-sidedly in terms of issues of selection (elitism), and the social dimensions of choice are neglected. Here, drawing on an Economic and Social Research Council research study, choice of HE is examined using Bourdieu's concepts of 'classification' and 'judgement'. HE is viewed in terms of its internal status differentiations. Students' positive and negative choices are addressed using qualitative and quantitative data, and the 'accuracy' of status perceptions are also tested. It is argued that choices are infused with class and ethnic meanings and that choice-making plays a crucial role in the reproduction of divisions and hierarchies in HE, but also that the very idea of choice assumes a kind of formal equality that obscures 'the effects of real inequality'. HE choices are embedded in different kinds of biographies and institutional habituses, and different 'opportunity structures'.
Amartya Sen was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1998 ‘for his contributions in welfare economics’. Although his primary academic appointments have been mostly in economics, Sen is also an important and influential social theorist and philosopher. His work on social choice theory is seminal, and his writings on poverty, famine, and development, as well his contributions to moral and political philosophy, are important and influential. Sen's views about the nature and primacy of liberty also make him a major contemporary liberal thinker. This volume of essays on aspects of Sen's work is aimed at a broad audience of readers interested in social theory, political philosophy, ethics, public policy, welfare economics, the theory of rational choice, poverty, and development. Written by a team of well-known experts, each chapter provides an overview of Sen's work in a particular area and a critical assessment of his contributions to the field.
From his earliest research on social choice theory through to his more recent development of the idea of capability, Amartya Sen has given the idea of freedom pride of place in his thoughts. I think that his conception of freedom is of the greatest interest, and I try to bring out its distinctive character in this chapter. I shall not be discussing the notion of capability directly - nor, more generally, the place of freedom in Sen's theory of justice - although my comments have implications for how his normative position should be understood (Pettit 2001a). My analysis will focus entirely on how freedom is to be interpreted within the approach taken by Sen. I have titled this chapter ‘Freedom in the Spirit of Sen’, because I suggest some ways in which his approach can be developed that are not discussed explicitly in his work. This chapter is divided into five main sections. In the first, I present Sen's conception of freedom as having two forms, direct and indirect, and in the second I show how he associates freedom, direct and indirect, with the idea of agent control. In the third section, I introduce a further distinction, between active and virtual control, which is independent of that between direct and indirect control but ought to appeal to Sen, being of a kind with it. In the fourth section, I show where Sen's conception of freedom, articulated in line with these distinctions, leads in thinking about the nature of democratic institutions.
'This book tackles some of the most important educational questions of the day... It is rare to find a book on education which is theoretically sophisticated and practically relevant: this book is.' From the Foreword by Hugh Lauder What is it in the twenty-first century that we want young people, and adults returning to study, to know? What is it about the kind of knowledge that people can acquire at school, college or university that distinguishes it from the knowledge that people acquire in their everyday lives everyday lives, at work, and in their families? Bringing Knowledge Back In draws on recent developments in the sociology of knowledge to propose answers to these key, but often overlooked, educational questions. Michael Young traces the changes in his own thinking about the question of knowledge in education since his earlier books Knowledge and Control and The Curriculum of the Future. He argues for the continuing relevance of the writings of Durkheim and Vygotsky and the unique importance of Basil Bernstein's often under-appreciated work. He illustrates the importance of questions about knowledge by investigating the dilemmas faced by researchers and policy makers in a range of fields. He also considers the broader issue of the role of sociologists in relation to educational policy in the context of increasingly interventionist governments. In so doing, the book: provides conceptual tools for people to think and debate about knowledge and education in new ways, provides clear expositions of difficult ideas at the interface of epistemology and the sociology of knowledge, makes explicit links between theoretical issues and practical /policy questions, offers a clear focus for the future development of the sociology of education as a key field within educational studies. This compelling and provocative book will be essential reading for anyone involved in research and debates about the curriculum as well as those with a specific interest in the sociology of education.
The Capability Approach: Its Potential for Work in Education M.Walker & E.Unterhalter PART I: THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE CAPABILITY APPROACH AND EDUCATION Education as a Basic Capability L.Terzi Situating Education in the Human Capabilities Approach P.Flores-Crespo Developing Capabilities and the Management of Trust R.Bates Distribution of What for Achieving Equality in Education? The Case of Education for All E.Unterhalter & H.Brighouse Needs, Rights and Capabilities - E.Unterhalter PART II: APPLICATIONS OF THE CAPABILITY APPROACH IN EDUCATION Freedom through Education: Measuring Capabilities in Girls' Schooling R.Vaughan Education and Capabilities in Bangladesh J.Raynor South African Girls' Lives and Capabilities M.Walker Children's Valued Capabilities M.Biggeri Higher Education and Well Being L.Deprez & S.Butler PART III: TAKING THE CAPABILITY APPROACH FORWARD IN EDUCATION Education, Agency and Social Justice E.Unterhalter & M.Walker
This paper aims to shift the debate on the Learning Society away from the normative focus which has predominated hitherto. Rather than beginning with questions about what a Learning Society ought to constitute, we seek to engage with the patterns of participation in learning through the life‐course and their determinants. Our discussion begins with an examination of the way in which the official discourse of the Learning Society is dominated by human capital theory. The critical evaluation of the latter is thus a serious undertaking. Human capital theory involves an unwarranted abstraction of economic behaviour from social relations more widely; participation in lifetime learning cannot be understood in terms of the narrow calculation of utility maximization. This critique provides the basis for the development of a more satisfactory theoretical account, in which learning behaviour is conceived as the product of individual calculation and active choice, but within parameters set by both access to learning opportunities and collective norms. These parameters, by their very nature, vary systematically over space and time: accordingly, place and history must play a central role in any adequate theorization. We conclude that this kind of theoretical approach has important implications not only for empirical research, but also for strategies aimed at creating a Learning Society.
In The Joyless Economy, Tibor Scitovsky proposes a model of human behavior that differs substantially from that of standard economic theory. Scitovsky begins with a basic distinction between “comfort” and “stimulation.” While stimulation is ultimately more satisfying and creative, we frequently fall for the bewitching attractions of comfort, which leads to impoverished lives. Scitovsky's analysis has far‐reaching implications not only for the idea of rationality, but for the concept of utility (by making it plural in nature) and, perhaps most importantly, for the importance of freedom (including the freedom to change our preferences).
This article examines the underexplored relationship between Amartya Sen's ‘capability approach’ to human well-being and education. Two roles which education might play in relation to the development of capacities are given particular attention: (i) the enhancement of capacities and opportunities and (ii) the development of judgement in relation to the appropriate exercise of capacities.
The two concepts — human rights and capabilities — go well with each other, so long as we do not try to subsume either concept entirely within the territory of the other. There are many human rights that can be seen as rights to particular capabilities. However, human rights to important process freedoms cannot be adequately analysed within the capability framework. Furthermore, both human rights and capabilities have to depend on the process of public reasoning. The methodology of public scrutiny draws on Rawlsian understanding of 'objectivity' in ethics, but the impartiality that is needed cannot be confined within the borders of a nation. Public reasoning without territorial confinement is important for both.
This paper aims to present a theoretical survey of the capability approach in an interdisciplinary and accessible way. It focuses on the main conceptual and theoretical aspects of the capability approach, as developed by Amartya Sen, Martha Nussbaum, and others. The capability approach is a broad normative framework for the evaluation and assessment of individual well-being and social arrangements, the design of policies, and proposals about social change in society. Its main characteristics are its highly interdisciplinary character, and the focus on the plural or multidimensional aspects of well-being. The approach highlights the difference between means and ends, and between substantive freedoms (capabilities) and outcomes (achieved functionings).
I am most grateful to Elizabeth Anderson (2000), Philip Pettit (2000) and Thomas Scanlon (2000) for making such insightful and penetrating comments on my work and the related literature. I have reason enough to be happy, having been powerfully defended in some respects and engagingly challenged in others. I must also take this opportunity of thanking Martha Nussbaum, for not only chairing the session in which these papers were presented followed by a splendid discussion (which she led), but also for taking the initiative, in the first place, to arrange the session.
This paper is divided into two sections. The first section presents a concise survey of the intellectual itinerary of the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu in the French intellectual field. Then, after a short presentation of Bourdieu’s The Social Structures of the Economy, I proceed to a broader discussion of his economic sociology. After a presentation of Bourdieu’s key conceptual contributions, I question some aspects of Bourdieusian sociology with regard to its ambition of historicising the ‘economic field’. I identify the limitations of this historicising project in the extension of the metaphor of the market to virtually all fields of human activities and in a concept of capital which fails to grasp a social relation specific to the historical development of capitalism.
Existing research applying the Personal Wellbeing Index (PWI) in China is restricted to urban and rural samples. There are no studies for Chinese off-farm migrants. The specific aims of this study are (a) ascertain whether Chinese off-farm are satisfied with their lives; (b) investigate the equivalence of the PWI in terms of its psychometric properties; and (c) examine whether the responses to the PWI from participants falls within the narrow range predicted by the 'Theory of Subjective Wellbeing Homeostasis???. The PWI demonstrated good psychometric performance in terms of its reliability, validity and sensibility and was consistent with previous studies for Western and non-Western samples. The data revealed a moderate level of subjective well-being (PWI score = 62.6). While Chinese off-farm migrants lead hard lives, the PWI was within the normative range predicted for Chinese societies by the 'Theory of Subjective Wellbeing Homeostasis'. A likely explanation for this finding rests with the circular nature of migration in China. When China's offfarm migrants find it too difficult to cope in the cities, most have the fallback position that they can return to their homes in the countryside. This option provides an external buffer to minimize the inherent challenges of life which would otherwise impinge on the life satisfaction of China's off-farm migrants.
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