The article addresses the position of anthropology in new educational contexts, considering anthropology in education and the anthropological study of education. While some transatlantic comparisons are drawn, the emphasis is on developments within the U.K. These are treated historically, using the Royal Anthropological Institute's experience in working for an anthropological presence in pre-university education from the 1980s to the present as an extended case-study. The work done by the RAI's Education Committee to design and introduce a new GCE A-level in anthropology, culminating in its successful accreditation by the national regulator, is recounted in the style of 'rich ethnography'. A case is made for the potential of academic associations to create the alliances across sectors that are needed in this context; and conclusions are tentatively drawn regarding the implications of these initiatives for the future of the discipline and its public engagement.
Hilary Callan and Brian Street
An Analysis of School Textbooks in the MENA Region
Tobias Ide, Abdulkhaleq Alwan, Khalil Bader, Noureddine Dougui, Maysoun Husseini, Elarbi Imad, Farouk Gaafar Abdel Hakim Marzouk, Amany M. Taha Moustafa and Riem Spielhaus
This article analyzes the geopolitical imaginations promoted via environmental education in the school textbooks of five states in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. In doing so, it builds bridges between critical studies of education and political ecology. It shows that, when addressing environmental problems, the textbooks examined depoliticize environmental problems and sustain political and economic power structures. They do so by individualizing responsibility for environmental problems, legitimizing political and economic elites, associating environmental protection with wider societal goals, and externalizing environmental problems.
Ivi Daskalaki and Nadina Leivaditi
The closure of borders along the “Balkan route” and the EU-Turkey agreement in 2016 resulted in the involuntary immobility of thousands of refugees in Greece. Since then, the large-scale emergency relief aid on the Greek shores has been replaced by the development of provisions for the gradual integration of refugees within wider European society. In such a context, education comes to the fore in the management of Europe’s so-called “refugee crisis.” This article explores refugee youths’ educational engagements in the framework of their “temporary” accommodation in a Transit Shelter for Unaccompanied (Male) Minors on the island of Lesvos. The article discusses how the youths themselves act upon educational arrangements made by their caretakers within a context of limited agency inscribed in a “code” of filoxenia (hospitality to foreigners). This code positions refugee youths both as temporary “guests” and simultaneously as “subjects” of discipline in the residency and in wider society.
Space, Time, and Text
Benjamin C. Fortna
This article addresses the interrelated changes taking place in education during the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the Republic of Turkey in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In particular, it focuses on the ways in which schools altered their approach to space, time, and economic priorities in order to align themselves with the shifting conditions of the period. It proceeds by examining a series of tensions between the desiderata of state and society, the collective and the individual, the secular and the religious, the national and the supranational, before assessing the diverse range of responses they elicited.
In 2003, after more than 10 years of policy debate and public controversy, the South African minister of education announced a new policy for religion and education that distinguished between religious interests, which are best served by religious communities, and educational objectives for teaching and learning about religion, religions, and religious diversity that should be served by the curriculum of public schools. This article locates South Africa's new policy for religion and education in relation to attempts to redefine the role of the state in the transition from apartheid to democracy. The policy emerged within a new constitutional framework, which ensured freedom for religious expression and freedom from religious discrimination, but also within the context of state initiatives to affirm cultural diversity and mobilize unifying resources for social transformation. Accordingly, this article examines South Africa's policy for religion and public education as an index for understanding post-apartheid efforts in redefining the state as a constitutional, cultural, and transformative state.
The Struggle of the Russian Orthodox Church to Introduce Religion into the Curriculum in the First Decade of the Twenty-first Century
Victor A. Shnirelman
Interest in the social role of religion, including religious education (RE), is on the increase in the European Union. Yet whereas Western educators focus mostly on the potential of religion for dialogue and peaceful coexistence, in Russia religion is viewed mostly as a resource for an exclusive cultural-religious identity and resistance to globalization. RE was introduced into the curriculum in Russia during the past ten to fifteen years. The author analyzes why, how, and under what particular conditions RE was introduced in Russia, what this education means, and what social consequences it can entail.
Toward an Ethnography of Education, Religion, and the State
In a major transformation of our times, governmental organizations are increasingly turning to faith-based groups to provide basic public services, including education. Faith-government partnering derives its power symbolically from a higher order than the secular state; the secular world of technical education is metaphorically encircled and uplifted by sacrilized forces. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in Tanzania and in the United States, and on analysis of education policy documents and reports, this article argues that faith-based governmental programs operate by a logic of hierarchical encompassment, a logic by which state education discourses of accountability, efficiency, and standards first supercede and transform the ideal of religious-moral education, defining all citizens as equally protected before the law, and then reinstate religious- moral instruction as a higher order value that, in turn, encompasses technically trained citizens through an ethic that values religion, spirituality, and faith in one God.
Re-viewing Images of Girls' Education
Cathryn Magno and Jackie Kirk
In this article we discuss the ways in which images of girls are understood to represent broader international development discourses related to girls' education. This piece was originally written for the United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI), conceived with UNICEF out of their interest in determining whether images they produce accurately represent policies and processes they engage in on behalf of girls' education; that report was UNICEF's contribution to the UNGEI partnership. The premise that visual analysis contributes to the study of girlhood was reified in this study which revealed the many deep and sometimes conflicting meanings that diverse viewers place on images.
Although European educational policies seemingly promote multilingualism, many countries continue to grapple with developing educational responses that recognise students’ complex linguistic identities. This discussion piece reflects on questions relating to multilingualism that have occurred within the Portuguese education system.
Integrating classical theory and medieval pedagogy in modern liberal arts classes
This article explores the historical importance of argument and self-learning within the structure of liberal arts education and how these can be applied to the design of university and community college general education classes to help students develop skills in effective communication, critical thinking and self-learning. Research in classical and medieval theories of education, the liberal arts and pedagogy are used to clarify the purpose of higher education (teaching students how to learn without the aid of a teacher) and explore historical and modern pedagogies designed to achieve that purpose. A case study from an introductory history course designed based on medieval pedagogies provides examples of implementing these pedagogies, as well as assessment from three years of teaching it in both community college and university classrooms.