Challenges and Opportunities of Knowledge Production in Education

 With Researcher Dr Maha Shuayb

This podcast episode is in Arabic

Syria Alternative Dialogues podcast, in its new episode, discusses the challenges of knowledge production in the region with Dr Maha Shuayb, the director of the Centre for Lebanese Studies at the University of Cambridge.

Shuayb speaks about the experience of the Centre for Lebanese Studies, which was established forty years ago during the Lebanese Civil War, and the challenges it faced as an independent research entity. She explains the impact of long-term funding absence on weakened knowledge production in this field and its effect on the agenda, in addition to other obstacles related to decision-makers, research politicisation, external agendas, and the absence of academic freedom.

Dr Shuayb presents a part of her experience working on projects for Syrian refugee education in Lebanon and how decision-makers have used this issue, diverging from the interests of the refugees.

Also, Shuayb emphasises the importance of supporting new researchers and producing human resources concerned with the Arab knowledge production process. She discusses the danger of education faculties focusing solely on producing teachers, neglecting local producers and researchers in the education field, and contributing to the absence of substantial

change in education policy.

She also discusses the idea of external agendas of funders and donor countries, which often diverge from the real needs of society and people, emphasising the importance of engaging teachers in the research process to have a greater impact on political change.

Maha Shuayb:
Professor holds the British Academy Bilateral Chair in Education Research in Conflict and Crisis at the University of Cambridge and the Centre for Lebanese Studies, where she serves as the director. Also, she is an associate Fellow at Homerton College, University of Cambridge. As a sociologist of education, her research centres on educational inequalities and their impact on marginalised groups, delved into education reform and development within conflict-affected societies, particularly focusing on the education of refugee children over the last decade.

Leading a research centre with a presence in both the Global North and South, Shuayb developed a keen interest in equitable research partnerships, knowledge generation, and research ethics among academic institutions and scholars across these global regions. Her ongoing research initiatives encompass exploring the roles played by civil society organisations and unions in education reform. Additionally, she is actively studying the decolonisation of knowledge production and reshaping the research landscape within forced migration studies.

The host: Rabie Nasser, Researcher and Co-founder of the Syrian Center for Policy Research (SCPR).

Episode References

Cathrine Brun & Maha Shuayb (2023) Twenty years of the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies: towards a new ontology and epistemology, Globalisation, Societies and Education, DOI: 10.1080/14767724.2023.2191936

Abu Moghli, M., & Shuayb, M. (2022) Equitable Partnerships for Education: A Myth or a Panacea. Recherches sociologiques et anthropologiques, (53-2), 177-201.

Hammoud, M., Shuayb, M., Crul, M. (2022) Determinants of Refugee Children’s Social Integration: Evidence from Lebanon, Turkey, and Australia. Soc. Sci. 2022, 11, 563. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11120563

Shuayb, M. and Al-Sarraf, D. (2022) The portrayal of women in history curricula and textbooks in Lebanon: A history of systematic exclusion.  Citizenship Teaching & Learning, Volume 17, Issue 3, Sep 2022, p. 437 – 453 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/ctl_00102_1

Shuayb, M. (Under review) A political economy analyses of bureaucracy in the education response for Syrian refugees in Lebanon: editors Nina Gren, Dalia Abdelhad, Martin Joormann Refuge, Open Access

Shuayb, M, & Brun, C. (2021) (equal authorship) Carving out space for equitable collaborative research in protracted displacement, Journal of Refugee Studies, Volume 34, Issue 3, September 2021, Pages 2539–2553, https://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/feab057

Brun, C and Shuayb, M.  (2020) (equal authorship) Exceptional and futureless humanitarian education in Lebanon: Prospects for shifting the lens. Refuge, 36(2)

Shuayb, M. & Crul, M, (2020) Reflection on Education of Refugee Children: Beyond Reification and Emergency, Refuge, 36(2)

Shuayb, M., & Ahmad, N. (2021) The Psychosocial Condition of Syrian Children Facing a Precarious Future. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 37(1), 27–37. https://doi.org/10.25071/1920-7336.40654

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