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Learning mobility, learning from immobility: Spatialized transitions before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic
David Cairns (Cairns, D.);
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Spring Conference of the DGS-Section
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(Última verificação: 2024-04-18 09:03)

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Spatial mobility is a key aspect of higher education in the European Union, and beyond, with international students a familiar sight at many of our universities and other places of learning. The first part of my presentation looks back at the emergence of ‘learning mobility’ and the use of mobility in transitions among the highly qualified in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. This can be seen as part of wider processes of globalization, but also reflects a belief that mobility unlocks synergy, that social advancement and spatial circulation are linked, creating social, political and economic imperatives to expand mobilities at individual and institutional levels. At the same time, a specific pedagogy has emerged out of a dynamic blend of formal, informal and non-formal learning, that in the EU has come to typify participation in programmes like Erasmus. The second issue I address is the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, from 2020 onwards, and consequences for learning mobility. Initially this meant constriction of the learning experience and smaller numbers of students travelling, with limited possibilities for developing intercultural competencies. As the public health crisis continued, other less visible challenges emerged, centring on the physical and mental health of students and university staff, and elevated living costs, placing learning mobility into a somewhat precarious position. The final part of my talk addresses present day concerns. I argue that an attempted return to an expansionist orientation in learning mobility fails to acknowledge the lingering effects of the pandemic and disrespects the need to engage in environmentally friendly. I also highlight the strengths and weaknesses of blended learning formats developed, concluding that learning mobility has entered a new phase of fragmentation and diversification, including hierarchies based on old and new barriers to participation.
  • Sociologia - Ciências Sociais

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