September 2019

 

In this section of Campus, EuropeNow features a selection of scholarly articles and books on topics pertinent to the teaching of Europe or teaching in Europe that were published within the last 5 years. This dynamic bibliography, with monthly installments, seeks to highlight both pedagogy research as well as critical analyses of debates taking place in higher education in and about Europe.

 

1. Higher Education in Austerity Europe 

The financial crisis of 2007/2008 prompted governments across Europe to adopt austerity measures aimed at the reduction of their escalating budget deficits. Higher Education in Austerity Europeexplores how the resulting cuts in public expenditure – together with the increasing reliance on the privatisation of services – have impacted on higher education directly through the reduction of public sector provision and indirectly as a result of the social and political consequences of that reduction. Moreover, it explores how the effects of these economic policies have differed markedly across the national regions of Europe, with the result that inequality has increased significantly both within and between national regions, and this, in turn, has led to social and political dislocation within and across communities. It is only by viewing higher education within this broader context that we can begin to understand the full implications of the austerity measures introduced over the last ten years. Jon Nixon draws together leading scholars to delve into the complexity of impact and response generated by these measures. Part 1 focuses on cross-European perspectives; Part 2 on the impact of austerity measures within national systems; and Part 3 on new perspectives and possibilities. The volume also includes considered responses from ‘outsiders’ by academics located in Asia, Australia, and the USA, providing an additional dimension to the analysis. As well as analysing the full impact of austerity measures across some of the worst hit national regions of Europe, the contributors also identifying openings and possibilities for renewal.

Buy the book edited by Jon Nixon from Bloomsbury.

 

2. “Teaching Sustainability in European Higher Education Institutions: Assessing the Connections between Competences and Pedagogical Approaches”

There has been considerable progress in the incorporation of sustainable development (SD) into higher education institutions’ curricula. This has included research on competences for SD and pedagogical approaches used; however, there has been limited research on the connection between how pedagogical approaches are used and how they may develop sustainability competences. A survey was developed, based on the ‘connecting sustainable development pedagogical approaches to competences’ framework, to investigate sustainability being taught, sustainability competences developed, and pedagogical approaches used in European higher education institutions. The survey was sent to a database of more than 4000 contacts from which 390 complete responses (9.80%) were obtained. The results show that the social dimension was the least addressed at 18% of responses, while the economic, environmental, and cross-cutting dimensions were addressed almost equally. The correlation analyses showed a relation between the contribution to sustainability and the strength of competences, and between the strength of competences and the strength of pedagogical approaches. The results from the survey helped to update the theoretical framework, which provides a more precise perspective on how sustainability competences can be better developed in class, and how to better develop all the sustainability competences.

Read the full article by Rodrigo Lozano, Maria Barreiro-Gen, Francisco J. Lozano, and Kaisu Sammalisto in Sustainability.

 

3. “On the ‘front lines’ of the classroom: moral education and Muslim students in French state schools”

This paper examines the role of the French state school classroom as a scene of moral pedagogy from the point of view of the French state and Muslim community activists. I argue that in both sets of discourses, the state school classroom is consistently figured as the front lines of a battleground, in which teachers, students, and parents are all combatants, but the sides and stakes of the battle are drawn differently. In each account, though, the stakes of the battle centre on the moral education of the rising generation. The state discourses fit with the history of French pedagogical theory since the inception of the state schools, and mark a recent ‘return of the moral’ in French public discourse and policy making. In response to the increased securitisation of the state school classroom in the aftermath of the attacks of January and November 2015, French Muslim activists have addressed a variety of conflicts related to the schools as a single coordinated fight against Islamophobia, discrimination, and persistent inequalities. By both paralleling and inverting the state’s ‘battleground’ rhetoric in their critiques, these activists situate themselves at the heart of the national conversation about how to form the rising generation as ethical subjects.

Read the full article by Kirsten Wesselhoeft in Oxford Review of Education

 

4. Gender Based Violence in University Communities: Policy, Prevention and Educational Initiatives

Until recently, higher education in the UK has largely failed to recognise gender-based violence (GBV) on campus, but following the UK government task force set up in 2015, universities are becoming more aware of the issue. And recent cases in the media about the sexualised abuse of power in institutions such as universities, Parliament and Hollywood highlight the prevalence and damaging impact of GBV. In this book, academics and practitioners provide the first in-depth overview of research and practice in GBV in universities. They set out the international context of ideologies, politics and institutional structures that underlie responses to GBV in elsewhere in Europe, in the US, and in Australia, and consider the implications of implementing related policy and practice. Presenting examples of innovative British approaches to engagement with the issue, the book also considers UK, EU and UN legislation to give an international perspective, making it of direct use to discussions of ‘what works’ in preventing GBV.

Buy the book edited by Sundari Anitha and Ruth Lewis from Bristol University Press.

 

5. Europe in the Classroom: World Culture and Nation-Building in Post-Socialist Romania 

This book provides an unconventional account of post-1989 education reform in Romania. By drawing on policy documentation, interviews with key players, qualitative data from everyday school contexts, and extensive textbook analysis, this groundbreaking study explores change within the Romanian education system as a process that institutionalises world culture through symbolic mediation of the concept ‘Europe’. The book argues that the education system’s structural and organisational evolution through time is decoupled from its self-depiction by ultimately serving a nation-building agenda. It does so despite notable changes in the discourse reflecting increasingly transnational definitions of the mission of the school in the post-1989 era. The book also suggests that the notions of ‘nation’ and ‘citizen’ institutionalised by the school are gradually being redefined as cosmopolitan, matching post-war patterns of post-national affiliations on a worldwide level.

 Buy the book by Simona Szakács-Behling from Palgrave.

 

 

 

Photo: Distance learning, online studying, internet | Shutterstock
Published on September 10, 2019.

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