15 February 2012
Venue: Room N356, N block, Faculty of Education, Gate 4, 60 Epsom Ave, Epsom (View map)
Contact info: Please RSVP to Stacey Davis by 13 February.
RUPIE (Research Unit in Pacific and International Education) and the School of Critical Studies in Education present:
Emeritus Professor Lynn Davies
Security, Secularism and Schooling
This seminar explores some themes for a forthcoming book which updates work on the relationship between
education and conflict or extremism, with a particular focus on religion and secularism. Using a framework of security enables attention to intersections between political, economic, domestic and school security. Education is not conflated with counter-insurgency, but has a role to play in mitigation of the risk of violent militancy. However, religious divides and sectarianism can be key barriers to national security. I make the case for ‘inclusive secularism’ in society and school.
This requires a challenge to some of the myths about secularism, and a demonstration of how secularism can in fact be a friend to religion as well as to sustainable security. In a secular education strategy, the need for an inclusive, cross-cutting value base is acknowledged: a foundation of human and children’s rights is argued to provide the best example. A different form of learning - and unlearning is found in the work on deradicalisation, disengagement and debiasing, and current initiatives in mentoring those at risk of violent extremism are explored. Finally student and teacher activism with regard to security is touched on, particularly secular and religious protest movements. My arguments are set within a revisiting of complexity theory, in particular the problems of ‘lock-in’ and concepts of survival, evolution, diversity and adaptation.
Bio: Lynn Davies is an Emeritus Professor of International Education in the Centre for International Education and Research,University of Birmingham, UK. Her interests are in education and fragility, conflict and extremism.