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Closing the Gap in Education?

Improving Outcomes in Southern World Societies

Edited by Ilana Snyder and John Nieuwenhuysen

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The education of marginalised peoples and communities is a topic of great contemporary importance. Closing the Gap in Education? increases our understanding of the nature and challenges of marginalisation in southern world societies. The book also canvasses possible directions for change that might improve the social participation of young people. It is both timely and distinctive.

Closing the Gap in Education? emanates from a conference organised by the Monash Institute for the Study of Global Movements, in partnership with Monash South Africa, held in 2009 at Monash’s Johannesburg campus. Leading scholars and public figures from Australia, South Africa and New Zealand participated.

The authors provide illuminating accounts of marginalisation which point to the inadequacy of many current educational policies. Several contributors question the usefulness of notions of closing gaps and bridging divides, suggesting alternate ways to frame the debates.

In explaining the key terms – marginalisation, gaps, divides, peripheries – the contributors consider capabilities, social practices, neo-liberalism, human capital theory, raciology, redistribution, the education debt, the politics of hope, history as a cultural resource and other concepts. They do so as academics and activists committed to social justice in education. The achievement of social transformation is particularly emphasised.

Closing the Gap in Education? makes a most important contribution to understanding education in marginalised communities. It is a thought-provoking work, relevant to all readers interested in education, policy, government, global, media and indigenous studies.

‘Ilana Snyder and John Nieuwenhuysen have put together a fine collection of papers on inclusive education with a southern slant. The material on indigenous education and cultural difference is especially strong. We find ourselves wanting more from these talented contributors.’

— Professor Simon Marginson, University of Melbourne

About the Editors:

Ilana Snyder is a Professor in the Faculty of Education, Monash University. Her research has investigated the changes to literacy practices associated with the use of digital technologies. Books that explore these changes include: Hypertext (1996), Page to Screen (1997), Teachers and Technoliteracy, with Colin Lankshear and Bill Green (2000), Silicon Literacies (2002) and Doing Literacy Online, with Catherine Beavis (2004). Her research has also considered the connections between literacy, learning, technology and disadvantage. In her most recent book, The Literacy Wars (2008), Ilana discusses the politics of the volatile media debates around literacy education in Australia drawing parallels with the US and the UK.

John Nieuwenhuysen is Foundation Director of the Monash Institute for the Study of Global Movements, Visiting Professor, King’s College, University of London, and a member of Council, RMIT University in Melbourne. He was previously Foundation Director of the Bureau of Immigration, Multicultural and Population Research, and Chief Executive of CEDA, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia. A graduate of the London School of Economics and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia, he received an award (AM) in the Order of Australia in 2003 for services to independent public and private research, and the reform of the liquor laws of Victoria.

Contributors:

Mick Dodson
Inala Cooper
Graeme Bloch
Robyn Jorgensen
Richard Bedford
Paul Callister
James Newell
Thobeka Mda
Jane Kenway
Lindsay Fitzclarence
Johannah Fahey
Terri Seddon
Jon Altman
Bill Fogarty
Russell Bishop
Adam Shoemaker
Ilana Snyder
Leon Tikly
Chris Sarra
Peter Sullivan
Rebecca Youdale
Yusef Waghid

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