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International discourses in shaping national education policies: The case of the UNESCO’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in Education and the Education for All (EFA) agenda

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International discourses in shaping national education policies: The case of the UNESCO’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in Education and the Education for All (EFA) agenda

Chacon, Raul (2011) International discourses in shaping national education policies: The case of the UNESCO’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in Education and the Education for All (EFA) agenda. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Nation-state governments implement educational policies for improving their national systems and, ultimately, students’ learning outcomes. Underlying educational policy-making is a top-down approach that privileges the interests of powerful actors and institutions to the detriment of local communities. Such a top-down approach reproduces international organizations’ (IOs) agenda on educational development issues (e.g., quality, literacy and assessments).
This thesis investigated the education-related discourses advanced by UNESCO, a key player in the global arena, by looking at two of its main educational agendas: Education for All and the Millennium Development Goals’ reports. These were analyzed through the lens of a discourse analysis approach that included functional and critical perspectives on education. Theoretically, this study was informed by current discussions on the role of IOs in shaping nation-states’ educational systems within a globalized context that reproduces social injustices.
The analysis showed that the EFA and MDG’s reinforce the understanding of education as instrumental to the postulates of the global knowledge economy. Education, thus, becomes a sub-sector of the economy. Educational networks, including policymakers, researchers and scholars, are crucial to produce and reproduce this scenario. Furthermore, UNESCO draws upon and furthers discourses that oppose the developing to the developed world, and in so doing reinforces the differences and relationships of power among the countries. Nevertheless, UNESCO agenda opens possibilities for transforming education. It highlights and promotes local agency and participation of community actors in discussions on educational quality improvement and the necessity for reducing inequalities between students from different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Chacon, Raul
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Educational Studies
Date:12 August 2011
Thesis Supervisor(s):Naseem, Ayaz
ID Code:35743
Deposited By:RAUL CHACON
Deposited On:21 Nov 2011 08:36
Last Modified:21 Nov 2011 08:36
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