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Academic and PhD Student Response Elite Schools Project.

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1 Academic and PhD Student Response Elite Schools Project

2 This is the first study to engage with elite secondary schooling in an international social space. The ethnographic and longitudinal research design was complemented by an attentiveness to the ways colonial and postcolonial histories are shaping the social, economic and cultural contexts in which the schools were located and how they are being constructed as ‘elite’ institutions. The breadth and depth of data collected, and the exciting theoretical ideas the team has brought to bear on their work is the reason it has been such a pleasure as well as been so generative for my own thinking. These are just some of the key ideas I have been inspired by (libidinal economy, global girls, fieldwork as travel practice, the ways in which schools position themselves and the kinds of curricula they develop are linked to broader struggles around nationhood). I look forward to reading the forthcoming books and papers still to emerge from the project. Dr. Claire Maxwell, Reader, London Institute of Education

3 Elite Independent Schools in Globalising Circumstances Project has mapped out new terrain in elite schooling. The project has offered not only new ways of thinking about elite schooling but also unearthed possibilities for researching elites. Most importantly, the project has reinvigorated scholarly discussions about elite schooling throughout the world and highlighted the importance of departing from limited approaches for studying elites that are nation bound. Inspired by this project, I began a multi-site research on the self-understandings of students at elite schools in six countries. This project provided me the necessary foundation for undertaking such an inquiry. Adam Howard, Associate Professor of Education, Colby College, USA

4 The elite independent schools in globalising circumstances project has provided a very important corrective in the study of elites, elite education, and elite subject formation. Specifically, it has shifted the tide of the methodological nationalism that has pervaded the study of elites in the global north, particularly in the United States and Britain. The work of Professor Kenway and her colleagues has forced me to think carefully about the specificity of my analysis to the North American context and to think carefully about how elite formations are closely tied to state formation and to the particular hierarchies that give each nation-state its particular character. This work has also opened the door for the analysis of how empire and colonization produce distinct modes for the formation of elite subjects around the globe. Ruben Gaztambide-Fernandez, Associate Professor, OISE, University of Toronto, Canada

5 I worked on the elite schooling project for close to three years. During that time, I was able to do field work in Barbados, as well as read up on and explore the field notes generated by the researchers at the other sites. This experience enabled me to think more deeply about the ways that globalization shapes schooling in general, and elite schooling specifically. I had an up-close look into the ways that geography, history, and economics of a nation state also shape schooling. This research project was a great experience to really see the ways that both local and global forces shape the site of the school. In my own work, this focus on the glocal (global and local, and the ways that both interact together) has prompted me to examine and analyze the ways that infrastructure, access to digital technology, and local discourses about purposes of schooling, shape the uses of online spaces for education. I am very grateful to have been a part of this work. Heather Greenhalgh-Spencer, Assistant Professor, Texas Tech University, USA

6 This project forced me to rethink two things: the relationship between social theory and etnographic work and the centrality of history to doing ethnographic research. Starting with theories of the global, going to the field pushed me to revise my assumptions regarding the global, the elite, the “newness” of the global and the whole theoretical literature on transnational capitalist class. The local, with its messiness, was destabilizing all of these ideas coming from a highly Eurocentric body of thought. Ergin Bulut, Assistant Professor, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey

7 As a graduate student whose research focuses on transnational student migration and the lasting impacts of British colonialism in schooling, I have learned so much from my experience with the Elite Schools Project, which I joined in January of Closely looking at the data from Barbados, I was drawn into more closely examining education as a cultural “object of desire” with constantly shifting impacts. The voices of students and in the iconography of the schools revealed a remaking of what we have understood as the lasting impacts of British empire and new global trends circulated by the vicissitudes of capitalism. This conceptualization and connection to entrepreneurship, is inflected in my work, as I attempt to understand the racialization of Kenyan students who come to the Unites States for higher education and remain to work. Brenda Nyandiko Sanya, PhD student, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA


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