The Matrix of Education, Power and Empowerment: Where Do We Stand?

Abstract

The Matrix of Education, Power and Empowerment: Where do we stand? Traversing the matrix of ‘education’, ‘power’ and ‘empowerment’ brings us to some understanding of each and their nature, for example, all of them have some implicit value dimension . Interestingly, ‘empowerment’ has ‘power’ as core word, but ‘empowerment’ is widely preferred, used and more valued than ‘power’. An evolving and comprehensive conception of power is one with four dimensions: ‘power over’, ‘power to’, ‘power with’ and ‘power within’ (VeneKlasen & Miller). The idea of ‘power within’ comes to mean empowerment. Being significant yet not so tangible a notion, ‘Empowerment’ seems to largely overlap with, if not same as, autonomy, an expression used earlier. They are about courage to make life- choices and being responsible. Both notions stand on appreciation of limits of mind/reason. This has implications for how we see ourselves, world and knowledge. And Education, being necessarily based on some conception of human nature and worthwhile knowledge, can possibly gear for empowerment, if it is so valuable. An important question emerging here is, whether or how far our education has power to empower. By observing some educational scenarios both at macro and micro levels we try to analyse and get insights about what in education stands for what kind of power and what stands in way of/limits empowerment. What kind of conception of education and its implementation may be suited to promote empowerment may be complex to address (yet worth looking into alternatives ventures to educate) and remain



Author Information
Neeta Arora, SPM College – University of Delhi, India

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2015
Stream: Conflicting perspectives in learning and teaching

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