CALL FOR PAPERS
Social Policy, Risk, and Education
This special issue of the journal Policy Futures in Education –www.wwwords.co.uk/PFIE – takes the broad lens of risk as its point of departure and invite empirical and theoretical papers which focus on the ways in which risk is enacted through and within education. Risk has become a central discourse – a cultural mindset – in modern societies which frames identities and organizes the governance of individuals and populations. The neoliberal, deregulated state, which emphasizes market-based solutions to the distribution of social goods, has collapsed economic and social policy: the paramount reality is competition and risk. Risk in multifarious settings now dominates social, political and economic discourse.
In a world where uncertainty and harm are governed through risk assessment and risk management, it is no surprise that educational policy similarly aligns loss, injury, and disadvantage with educational management strategies. American education, largely associated with formal schooling, has long embraced the concept of risk (e.g. ‘at-risk children’ and ‘a nation at risk’) as the basis for securing the nation’s economic future competitiveness. Public program initiatives such as Head Start are fashioned upon the perception of a perilous future, and attempt to assess and manage negative risks to children and society, as do the policies of many private intervention programs. Similarly, school-age children, from kindergarten through high school, are systematically identified as ‘at risk’ and targeted for academic and social intervention. While the US Department of Education’s ‘A Nation At Risk’ predated Beck’s risk society, the ‘at risk’ child can only be imagined within a risk society. Conversely, both official and unofficial educational sites are also governed by risk, but individual identities are frequently portrayed as ‘risk takers’. Here, risk is aligned with well-being and the enterprising self. Learning to skydive or rock climb, taking a challenging class, ‘having a go’ at spelling a new word, or returning to college to transition a career indicates a life worth living.
The purpose of this themed issue is to bring together international and critical perspectives on risk theory and education in both formal and informal settings.
All papers submitted will be evaluated using the journal’s normal peer review process. Please also see the journal’s guidance for authors:www.wwwords.co.uk/pfie/howtocontribute.asp
Publication for the special issue is planned for 2014. Deadline for submissions is September 1, 2013. Papers should be sent as an email attachment to the Guest Editor, Policy Futures in Education, Professor Steve Bialostok, College of Education, University of Wyoming: [email protected]m