COMPARATIVE EDUCATION SOCIETY IN EUROPE
XXIX Conference ⋅ 26-29 May 2020 ⋅ Reggio Emilia ⋅ Italy
Communities and education in an era of accountability and control
Few cities or universities are associated with a distinctive and influential pedagogical approach that has inspired educators around the globe. The Reggio Emilia vision views education as the right of all children but one best understood in relation to community. In their own words:
Education is an opportunity for the growth and emancipation of the individual and the collective; it is a resource for gaining knowledge and for learning to live together; it is a meeting place where freedom, democracy, and solidarity are practiced and where the value of peace is promoted.
Notions of community/ communities in education are rich and embody multiple histories and contexts. They can be grounded in culture and politics as well as conditioned by empires and economic systems. They include reference groups of classrooms, parents and citizens as well as practices, professional groupings and discursive/ epistemic groupings. They embody governing organizations at local, regional and national scales and are increasingly supra national in their reach. Education – broadly understood as all formal, non-formal andGeneral informal learning contexts – faces new opportunities and challenges. In what ways are historically-constituted communities being transformed by the demands for measurement, standardization and comparison across spaces? How are traditional notions of community being challenged, even fragmented, by the vocabularies/discourses/practices of newer global communities that reimagine education in terms of partnerships, coalitions and networks that are often blurred in terms of their locus of control and interests? In what ways is education affected by the new intensities and divides afforded by social media and digital technologies and the communities that they constitute and are constituted by? How does the gaze of objectivity and expertise – familiar to schools and universities but now reaching into early learning but also adult education (?) – change what counts as a community/ communities in education and how does this gaze effect the ideals of ‘freedom, democracy, and solidarity’ as well as our understanding of accountability: Who is held accountable, to whom, by what means and for what?
These are some of the broad questions that set the agenda for CESE’s 2020 conference to be hosted by the Departments of “Education and Human Sciences” and “Communication and Economy” at the historic University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in beautiful Reggio Emilia. The CESE Executive Committee in association with the Reggio Emilia organising committee invite papers that explore the conference theme from a range of local, national and supranational contexts. We encourage submissions that engage both theoretically and empirically with the issue of communities and education, and initially offer the following six Working Groups to explore diverse theoretical perspectives, methodological and empirical approaches:
In addition to these six groups there will be a Working Group dedicated to new scholars, as well as opportunities to submit papers for a number of cross-thematic sessions.