Learner-centred Education in International Perspective: Whose pedagogy for whose development?, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Learner-centred Education in International Perspective

Whose pedagogy for whose development?, 1st Edition

By Michele Schweisfurth


184 pages

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Is learner-centred education appropriate for all societies and classrooms?

Learner-centred education (LCE) is a travelling policy, widely promoted by international agencies and national governments. Arguments in favour of this pedagogical tradition refer to theories and evidence from cognitive psychology, claiming that all learners can benefit equally from its judicious use. Beyond the benefits to the individual however, lie a set of assumptions about learner-centred education as a foundation for the building of democratic citizens and societies, suitable for economies of the future. These promises have been questioned by critics who doubt that it is appropriate in all cultural and resource contexts, and there is considerable evidence in the global South of perennial problems of implementation.

In the light of these debates, is LCE still a good development ‘bet’? This book provides an authoritative and balanced investigation of these issues, exploring the contextual factors from global movements to local resourcing realities which have fuelled it as a discourse and affected its practice. In the light of the theoretical underpinnings and research evidence, the book addresses pressing questions: to what extent is learner-centred education a sound choice for policy and practice in developing countries? And if it is a sound choice, under which conditions is it a viable one?

The book is divided into three key parts:

- Learner-centred Education as a Global Phenomenon

- Learner-centred Education in Lower and Middle-income Countries

- Lessons and Resolutions

This bookprovides a much-needed fresh analysis of the concept and practice of LCE. It will be valuable reading for academics and post-graduates with a focus on comparative and international education, along with policy-makers in developing countries and development agencies.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Part I: Learner-centred Education as a Global Phenomenon 2. Learner-centred Education: Definitions and Provenance 3. Three Justificatory Narratives: Cognition, Emancipation and Preparation 4. Contexts for Learner-centred Education: Global, National and Local Part II: Learner-centred Education in Lower and Middle-income Countries 5. Learner-centred Education as a Promising but Problematic Policy in the Global South 6. The Gambia: The Intersection of the Global and the Local in a Small Developing Country 7. Moving Towards Learner-centred Education: China’s Multiple Paradoxes 8. Russia - Shifting and Resilient Narratives on the ‘Educated Person’ 9. South Africa’s Emancipatory Policy Discourses and Classroom Realities 10. Mobile Students and New Learner-centred Pedagogies Part III: Lessons and Resolutions 11. Ten Key Lessons from Theory, Evidence and Cases 12. Towards a Contextualised Learner-centred Pedagogical Nexus

About the Author

Michele Schweisfurth is Chair in Comparative and International Education at the School of Education, University of Glasgow. She is also the editor of the journal Comparative Education.

About the Series

Education, Poverty and International Development

This series of research-based monographs and edited collections provides new analyses of the relationships between education, poverty and international development. The series offers important theoretical and methodological frameworks for the study of developing-country education systems, in the context of national cultures and ambitious global agendas. It aims to identify the key policy challenges associated with addressing social inequalities, uneven social and economic development and the opportunities to promote democratic and effective educational change.

The series brings together researchers from the fields of anthropology, economics, development studies, educational studies, politics international relations and sociology. It represents a unique opportunity to publish work by some of the most distinguished writers in the fields of education and development along with that of new authors working on important empirical projects. The series contributes important insights on the linkages between education and society based on inter-disciplinary, international and national studies.

Sharp, critical and innovative studies are sought that are likely to have a strategic influence upon the thinking of academics and policy-makers. They may include critical syntheses of existing research and policy, innovative research methodologies, and in-depth evaluations of major policy developments. Some studies will address topics relevant to poverty alleviation, national and international policy-making and aid, whilst others may represent anthropological or sociological investigations on how education works or does not work within local communities, for households living in poverty or for particular socially marginalised groups. Preference will be given to studies with a comparative international approach although some single-country studies will be considered, where they raise interesting theoretical and policy issues with clear relevance for international audiences.




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