The project examines the debates and controversies surrounding the notion of a “knowledge society” and “education for work” in Arab societies, their sources, institutional articulations, and discursive reproduction across the region. Here, I critically explore how cultural, ideological and political frameworks inform and shape discourses on educational policies and restructuring reforms for development across the Arab region. As part of this project, I also delve on the inter-relations between science policies, and the stratification of faculty members in higher education institutions in Arab countries (particularly the Gulf Cooperation Council member states). Refer to the description of an international Workshop on The Governance of Higher Education in the Gulf Cooperation Council Region (University of Cambridge, UK: July 7–10, 2010, co-directed with R. G. Sultana).
The project examines how educational policies are used as tools for the construction of imagined political communities based on exclusivist notions of citizenship. Among other, I explore how school textbook “semiosis” (Norman Fairclough) choreographs citizenship identities within the broader contexts of geopolitical power relations, contested regimes and deeply divided societies, more particularly in the Middle East. In November 2008, the main framework of this project was presented as a public keynote lecture entitled “Semiotics, Geopolitics, and the Question of Representation in Textbook Reforms”, delivered at the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (Braunschweig, Germany). A second paper on souvenir and identity in school textbooks was presented at the Second SCAPE Symposium on Difference, Dissensus and Democracy: Revitalizing the Political in Education (UBC, 16–18 October 2009).
This is a joint project with Linda Herrera (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Roozbeh Shirazi (University of Minnesota).
“Anthropologists interested in education and schooling in the Arab region draw on existing theoretical and methodological articulations that have not necessarily been developed in relation to or within the Arab region. What visions of society, and what visions of politics do these articulations promote, particularly in relation to the intersections of youth politics, the state, knowledge production, and the highlighting of alternative spaces of education and learning?
The project brings together emergent and critical scholarship in the field of anthropology of education and schooling in the Arab region. It examines a wide range of sites of educational practice and policy, whether in societies where the state still holds sway over social and economic resources, and in societies where the power of the state has been significantly eroded, if not vanished altogether. The project thus aims to interrogate not only the epistemic and ontological assumptions underpinning mainstream scholarship in the broader field of anthropology of education. It also examines the particular articulations of education and schooling in the Arab region shape and are shaped by the multifaceted spatial unfoldings in which new political and social frameworks emerge across the region.”
The project interrogates the notion of “educational innovation”, and its emergence as a policy tool in the restructuring of schools and educational systems. It unpacks the multifaceted dynamics underpinning the introduction and implementation of “educational innovations” within schools by focusing on the intersections between conceptions of knowledge, constructions of educational innovations, and modalities of educational policy development within the larger context of economic, cultural and social dynamics.
The project also examines how educators and communities engage different kinds of “educational innovations” and the ways through which the engagement with innovative approaches to education emerges as a site of practice, situated in relation to wider social, economic, and political struggles.
(A paper on the contested terrain of educational innovations was presented at the Innovation Policy Initiative Seminar at INSEAD’s Abu Dhabi campus on 22 April 2014)
- Au-delà d’une école à deux vitesses: Pour une école fondamentale juste et équitable en Haïti. Paris: L’Harmattan, 2015. (co-authored with G. Fallon)
- Private Tutoring Across the Mediterranean: Power Dynamics and Implications for Learning and Equity. Series in Comparative and International Education. The Netherlands: Sense Publishers, 2013. (Co-edited with M. Bray & R.G. Sultana)
- Education and the Arab ‘World’: Political Projects, Struggles, and Geometries of Power. World Yearbook of Education Series. New York & London: Routledge, 2010. (Co-edited with R.G. Sultana)
- Pathologizing Practices: The Impact of Deficit Thinking on Education. New York: Peter Lang, 2005. (Co-authored with C. Shields & R. Bishop)
- Between State and Church: Life-History of a French-Catholic School in Jaffa. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Europäischer Verlag der Wissenschaften, 1996. (Co-authored with O. Ichilov)
ARTICLES & CHAPTERS
Educational Policies and the Cultural Politics of Schooling
“School textbooks and entanglements of the ‘colonial present’ in Israel and Palestine”, in Pedagogy, Politics and Philosophy of Peace, edited by Carmel Borg and Michael Grech. London: Bloomsbury, 2016.
“Grammars of privatization, schooling, and the ‘network state'”, in Education and the Political: New Theoretical Articulations, edited by Tomasz Szkudlarek, pp. 41-60. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers, 2013.
“Education as spaces of community engagement and a ‘capacity to aspire’”, in Educators of the Mediterranean: Up Close and Personal, edited by R.G. Sultana, pp. 227–39. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers, 2011.
“‘Which Palestine should we teach?’ Signatures, palimpsests, and struggles over school textbooks“, Studies in Philosophy and Education, 30(2), 169–83, 2011.
“‘Also the school is a temple’: Republicanism, transnational spaces and the schooling of Muslim youth in France”, in Being Young and Muslim: New Cultural Politics in the Global North and South, edited by L. Herrera & A. Bayat, pp. 177–87, notes on pp. 377–79. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Read/Listen to an interview with the co-editors.
“‘Qui a peur du lycée musulman?’: Media representations of a Muslim school in France”, Social Semiotics, 19(3), 235–56, 2009.
“Governing the ‘new administrative frontier’: ‘Cohering’ rationalities and educational leadership in British Columbia”, Management in Education, 23(2), 71–77, 2009 (Co-authored with M. Stack).
“Dis/integrated orders and the politics of recognition: Civil upheavals, militarism, and educators’ lives and work“, Mediterranean Journal of Educational Studies, 13(2), 69–89, 2008. (also, reprinted as a book chapter in 2009)
Deconstructing Discourses on the ‘Knowledge Society’
“Naming the Imaginary:”Building an Arab Knowledge Society” and the Contested Terrain of educational Reforms for development”, in Trajectories of Education in the Arab World: Legacies and Challenges, edited by O. Abi-Mershed, pp. 201–25. London: Routledge, 2010.
“‘Knowledge society’ or work as ‘spectacle’? Education for work and the prospects of social transformation in Arab societies”, in Educating the Global Workforce: Knowledge, Knowledge Work and Knowledge Workers, edited by L. Farrell & T. Fenwick, pp. 251–67. London: Routledge, 2007.
“Globalization, Development, and Policies of Knowledge and Learning in the Arab States”, in New Society Models for a New Millennium – The Learning Society in Europe and Beyond, edited by M. Kuhn, pp. 335–84. New York, NY: Peter Lang, 2007.
State Policies, Higher Education Governance, and the Shaping of the Academic Profession
“Policy politics of higher education in the Gulf Cooperation Council member states: Intersections of globality, regionalism and locality”, in Higher Education in the Gulf States: Shaping Economies, Politics and Culture, edited by C. Davidson and P. Mackenzie Smith, pp. 59-72. SOAS Middle East Issues Series. London: Al-Saqi Books in association with The London Middle East Institute at SOAS, 2008.
“Besieging the king’s tower? En/gendering academic opportunities in the Gulf Arab states”, in Aspects of Education in the Middle East and North Africa, edited by C. Brock and L. Zia Levers, pp. 77-97. Oxford Studies in Comparative Education. Oxford: Symposium Books, 2007.
“State power, faculty recruitment and the emergence of constituencies in Saudi Arabia”, in Education in the Muslim World: Different Perspectives – An Overview, edited by R. Griffin, pp. 55-78. Oxford, UK: Symposium Books, 2006.
“Contrasting perspectives on higher education governance in the Arab states”, in Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, Volume 20, 133-189. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer Science, 2005.
“The academic profession in a rentier state: The case of the Saudi Arabian professoriate”, Minerva: A Review of Science, Learning and Policy, 43(3), 221-244, 2005.
“Divisions of academic labor: Nationals and non-nationals in Arab Gulf universities”, International Journal of Contemporary Sociology, 40(1), 91-110, 2003.
“The academic workplace in Arab Gulf public universities”, in The Decline of the Guru: The Academic Profession in Developing and Middle-Income Countries, edited by P.G. Altbach, pp. 231-269. New York: Palgrave Press, 2003.
Educational Policies, Schooling, and the Reproduction of Social Inequalities
“Dependence on state funding, local educational opportunities, and access to high school credentials in Israel”, Educational Studies, 30(2), 145-158, 2004. (Co-authored with A. Addi-Raccah)
“Concentrated disadvantage and access to educational credentials in Arab and Jewish localities in Israel”, British Educational Research Journal, 25(3), 355-370, 1999.
“Elite formation under occupation: The internal stratification of Palestinian elites in the West Bank and Gaza Strip”, British Journal of Sociology, 50(3), 397-418, 1999. (Co-authored with A. Yogev)
“Educational opportunities, parental choice, community structure and mobility: The case of the Arab community of Jaffa” in: Autonomy and Choice in Context: An International Perspective, edited by R. Shapira & P.W. Cookson, pp. 135-160. Oxford: Elsevier Science, 1997. (Co-authored with O. Ichilov)
“Region, locality characteristics, high school tracking and equality in access to educational credentials: The case of Palestinian Arab communities in Israel”, Educational Studies, 24(2), 223-240, 1998.
“Competition over school-management positions and the mediation of social inequalities: A case study of High Court of Justice petitions against the appointment of principals in public Arab schools in Israel”, Israel Social Science Research, 11(1), 87-114, 1996.
“University education, credentialism and social stratification among Palestinian Arabs in Israel”, Higher Education, 29(4), 351-368, 1995.
“Palestinians in Israel: Educational expansion, social mobility and political control”, Compare: A Journal of Comparative Education, 24(3), 277-284, 1994.
Schooling and Political Socialization
“Educational expansion and the mediation of discontent: The cultural politics of schooling in the Arab states”, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 23(1), 59-74, 2002.
“The contested terrains of education in the Arab states: An appraisal of major research trends”, Comparative Education Review, 43(3), 332-352, 1999.
“Contested regimes, civic dissent and the political socialization of children and adolescents: The case of the Palestinian uprising”, in: Citizenship and Citizenship Education in a Changing World, edited by O. Ichilov, pp. 83-97. London: Woburn Press, 1998.
“Teachers’ role patterns and the mediation of sociopolitical change: The case of Palestinian Arab school teachers”, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 15(4), 497-514, 1994.
“Israeli adolescents’ comprehension and evaluation of democracy”, Youth and Society, 21(2), 153-169, 1989. (Co-authored with O. Ichilov & D. Bar-Tal)
“Bajazet en arabe: Entre traduction et acculturation”, in Jean Racine et L’Orient, edited by I. Martin and R. Elbaz, pp. 53-62. Tübingen, Germany: Gunter Narr Verlag, 2003. (Co-authored with I. Martin) (in French)
SHORT ESSAYS AND REPORTS
Educational policy in British Columbia:
- Campus 2020 and the Future of British Columbia’s Post-Secondary Education: Critical Responses and Policy Perspectives. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia, Centre for Policy Studies in Higher Education and Training, 2007. (Co-authored by A.S. Metcalfe, A.E. Mazawi, K. Rubenson, D. Fisher, M. MacIvor, J. Meredith)
- Fostering Tomorrow’s Educational Leaders. British Columbia: The Association of BC Deans of Education, 2006. (Co-authored by M. Stack, D. Coulter, G. Grosjean, A. Mazawi & G. Smith).
Higher education in the Arab region:
- “The Arab spring: The higher education revolution that is yet to happen“, International Higher Education, 65, 12-13, 2011 [Reprinted as “Revolutions yet to happen“, Inside Higher Education, September 8, 2011; mirrored on African Higher Education Research Online. Translated into Arabic by Abdalla Erfan and reprinted in Al-Shourouq (Egyptian daily), issue 957, September 15, 2011, p. 11. Translated into Italian by Raffaella Cornacchini and reprinted in Universitas (in Italian), issue 124, May 2012, pp. 32-34].
- “Wars, geopolitics and university governance in the Arab states“, International Higher Education, 36, 7-9, 2004.
- “Crossing the distance: The open university in the Arab states”, International Higher Education, 18, 20-21, 2000.
- “A special focus: Knowledge, power and academe in the Arab States”, International Higher Education, 18, 2000.
- “Gender and higher education in the Arab states”, International Higher Education, 17, 18-19, 1999.
Education in Palestinian society:
- “National curricula, gender and the schooling of Palestinians“, Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, Vol. VI, edited by S. Joseph, pp. 208-211. Leiden, The Netherlands: B.J. Brill, 2007.
- “Equality of educational opportunities as a daily practice“, Ru’a Tarbawiya (Educational Vision), 4, 18-20, 2001. (in Arabic).
- Review of: Gendered Paradoxes: Educating Jordanian Women in Nation, Faith, and Progress (by. F.J. Adely), Anthropology in Action, 21(1), 49-51, 2014.
- Review of: Palestinian State Formation: Education and the Construction of National Identity (by N. Hovsepian), Arab Studies Quarterly, 32(3), 171-173, 2010.
- Review of: Multiculturalism, Muslims and Citizenship: A European Approach (edited by T. Modood, A. Triandafyllidou & E. Zapata-Barrero), International Sociology Review of Books, 24(2), 204-209, 2009.
- “Schooling and curricular reforms in Arab and Muslim societies“, The Middle East Journal, 62(2), 329-337, 2008.
- Review of: Oasis of Dreams: Teaching and Learning Peace in a Jewish-Palestinian Village in Israel (by G. Feuerverger), Comparative Education Review, 46(4), 522-525, 2002.
- Review of: Education and the Arab World: Challenges of the Next Millennium, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 23(3), 396-404, 2001.
- “The reconstruction of Palestinian education: Between history, policy politics and policy making”, The Journal of Education Policy, 15(3), 371-375, 2000.
KEYNOTE ADDRESSES & SELECT INVITED LECTURES
In British Columbia
- “‘Bearing witness to the human’: Human rights and social justice between empires and diversity”. Guest speaker at Port Moody Secondary Amnesty International Club event ‘Talent Talks’. Port Moody, BC: Inlet Theatre, June 18, 2014.
- “Education as human right: Philosophical and sociological perspectives”. Seminar on School Law: Education in the 21st Century – Facing the Challenge of Change. Vancouver, BC: Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, March 10, 2011.
- “The location of globalization: ‘Building dwelling thinking’ higher education“. Keynote delivered at the Globalization and Education Special Interest Group (SIG) Meeting. Comparative and International Education Society Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC: March 10, 2016.
- “Multiculturalisme et interculturalisme au Canada: enjeux, expériences, et politiques éducatives entre indigènéïté, colonialisme, et état-nation”. Keynote delivered at the MAS Éducation internationale et recherche. Geneva, Switzerland: University of Geneva, April 23, 2015 (in French).
- “On the contested terrain of educational innovations”. Invited Keynote Presentation at the INSEAD Innovation and Policy Initiative (IIPI) Seminar. Abu Dhabi: United Arab Emirates, April 22, 2014.
- “International mobility: Students preparation and quality offer.” Invited presentation by the Coimbra Group of Brazilian Universities, V International Seminar and VI General Assembly. Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil, October 4, 2013.
- “Competing temporalities and geographies of university lifelong learning: Higher education landscapes, knowledge flows, and translations of citizenship.” Keynote address prepared for the 44th Annual Conference of the European Association for University Lifelong Learning (EUCEN) on Border-crossing as a viable choice: Collaboration, dialogue and access to higher education. Valletta, Malta: Presidential Palace, November 7, 2012.
- “Innovation in the North and South“. Global Legal Education Forum. Harvard University: Harvard School of Law & SJD Association, March 24, 2012.
- “The political grammar of privatization in education: Civitas, respublica and the politics of difference.” Keynote Address delivered at the International Seminar on Privatization of Education: Current International Trends. University of Geneva: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, December 17, 2010.
- “Semiotics, geopolitics and the question of representation in textbook research”. Keynote Address and Public Lecture. Georg-Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research. Braunschweig (Lower Saxony), Germany, November 21, 2008.
- “Whither an Arab ‘Knowledge Society’? Regionalism, Nation-States, and Educational Research for Development.” Keynote Address delivered at the Third Mediterranean Society of Comparative Education (MESCE) Conference. Malta, May 11-13, 2008.
SUMMER ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES
- Workshop on The Governance of Higher Education in the Gulf Cooperation Council Region (University of Cambridge, UK: July 7–10, 2010, co-directed with R. G. Sultana)
- Inter-University Graduate Seminar in Educational Research (University of British Columbia) (Organizer & Convenor)
The Inter-University Graduate Seminar in Educational Research is a student scholarly event, open to graduate students. It is held every first Saturday of June, bringing together students from various higher education institutions to celebrate and share their work in a collegial, inspiring, constructive, and supportive environment. The Seminar offers an inter-disciplinary space, where participants productively engage new fields of study, drawing on innovative methodologies. It also offers a social space, where participants establish contact and build meaningful intellectual engagements with peers beyond their respective home institution and program.
- International Education Policy and Governance (Summer School, University of Geneva, June 10-14, 2013). Program.
- International Festival of Street Games, organised by the Association of Antique Games, Verona (Italy), September 20-22, 2013. This is an annual city-wide international popular and scholarly event dedicated to the promotion of the game culture as a playful educational space of civic, community, and cultural engagement with questions of social diversity, traditions, and inclusion (See 2014 site). Video.
- Module 6: ‘Recherche interculturelle‘, Master of Advanced Studies in International Education and Research (University of Geneva, April 2015). Program.
- ‘Pedagogy, Diversity, and Social Justice‘, Workshop offered as part of the Seminar La Pédagogie, Quelle Histoire! organised by the Institut de Formation Pédagogique of the Association Genevoise des Ecoles Privées. Geneva, Switzerland, May 17, 2016.
- GLOBED Summer School 2016, University of Malta, May 29-June 3, 2016.
Mediterranean Journal of Educational Studies
Member, International Board of Editors (1999-2008)
Member of the Executive Editorial Board (2008-)
Malta Review of Educational Research
Member, International Advisory Board (2008-)
British Journal of Sociology of Education
Member of the Editorial Board (2011-2012)
Postcolonial Directions in Education
Member of the Editorial Advisory Board (2012-)
Kultura, Spoɫeczeństwo, Edukacja (Culture, Society, Education) (2014-)
Member of the Scientific Board, University of Gdańsk (2015-)
Doctoral students supervised have undertaken research on the intersections of power politics, organisational dynamics, educational policies, and how these intersections shape educators’ lives and work, in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous contexts. In their work, they drew on a range of organisational theories, and on the works of Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu, Dorothy Smith, and Norman Fairclough, to name but a few. They have used a range of qualitative methodologies, for instance, critical ethnography, case study research, archival research, critical discourse analysis (CDA), interviews, content analysis. Research was undertaken in sites as diverse as schools, school districts, and non-governmental organisations, both in British Columbia and The Yukon.
Examples of supervised doctoral work:
- Simon Blakesley, Remote and Unresearched: A Contextualized Study of Non-Indigenous Educational Leaders Working in Yukon Indigenous Communities (Ph.D. in Educational Studies, 2010).
- Peter Froese, Political Action Through Consensus: A Case Study of the Federation of Independent School Associations in British Columbia (Ed.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership, 2010).
- Michael John Simmonds, Interpreting the Fraser Institute Secondary School Ranking in British Columbia (Ed.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership, 2012).
- Georgina Martin, Drumming my Way Home: An Intergenerational Narrative Inquiry About Secwepemc Identities (Ph.D. in Educational Studies, 2014) [co-supervised with Jo-ann Archibald].
- Peter Gordon Skipper, How Do Teachers Construct An Understanding of Teaching (Ed.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership, 2015) [co-supervised with Daniel Pratt].
- Maren Elfert, The Utopia of Lifelong Learning: An Intellectual History of UNESCO’s Approach to Humanistic Education, 1945-2015 (Ph.D. in Educational Studies, 2016) [co-supervised with Kjell Rubenson].
Examples of supervised M.A. theses:
- Xuehong Liao, Local Responses to Globalization: A Comparative Study of Four North American Universities’ Study Abroad Programs (M.A. in Higher Education, 2006).
- Chen Shen, The Diversification of China’s Higher Education Funding, 1996-2003 (M.A. in Higher Education, 2007).
- Bradley Issel, Educational Leadership, School Commercialism, and Neoliberal Policy: Understanding Elementary School Principals’ Decision-Making (M.A. in Educational Leadership and Administration, 2010).
- Bingbing Li, Understanding the Role of Female School Principals: An Exploratory Case Study of Four Female Principals in a Metropolitan City in China (M.A. in Educational Leadership and Administration, 2014).
- Sonia Medel, Anti-Racist Pedagogy Towards Socio-Political Transformation: A Case Study of LUNDU’s Apúntate Contra el Racismo Campain (M.A. in Society, Culture, and Politics in Education, 2014). A copy is also available here.
Graduate Program in Educational Administration & Leadership
EDST 501: Research traditions in Educational Administration [Research Methods, intro for EDST 553]
EDST 553: Group inquiry projects [follows EDST 501] (Winter 2016)
EDST 582: Educational Organizations
Graduate Program in Adult Learning and Education
EDST 518: Theory and Research in Adult Learning (Winter 2016)
Graduate Program in Higher Education
EDST 521: Foundations of Higher Education
PhD Program in Educational Studies
EDST 601B Doctoral Seminar in Advanced Methodologies in Education
EDST 602A Doctoral Seminar [Second Year]
EdD Program in Educational Policy and Leadership
EDST 508A: Research Methods I
EDST 508B: Research Methods II
- Senior Fellow, Qattan Centre for Educational Research and Development.
- Affiliate Professor, Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Educational Research, University of Malta.
- Member, Common Room, Green College, University of British Columbia.
- Member, Advisory Group on International Affairs and Solidarity, Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT).