Scientific Declaration

The XIXth Congress of the AMSE-AMCE-WEAR The XIXth Congress of the AMSE-AMCE-WEAR
4 – 7 June 2018
Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, Romania

Given the Increase in Inequalities, What Role Should Be Assumed by Education?
Issues, policies, actors, practices

Economy globalization, migration phenomena as well as the effects of climate change have all led to dramatic political, economic and social transformations that agitate modern societies. These transformations cause rifts which are putting under threat the very capacity to « live together », jeopardizing the nature of what lies at the core of a “society”. The resulting increase in inequality is one of the major changes characterizing our modern world. While education is not the primary source of these inequalities, it is common knowledge that it – the formal education in particular – contributes to maintaining them, especially by reproducing and reinforcing them. School must therefore play a crucial part in combating the rise in inequalities. The question of education must be addressed globally, in an integrated fashion. We need to become fully aware of all its dimensions, especially of the one known today as non-formal or informal education. Defining the role of education against the backdrop of the increase in inequality implies laying emphasis on ensuring everybody’s access to inclusive and equitable quality education and to lifelong learning (Incheon Declaration, UNESCO, 2015).

Yet how can we include and provide an equitable quality education when societies are becoming increasingly dismissive of large parts of their populations, dividing or rejecting them? This question is multifaceted and it addresses:

  • the challenges and foundations underlying the public policies;
  • the educational institutions;
  • the actors and their actual current practices, be they school-related, family-related or of any other nature.

In this context, it incumbent on the education research community to comprehend and to enable comprehension of these processes, as well as to promote, as a result of their research findings, courses of action meant to be taken by the actors. Before the complexity of these questions, nowadays researchers cannot remain confined to their particular field. Indeed, « while the definition of a research question is often closely connected to a particular field of science, the search for a solution to a social problem requires, on the contrary, remarkable flexibility in envisaging the fields of study to be investigated » (Clémence, 2003, p.165). This is why the educational research community should take interest in seeking the plurality and complementarity of perspectives through interdisciplinary approaches. It is within this framework that the congress organised by AMSE in Suceava, Romania, in 2018, will be held. The scientific discussions and debates will address the following sub-themes:

1. Increase in Inequalities: Which Issues?

The wide range of interpretations provided by the actors of the world of education regarding the existing inequalities and the actions undertaken so as to diminish them is underlain by issues relative to the rise in inequalities and the outlining of the particular role played by School under these circumstances. Consequently, the first line of research of this congress invites reflection on the multifaceted issues (economic, political, philosophical, social, cultural, anthropological, geopolitical, etc.) that preside over the reproduction if not downright reinforcement of inequalities in the educational field. These issues are likely to result in different interpretations regarding the principles that should lead to the types of action to be undertaken, raising the following questions: how do these inequalities come into being and how do they change in the course of time? Which are the ideologies, the discourse or the policies either justifying these inequalities or, on the contrary, denouncing and deconstructing them? What connections are there between the social, political, educational inequalities, etc? What are the different types and forms of inequalities that have an impact on education? To what extent do they influence the education and the educational systems? What role can education and educational systems play before these inequalities?

2. Counteracting the Increase in Inequality: Which Actors?

Besides the inequality-related issues, we must identify the actors capable to educate or to influence the education process by reducing the different forms of inequality. The second sub-theme of this congress invites reflection on the responsibilities and the role played by actors such as : the state and the governmental departments (Ministry of Education, Ministry of Family, Ministry of Youth, etc.), the educational institutions (from preschool to higher education), the associations, the actors in the field (school headmasters, guidance counselors, teachers, learners and their families, trainers, non-governmental organisations, international organisations, unions, media etc.). We need to pinpoint the these actors’ stand on inequalities, the way the latter are interpreted (theoretical framework, beliefs etc.), the discourse validating or combating them, the way in which they word this issue, especially the public policies, the official documents and the curriculum.

3. Counteracting the Increase in Inequality: Which Practices?

Even though access to education is increasing everywhere in the world, inequalities persist.  The rise in inequalities invites reflection on the diversity of practices meant to reduce them. This concerns governmental and non-governmental actions, the citizens’ and families’ initiatives, the teaching, training and research practices. Given the rise in inequality, the examination of these practices is of utmost importance. In this light, the third section raises the following questions: what are the exact initiatives undertaken by the different actors of formal or non-formal education so as to reduce inequality and what are their results? What are the pedagogical and training frameworks likely to reduce inequalities? How can we take into account the students’ increasing heterogeneity without reinforcing inequalities? What are the practices validating these inequalities or, on the contrary, denouncing and deconstructing them?

You can contribute a proposal on a particular filed related to one the sub-themes of the XIXth congress organised by the AMSE-AMCE-WEAR. Three types of contributions are possible:

  • a symposium: two scientific moderators and ten researchers of at least two different nationalities;
  • an individual paper;
  • a poster.

Each type of contribution will be cross-referenced by the scientific committee of the XIXth congress.

All submissions must be done online, on the site of the XIXth congress, before the 31st of October 2017 1st of January, 2018 15th of February 2018 – new deadline for sub.