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2011 - 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society Words: 191 words || 
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1. Khan, Jehanzaib. "School or Madrassa: Parents' choice and the failure of state-run education in Pakistan" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, <Not Available>. 2019-09-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492813_index.html>
Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: My research seeks to explain the relationship between parents’ perceptions of public primary education and their decisions to send their children to madrassas in Pakistan. I employ a mixed-methods design to collect data in Quetta and Pishin districts in Balochistan Province. Using surveys and semi-structured interviews, I examine: a) parents’ perceptions of public schools and madrassas, and factors that influence their decisions to choose alternative educational options; b) teachers’ perceptions of the organizational context of which they are part; and c) key officials’ perceptions of the performance of public schools and madrassas. Parent surveys also explore the role of religion and parents’ socioeconomic backgrounds in making educational choices for their children. In addition, I measure variations in student performance between madrassas and public schools and within sector. Understanding the association of the performance of public education and madrassas and the perceptions of parents is critical to learning how parents make educational decisions for their children. A more nuanced understanding of parents’ perceptions of educational options and the factors—cognitive, moral, or structural—that influence the educational decisions parents make for their children can guide policy toward appropriate public education reforms. Findings are forthcoming.

2015 - 59th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society Words: 683 words || 
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2. Khan, Abdul Rehman. "Public, Private School or a Madrasah: Parental Choice of Education and Schooling in Balochistan, Pakistan." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 59th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Washington Hilton Hotel, Washington D.C., Mar 08, 2015 <Not Available>. 2019-09-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p994104_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Researchers claim that the concept of education in a poverty stricken and heavily populated country like Pakistan is all about opportunity – the opportunity to make something of your life through learning. However, in case of Pakistan, the question remains about what types of opportunities are available to the common masses and what kind of opportunity can prepare one to seek something ‘good’ for life. Unlike many western and developed nations of the world, a large population of Pakistan still, even after 67 years of independence, struggles with merely gaining access to education.
Compared to the other provinces in Pakistan, and other countries in the region, Balochistan, where I conducted my research, is poor, conservative and male-centered. Balochistan has low level of institutional development and outreach, which makes action outside of the bounds of family and community difficult. Though the number of schools has increased significantly with the passage of time, it has never met the goals of universal quality education accessible to all.
Parents’ decision making regarding their children’s education plays a pivotal role in Pakistani society. Parents’ decision to send their children to a school is influenced by a number of factors, such as, the cost of schooling, quality of schooling, the perceived benefits from schooling, geographic location of educational institutions, parents’ capacity to educate their children, strong disciplinary climate and a positive social atmosphere at the school.
Keeping in view the social, cultural, religious and economic facts on the notion of ‘Parental Choice’, I conducted a year –long qualitative PhD field research in three big villages of two districts in Balochistan to explore if above are the only and the most crucial facts keeping the children of Balochistan away from education. I interviewed parents, teachers, institutional administrators, religious/community leaders, policy makers and conducted some class observations to make sense of curricular and extracurricular teachings in the three institutions in 2013. This paper focuses the findings of my PhD field research, which explores what parents’ educational (or non-educational) priorities are for their children – Public, Private or Madrasah? Furthermore, this paper also provides an insight into what kind of education these varied types of institutions offer to/received by different children belonging to different social class?
I follow Wexler’s perspectives as the main theoretical ground for my research, which highlights that qualitative researchers, who plead to the framework of critical theory, are interested in either how social values and organization get reproduced in schools and other educational institutions or how people produce their choices and actions in the society – which is normally influenced by the available educational institutions. I believe this is what is happening in the contemporary Pakistan.
Parents were vocal in expressing their perception and logics for choosing an educational system and institution for their children. Some of the major issues of education systems in Pakistan highlighted by parents include – accessibility, particularly to the public schools; teachers' absenteeism; inequalities by gender, location and social groups; unsatisfactory performance of schools; rigid curriculum; their social status and affordability, and many more. In parents’ views these were mainly the outcome of lack of political will and commitment to educating the nation. In addition to the above mentioned factors, religious beliefs and prevailing social and cultural norms also played an important role in making educational choices for parents.
This study confidently produces outcomes based on first-hand information (from the archives and the field), which would help devise doable strategies of reforms, and therefore, I argue it to be an asset to the field of Pakistan studies. The arguments and analyses that I present in the paper shows that analyzing educational literature and debates with social, political and economical standpoints has important implications for educational research and policy discussions in Pakistan as well as outside Pakistan. Through the blend of content analysis approach as well as the field's primary data collection approach from the stakeholders (who had never been heard before), the key findings of the study put-forth some commendable recommendations as alternative policies for the state as well as the international community for better educational outcomes in the best interest of Pakistan and its citizens.

2014 - Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference Words: 657 words || 
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3. Malik, Rabea. "School choice in Pakistan: Exploring implications of marketisation of education provision for parental strategies in a high inequality context" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Mar 10, 2014 <Not Available>. 2019-09-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p717558_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The private sector has emerged as an important partner in the drive towards achievement of universal access goals in Pakistan, a country off-track for fulfilling international commitments. The low-fee private sector in particular is seen to be addressing gaps in access and quality for low-income groups, girls and under-developed regions. However, figures that establish increasing enrollments in private schools mask the impact of inequalities. While the sector’s contribution to higher learning outcomes and cost-effective service delivery have received attention in Pakistan, there is little discussion about the equity implications of expanding private sector provision in a context with high levels of poverty, inequality and weak state regulation.

Rise in private sector provision has contributed to the development of a marketplace for education in Pakistan. Parents have become active consumers of education, and are required to evaluate available choices, choose ‘the best’ opportunities to maximize learning outcomes and chances of success in related markets. Parental capacity to choose thus becomes important in the discussion about access to quality education. This paper focuses on the decision-making processes of parents in Chakwal to understand how different socio-economic cohorts are navigating the growing educational marketplace. The objective is to understand the ways in which cultural, social and material inequalities determine parental capacities to choose, and mediate processes of parental choice.

The study borrows analytical tools and insights from Hirschman (voice and exit framework) and Bourdieu (notion of capitals) to construct an understanding of the impact of various dimensions of inequality on parental strategies. In a setting with multiple providers, parental strategies are expected to follow patterns of exit predicted by Hirschman. By drawing on Bourdieu’s notion of capitals, the analysis traces the process of conversion of material, cultural and social capitals into advantage in the market for education, evident during key ‘moments of choice’- choice of primary school, middle school and related decisions. It argues that strategies are determined not only by material resources available to parents, but are heavily influenced by cultural and social resources as well.

The study uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods: a household survey data set is generated to study patterns of choice and link them to socio-economic characteristics; semi-structured interviews with parents construct an understanding of the decision-making processes regarding school choice and experiences of navigating the market.

Survey findings elucidate the distributional effects of markets: the likelihood of being in a high performing private school is significantly higher for students from high-income, high-education households. Cost concerns constrain parental decisions in middle- and low-income households, despite valuing quality. Interviews reveal the complex interaction of social, cultural and material inequalities and their influence on parental strategies. Social networks, the family's education and income levels determine information sets and capacities to engage with schools and navigate the market. Activation of social capital is evident in the reliance on informal social networks for: information about players and opportunities in the market, forming judgements about school appropriateness, and in some cases gaining access. Cultural resources - defined as educational and professional status and lived biographies –are activated for understanding quality differentials in schools, judging level of service provision, providing attention at home. In so far as material, cultural and social resources are differentially distributed, parents differ in their capacities to navigate the market successfully. By focusing on the processes of decision-making that parents are engaged in, the analysis highlights channels through which exclusion occurs in the market for education.

The findings of this study contribute towards our understanding of parental strategies of choice in an expanding marketplace for education in Pakistan, and address the gap in international comparisons of the processes and practices of school choice in contexts characterized by high levels of poverty and inequality. The study generates evidence about decision-making processes of marginalized groups in such contexts and highlights channels through which markets can segregate. In doing so, the research attempts to reposition inequality more centrally within the debate about privatization and choice.

2009 - UCEA Annual Convention Pages: unavailable || Words: 1792 words || 
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4. Villavicencio, Adriana. "Student Composition in Charter Schools: The Intersection of State Policy, School Practice, and Parental Choice" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the UCEA Annual Convention, Anaheim Marriott, Anaheim, California, Nov 19, 2009 Online <PDF>. 2019-09-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p378471_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to examine how student composition is formed in charter schools, particularly in terms of race and ethnicity. Utilizing a case-study analysis of four New York City charter schools whose student composition varies by racial and ethnic diversity, this study shows how student composition is influenced by (1) school-level decisions over recruitment, selection, and retention; (2) state-level charter policies over student enrollment guidelines; and (3) parent views of charter schooling and their local charter schools.

2014 - Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference Words: 286 words || 
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5. Potterton, Amanda. "Emancipatory schools, school choice, and the United States: considering alternative educational possibilities and tensions, with Porto Alegre as a model" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, <Not Available>. 2019-09-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p708078_index.html>
Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: In Porto Alegre, Brazil, the Citizen School Project exemplifies a model of a creative and innovative democratic school reform that has successfully educated marginalized children and citizens in the city, and under significant economic stress (Gandin & Fischman, 2006). This paper envisions Freire’s educational ideals for U.S. schools and its marginalized groups of students, using Porto Alegre’s Citizen School Project and the political, economic, and social conditions contextual within its project, as a basis for comparison and consideration for U.S. schools. Specifically, I aim to address how current U.S. school choice policies, under considerable federal and state neoliberal influences and rational market theory assumptions, might aid and/or hinder progress towards the creation of political projects and schools that include, as was expressed by the coordinators of the Citizen School Project, “a democratic educational policy, aimed at social inclusion and emancipation of impoverished people” (Azevedo, in Gandin & Fischman, 2006). Democratic accountability in U.S. schooling is becoming increasingly limited by an influential private/ public policy environment (DiMartino & Scott, 2013) and I will explore how this market efficiency environment creates situations to be problematized for educators with Freirean vision, ethics, and hope. Porto Alegre’s successful democratic education project could provide a model and tool for conceptualizing possibilities for real, democratic educational alternatives, even within the tension-filled policy structures that exist in the United States.

References
DiMartino, C., & Scott, J. (2013). Private sector contracting and democratic accountability. Educational Policy, 27(2), 307-333.
Gandin, L. A. & Fischman, G. E. (2006). Participatory democratic education: Is the utopia possible? Porto Alegre's Citizen School Project. In J. L. Kincheloe, K. Hayes, K. Rose, & P. M. Anderson (Eds.), The Praeger Handbook of Urban Education, Vol 1 (pp. 135-146). Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.

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