Date: 20 Jan 2010

Education Quality: Research Priorities and Approaches in the Global Era

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The aim of this chapter is to develop a critical view of education quality appropriate for sub-Saharan African countries facing the challenges of globalisation in the twenty-first century and to discuss the implications of such a view for research. The chapter begins with a review of existing approaches to conceptualising education quality within the Education for All (EFA) movement, most especially the framework presented in the 2005 EFA Global Monitoring Report, The Quality Imperative (UNESCO 2005). This will be used as a basis for setting out our own approach which draws inspiration from Sen’s (1999) notion of capabilities and for considering the research implications of this through a focus on the research processes and approaches of the Implementing Education Quality in Low Income Countries (EdQual) Research Programme Consortium (RPC). Before proceeding, however, and in order to contextualise the debate, it is worth setting out some of the basic features of the EdQual RPC and what we understand by a capabilities approach.