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Centre of African Studies: Events


Rethinking Youth, Education and International Development

Rethinking Youth, Education and International Development
Speaker: Shari Sabeti # Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh; Speaker: Ann Cotton # Camfed; Speaker: Katherine Baxter # Sociology, University of Edinburgh
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Date and Time
31st Jan 2018 16:00 - 31st Jan 2018 17:30
Seminar Rooms 1 & 2, Chrystal MacMillan Building

This panel will draw together panelist from academia and practice to reflect on the most important issues shaping their field; how their own work has made them think differently on education; and the most important questions that researchers and practitioners in the area of youth and education should be asking.

Dr Shari Sabeti, Chancellor’s Fellow and Lecturer, Moray House School of Education

Shari Sabeti is a Chancellor’s Fellow in Education at the University of Edinburgh. Her research centres around arts and cultural heritage education in Europe and the Pacific region. She employs ethnographic and participatory methodologies, including collaborations with artists and writers. She is the Pathway Co-ordinator for the Msc Education (Comparative Education and International Development) and teaches courses on the Anthropology of Education and Learning, as well as working in Teacher Education where she is responsible for the strand focused on Global Citizenship. She will discuss her recent project which used arts education to explore the experiences of children in the Marshall Islands.

Ann Cotton, Camfed

As founder and Trustee of Camfed Ann Cotton has been focused on improving opportunity for children at the margins of education for more than three decades. She began her career in a London school by establishing one of the first centers for girls excluded from mainstream education. Her commitment to girls’ education in Africa began in 1991, when she went on a research trip to Zimbabwe to investigate why girls’ school enrolment in rural areas was so low. Contrary to the common assumption that families weren’t sending girls to school for cultural reasons, Ann discovered that poverty was the main roadblock. Families couldn’t afford to buy books or pay school fees for all their children. Instead, they had to choose which children would receive an education. Since boys had a better chance of getting a paid job after graduation, daughters were rarely selected.

Ann knew that educated girls were less likely to contract HIV/AIDS, would marry later, have fewer and healthier children, and would support the next generation to go to school. She understood that poverty and exclusion affects girls both psychologically and economically, and if girls could be educated, supported by their communities, and empowered to shape their own destinies, they could change their communities and nations forever. In 1993, after grassroots fundraising that supported the first 32 girls through school in Zimbabwe, Ann founded Camfed.

Ann is an Honorary Fellow at Homerton College, and Social Entrepreneur in Residence at the Cambridge University Judge Business School. She is a noted speaker on international platforms, including the World Economic Forum, the Clinton Global Initiative and the Skoll World Forum. In 2014, she addressed the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit hosted by the White House, George W. Bush Institute and U.S. State Department. In 2016, Ann shared insights and experiences The United State of Women White House Summit. She has won numerous awards for her work, including an Honorary Doctorate in Law from Cambridge University; an OBE in honor of her advocacy of girls’ education in Africa; the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship; Woman of the Year in the UK; and UK Social Entrepreneur of the Year. In November 2014, Ann was awarded the WISE Prize for Education, becoming the fourth WISE laureate alongside Vicky Colbert, Founder of Escuela Nueva in Colombia, Dr. Madhav Chavan, co-founder of Pratham in India, and Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder of BRAC in Bangladesh.

Katherine Baxter, PhD Researcher

Thesis Title - Childhood, Livelihoods and Everyday Choices: An Ethnography of the Lived Experience of the ‘Global Schooling Project’ in Nepal

Research Overview:

My PhD research at the University of Edinburgh explores the myriad, rippling ways the ‘global schooling project’ shapes and transforms the everyday lives of children and families in Nepal. Based on 6 months of ethnographic fieldwork in central Nepal, I bring attention to young people’s livelihoods and everyday choices, ethnographically describing their work, school and play routines and the creative, intimate ways they navigate the multitude of pressures, expectations and opportunities they face on a daily basis. This research, then, is a kind of ‘ethnography of the everyday’ conducted and written in a way that aims not to lose the complexity, dimensionality and holisticity of the lives I encountered and the time we shared. Most of my ethnography centers around one particular street in Nepal, Mansawar Street, where the holistic, work, school and play-filled lives of the young people involved in my research intersect.

Youth and development