Nomads, Development and the Challenges of Education
To Be Published November 1st 2013 by Routledge – 196 pages
Current paradigms of ‘development’ generally serve nomadic groups poorly: their visibility in policy processes is minimal, and their mobility is usually constructed by the powerful as a ‘problem’, rather than as a rational livelihood strategy. Increasingly damaged eco-systems, shrinkage of natural resources, globalisation and urbanisation all pressurise nomads’ livelihoods and often worsen, rather than alleviate, their poverty status and socio-economic marginalisation. These processes however also precipitate a new engagement with forms of education that may enhance occupational diversification and improve their future livelihood security and social status.
Opening with a discussion of how the relationships between education, poverty and development have been conceived in dominant development discourses, this book reviews the disappointing international experience of education provision to nomadic groups. It highlights a lack of sufficient flexibility and relevance to nomads' changing livelihoods and, more fundamentally, education’s conceptual location within a sedentarist paradigm of development that is antagonistic to mobility as a legitimate livelihood strategy. India’s progress towards including groups marginalised by mobility is critiqued to provide a policy and practice context for the case study, based on ethnographic research, of the transhumant Rabaris of Kutch. The empirically-based chapters provide detailed insights into how this transhumant pastoralist community in northwest India engages with education as a social and economic development strategy for both adults and children; and how ethnographic and participatory research approaches can be used for policy advocacy for marginalised groups.
The book highlights education’s complex, contested and often, inconsistent role in development and the social construction of poverty and calls for a critical reappraisal of the notion of ‘education’ if it is to contribute to development as freedom for nomadic groups.
1. Nomads, Development and Education: Multiple Marginalisations 2. International Experience in Educating Nomads 3. Research with Nomadic Groups, and Policy Advocacy 4. Nomads and the Indian State 5. The Rabaris of Kutch: School Education as an Adaptive Strategy 6. Adult Literacy: Empowerment and Constrained Choice 7. Re-Imagining Education for Nomads’ Development
Caroline Dyer is Director of MA Programmes at the School for Politics and International Studies at the University of Leeds and lead the MA in Global Development and Education. She has also served as an editor of the journal Compare and as Deputy Chair of the UK Forum for International Education and Training; as well as an Executive Editor of the International Journal of Educational Development and a member of the British Association for Comparative and International Education and the British Association for Literacy in Development.