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      Widening participation; widening capability

      research-article
      London Review of Education
      IOE Press
      WIDENING PARTICIPATION, HIGHER EDUCATION POLICY, EQUALITY, CAPABILITY FORMATION, STUDENT LEARNING
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            Abstract

            This paper proposes that widening participation in higher education might distinctively be conceptualised beyond economically driven human capital outcomes, as a matter of widening capability. Specifically, the paper proposes forming the capability of students to become and to be 'strong evaluators', able to make reflexive and informed choices about what makes a good life for each of them. Evaluating equality and justice in higher education, and specifically the case of 'widening participation', is then greatly advanced by considering the conceptual tools provided by Amartya Sen's capability approach. The paper therefore elaborates on Sen's ideas and demonstrates their applicability in relation to widening participation student voices gathered in research interviews. Important though Sen's ideas are, there are barriers that stand in the way of taking up these ideas educationally. While three such barriers are acknowledged in the paper, four resources of possibility for recovering widening participation as capability formation from neoliberal and other forms of instrumentalism are also sketched.

            Content

            Author and article information

            Journal
            10430
            London Review of Education
            IOE Press
            1474-8460
            01 November 2008
            : 6
            : 3
            : 267-279
            Article
            1474-8460(20081101)6:3L.267;1- s7.phd /ioep/clre/2008/00000006/00000003/art00007
            10.1080/14748460802489397
            0bd71228-480a-4c3a-a855-b3f8403a4ba7
            Copyright @ 2008
            History
            Categories
            Articles

            Education,Assessment, Evaluation & Research methods,Educational research & Statistics,General education
            CAPABILITY FORMATION,HIGHER EDUCATION POLICY,WIDENING PARTICIPATION,STUDENT LEARNING,EQUALITY

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