Now showing 1 - 10 of 14
  • Publication
    Positioning Pedagogy - a matter of children's rights?
    (Taylor and Francis, 2016) ;
    This paper foregrounds pedagogy in the realisation of children's rights to nondiscrimination and serving their best interests, as articulated in the UNCRC. Drawing on a mixed methodological study of teachers in 12 schools it does so through exploring teacher pedagogies in terms of how they 'think', 'do' and 'talk' pedagogy, conceived as their pedagogic 'habitus'. Findings confirm contradictions between teachers’ ideals and their practice that is significantly mediated by the socio-cultural context of their schools, gender and presence of migrant children. Especially striking is that neither social justice concerns nor children’s rights explicitly emerge in their narratives, in turn influencing how they 'do' pedagogy with different groups of children. This contradiction is understood as a dialectical process of re/action influenced by structures, policies and the exercise of power in local contexts. The UNCRC provides a generative mechanism within which to hold government to account for the impact of policies, especially in challenging contexts. To be realised in practice, however, it also needs to be embedded in teacher habitus, shaping their dispositions toward children’s rights to non-discrimination and serving their best interests in education.
  • Publication
    'Value'ing children differently? Migrant children in education
    (Wiley, 2013-07)
    This paper considers dilemmas around 'value' and the 'valuing' of children and childhood(s) in schools. I argue that in neo-liberal contexts, processes of children's identity making become aligned with the idea of the corporate citizen – value and worth derived from the capacity to produce, excel, self-regulate as well as consume in an ever expanding marketplace. Taking the positioning of migrant children as an exemplar, the paper explores the tensions in pedagogic practices between the valuing of migrant children and their 'added value' that is communicated through spheres of re/action in schools. The paper argues for education that is radical and strategic; careful and nurturing. In its absence, being valued differently involves reproducing negative patterns in a circular dialectical loop that naturalises under achievement of migrant children and other children at risk, to deficiencies in culture and identity.
      746Scopus© Citations 39
  • Publication
    The care worlds of migrant children - Exploring inter-generational dynamics of love, care and solidarity across home and school
    (Sage Publications, 2016) ;
    There is increasing interest in migrant children’s contribution to family processes of integration. Less explored are the role of affective bonds and the significance of children’s care worlds in managing the transition of the migrant family, especially between home and school. Drawing on a deep ethnographic study of 10 diverse migrant families (parent and child), this article highlights how inter-generational practices of love, care and solidarity – the creation of a 'family feeling' (Bourdieu, 1998) – are central to the negotiation of belonging in the settlement country. However, affective practices, it is argued, are interconnected with access to economic, social and cultural resources giving rise to substantive differences in how migrant children negotiate the transition between home and school.
      404Scopus© Citations 27
  • Publication
    Naming the 'other': children's construction and experience of racisms in Irish primary schools
    (Taylor and Francis, 2008-12) ; ;
    This paper considers the construction and experience of racisms among a sample of primary school children in Ireland during a period of intensive immigration. Placing children’s voices at the centre of the analysis, it explores how children’s constructions draw upon discourses of 'norm' and 'other' in relation to national identity and cultural belonging. Constructions of minority ethnic groups are located within a context that defines what it is to be Irish, such constructions carrying with them assumptions related not only to skin colour but also to lifestyle, language, and religious belief. Drawing on key concepts related to power, social identities and child cultures, the findings highlight the significance of ethnic identity to children’s negotiations around inclusion and exclusion in their peer groups. Name‐calling in general, and racist name‐calling in particular, was shown to be an important tool used by some children in the assertion of their status with one another. The sensitivity displayed by the majority ethnic children to skin colour only, in their discussions around racism, highlights the salience of colour to many of these children’s typification of themselves as white Irish, and of many black migrant children especially as 'other'. It also indicates, however, the limited understanding these majority ethnic children had of racism in contrast to their minority ethnic peers (including Irish Traveller children), all of whom were able to recount their own experiences of being racially abused for colour and/or culturally‐based differences. The need for teachers to be sensitive to the dynamics of children’s social world is stressed, as is the importance of developing clear procedures for the monitoring and tackling of racist incidents in schools.
      1259Scopus© Citations 74
  • Publication
    Practising leadership in newly multi-ethnic schools: tensions in the field?
    (Taylor and Francis, 2013)
    This paper explores the leadership practices of three principals following a period of intensive immigration in Ireland. Drawing on the work of Bourdieu, it conceptualises schools as structured social spaces and of their leadership work as a form of practising. This practising is an outcome of the intersection between deeply embedded subjectivities operating in diverse fields of action that shape, constrain and transform each principal’s practices. Presenting an analytical model that highlights the circular and capillary-like dimension to such practising, the paper explores how principals’ recognition of immigrant children (their recognitive practices) as well as investment in supporting their learning (distributive practices) are shaped by the logics of practice across different fields, as well as by their own evolving habitus and struggle to be authentic in a period of rapid social change. Practising effective leadership in newly multi-ethnic schools must be conceived as layered and multiple but must be underpinned by an ethic of justice, if the minoritised status of 'ethnic' others is to be challenged and overcome.
      463Scopus© Citations 27
  • Publication
    Theorizing children’s social citizenship: New welfare states and inter-generational justice
    (Sage, 2018-03-04) ;
    This article argues that children's social status and positioning as children needs to be foregrounded in discussions of social citizenship and the re/development of the welfare state against a backdrop of neo-liberal economic and social reform. Set within a theoretical model that highlights the circular and de-centred exercise of power across fields of action, the subject of children's citizenship, understood as a 'citizenship habitus' is explored, taking the exemplar of education and migrant children's positioning in schools. 
      383Scopus© Citations 21
  • Publication
    What is 'good' teaching? Teacher beliefs and practices about their teaching
    (Taylor and Francis, 2013-03-21) ; ;
    There has been increasing attention on teacher 'quality' and effectiveness internationally. There is, however, little research documenting experienced teachers' classroom practices and their beliefs on why they teach the way they do. Drawing on a mixed methodological study of practices and beliefs across 12 primary and secondary schools, this paper documents the importance of passion, reflection, planning, love for children and the social and moral dimension to Irish teachers' constructs of good teaching. Contradictions are evident, however, between teacher beliefs and observation of their practice, the latter mediated by the sociocultural context of the school (gender, social class and migrant children), teacher expectations for different types of students and leadership practices within the school. Debates over 'quality' teaching need to take account of these broader contextual and sociocultural factors which influence how teachers construct and do teaching.
      3492Scopus© Citations 81
  • Publication
    Crafting the Elastic Self? Gender and Identities in Senior Appointments in Irish Education
    This article considers the impact of new managerial reform on the recruitment and retention of women into senior management posts across the Irish education sector. In Ireland as elsewhere, the rhetoric of gender equality permeates new managerial reforms. Yet our data suggest that an emphasis on performativity and an intense commitment to paid work consolidates masculinist management cultures disguised through the ideology of choice. This works to the detriment of women, especially those with caring responsibilities. Drawing on studies of 23 top-level educational appointments in primary, secondary and higher education, we show how the relentless crafting of an elastic self is required for both those who remain in management positions in education and those who seek them.
      277Scopus© Citations 53
  • Publication
    Theorising Catholic Education through the lens of Bernstein and Bourdieu
    (Taylor & Francis, 2017-03-10) ;
    The broader theoretical frameworks of both Bourdieu (and his concepts of habitus, field, doxa, collusio and capital) and Bernstein (and his concepts of classification, framing and ritual) provide a deeper understanding of the distinctiveness of Catholic schooling. This article presents a model for theorising Catholic schooling in which levels of action can be seen to be at work in Catholic schools whereby the habitus of the participants can be closely aligned with the framing of a school’s values through consensual rituals and other leadership practices. The stronger the alignment between these levels generates an experience of collusio and the greater the extent that agents within a Catholic school generate practices towards preserving Catholic spiritual capital, the more strongly that school is classified from other types of schools with its own distinct voice and identity. We conclude by demonstrating how this model was applied in researching Catholic schooling in Ireland.
      405Scopus© Citations 5
  • Publication
    Children and Value – Education in Neo-liberal Times
    This special issue arises from an international conference, Researching Children, Global Childhoods and Education, at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY) in 2011. The goal of the conference was to advance theories and methodological practices that cultivate children’s agency in research and educational practices. Many topics were raised -- including child poverty, migration, the growing significance of technologies, consumerism and marketization, the speeding up of children’s lives, child labour and children’s role as carers, shifting gender roles and family dynamics and the greater acknowledgement of children’s rights to provision, protection and participation. As the organizers of the conference, we identified a recurring theme: the changing value of children in education. There was a shared concern within this network of international scholars that education policy and investment in children’s education is being shaped by a vision that is narrowing children’s experience of learning and measuring quality in education through an economically instrumentalist lens.
      389Scopus© Citations 9