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Global Partnerships as sites for mutual learning: teacher development through N-S study visits. Critical Thinking for Development Education – moving from evaluation to research National University of Ireland, Galway, October 3-4th, 2009. Fran Martin University of Exeter. Context.

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global partnerships as sites for mutual learning teacher development through n s study visits

Global Partnerships as sites for mutual learning: teacher development through N-S study visits

Critical Thinking for Development Education – moving from evaluation to research

National University of Ireland, Galway,

October 3-4th, 2009.

Fran Martin

University of Exeter

context
Context
  • Educational
    • Global dimension across the curriculum
    • Global school partnerships
  • Political
    • Maintaining position in global economy
    • Millennium development goals
      • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
      • Achieve universal primary education
issues
Issues

Western worldviews

  • Responding to difference
  • Responding to poverty
comparing lifestyles
Comparing lifestyles

T: What do you think homes might be like in a village in Kenya?

  • They are made of mud and straw
  • Yes, mud and straw
  • I think some might have wood on
  • Mud houses, or caves with little doors on
response to difference
Response to difference

Perceived as negative (judged against Western lifestyle).

One response is to focus on similarities as a means of connecting to the other, being inclusive

Hides important differences; points of similarity decided upon by dominant group

focus on commonality
Focus on commonality
  • There is some indication … that the children’s estimation of the worth of their peers in the partner school is affected by the extent to which they possess modern consumer items.
  • Teachers may also latch onto this, as it is a much more comfortable image with which to work. … We cannot afford to dismantle some stereotypes and replace them with others. (Disney, 2004: 145)
responses to poverty
Responses to poverty

T: What about the children in The Gambia, what do you think the children are like?

  • Hmm. Well, not that happy because they don’t have many toys to play with so they have to make them
  • Operation Christmas!
  • Yes! We gave them toys. I sent a Noddy car
  • For Christmas, every single Christmas, we get boxes and put paper on it and then put toys in it and send to Gambia.
charitable response
Charitable response
  • Focus is on what is lacking, the criteria for which are decided by dominant group
  • Focus on economic disparity does not allow discussion of cultural, social and spiritual heritage as wealth (Graves, 2002)
  • Neo-colonialism
n s study visit courses
N-S Study visit courses
  • Experienced teachers UK-Gambia
    • UK course Nov - June
    • Study visit to Gambia 1 week in Feb, work with teachers but not in school
  • Student teachers UK-Southern India
    • Study visit Kerala and Tamil Nadu 18 days July
    • 1 week at a children’s home in the Palani Hills, including teaching in school
experienced teachers changing perceptions
Experienced teachers’ changing perceptions
  • Although economically Gambia is a LEDC I think that its people are more developed in their attitudes and the way they treat people. It is so sad though the way tourism has destroyed some people’s traditional values and caused them to beg, especially children.
  • I have expressed culture shock, but not in finding Gambian culture difficult to assimilate but in seeing how Western tourism is so crassly out of tune with the needs of both Gambian people and the local environment. In creating what tourists want, much of what is naturally here is being sacrificed. This type of tourism is clearly not sustainable.
  • I now question whether charity is always a good thing
frozen narrative id e fixe
Frozen narrative / Idée fixe
  • Looking at and having the chance to compare differences in the state education system of course means that I’m not going to complain when I haven’t got the resources ... They have had to become resourceful in order to deliver the lessons that they need to deliver. And I think the work TIDE has done and is continuing to do will make an immense difference.
student teachers learning
Student teachers’ learning
  • For some reason I feel more sorry for poor people (beggars, homeless) in India than England. Is this because I have preconceptions of India being “poor”?
  • Surprised by the priorities of people - live in mud shacks with little sanitation but have satellite TV, radio and mobile phones
  • I completely agree that [the children’s home] needs sponsorship … I don’t think I agree with the pressure on the children to be sponsored. I feel it is very unfair on the children who aren’t sponsored as it may possibly feel like another rejection
theoretical lenses
Theoretical lenses
  • Socio-cultural learning theory
  • Communities of practice: changing experience of participation (Wenger, 2005)
  • Intercultural experiences (Fiedler, 2007); Third space (Bhabha, 1994)
  • Displacement spaces (Brock et. al. 2006)
  • Deconstruction through critical reflection within a supported, secure environment
research design
Research design

Challenges for research:

  • How do I establish an ethical relation to the ‘other’ and avoid keeping ‘Western academy and the Western academic at the centre’ (Andreotti, 2007)?
  • Western knowledge systems, indigenous knowledge systems: Learning to unlearn (Andreotti & de Souza, 2008)
  • Recognition of dynamic nature of places, societies, cultures and the relationships between them (avoiding frozen narratives)
slide15

UK

Gambia

Gambian

Researcher

Mutual, intercultural

learning

UK

PI and RF

Mutual, intercultural

learning

Southern

India

UK

Southern Indian

Researcher

slide16

The World is like a table. Twenty percent live on the table and eighty percent survive underneath it. Our work cannot be to move a few from under the table onto the table, or vice versa. Our task is to move the table, to change its position if necessary, and all to sit together around the table.

Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti, cited by Hopkin (2002).

references
References
  • Andreotti, V. (2007) ‘An Ethical Engagement with the Other: Spivak’s ideas on education’, Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices, 1(1), 69-79.
  • Andreotti, V. & de Souza, L. M. T. (2008) ‘Translating theory into practice and Walking Minefields: Lessons from the project ‘Through Other Eyes’’. International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning, 1(1) 23-36.
  • Burbules, T (1997), ‘A Grammar of Difference: Some Ways of Rethinking Difference and Diversity as Educational Topics’. Australian Educational Researcher, 24(10) 97-116.
  • Disney, A (2004) ‘Children’s Developing Images and Representations of the School Link Environment’. Catling & Martin (eds) Researching Primary Geography. Register of Research in Primary Geography
  • Leonard, A (2008) ‘Global school relationships: school linking and modern challenges’ in Bourn, (ed) Development Education: Debates and dialogues. London: Institute of Education
  • Martin, F (2008) ‘Mutual Learning: the impact of a study visit course on UK teachers’ knowledge and understanding of global Partnerships’. Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices, 2(1), 60-75
  • Wood, S (2006) Learning from Linking’ in Tide~ Talkhttp://www.tidec.org/Tide~talk/network%20arts/distant-places.html
  • www.throughothereyes.org.uk/