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The ethics and politics of the international transfer of educational policy and practice

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Laura Carnicero.

Prof. Bridges will talk about a paper that is available for reading in advance. We hope in this way to enable a full discussion of the issues raised.

The focus of this paper is on a variety of practices associated with the transfer of educational policy and practice form one national education system to another – practices sometimes referred to as ‘policy borrowing’. Its concern is with the ethical and political issues raised by these practices. In particular it discusses concerns that these practices might be practically inappropriate, that they might be culturally insensitive and that they might be impositional, exploitative perhaps or even oppressive. Such concerns arise in particular in contexts in which the transfer is from relatively rich and powerful countries to relatively poor and less powerful countries. But policy transfer is a feature of relations between the rich and powerful too, and to some extent the issues are then turned on their head. Those engaged in the business of transfer become more clearly identified as service providers and they have to ask questions about to whom and under what conditions they might provide this service. Finally, the paper considers policy transfer as a form of pedagogy and asks whether the kind of ethical considerations which underpin any properly educational transaction might not provide a guide to behaviour by the agents of policy transfer.

This talk is part of the Kazakhstan Programme Research Seminar Series series.

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