Themes and 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 organizations, international organizations, unions, media etc.). We need to pinpoint 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?