توانمندی ها، سرمایه انسانی و آموزش
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|18549||2007||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Journal of Socio-Economics, Volume 36, Issue 3, June 2007, Pages 424–435
Using recent advancements in the Capability Approach, we firstly characterize capabilities as fuzzy entities, and then propose a closed loop, where investments in human capital, capabilities and modes of economic production are combined. We argue that, given the complex relations between human capital accumulation and capability enlargements, educational policies have to be designed to include their direct and indirect effects on human development. In doing this, the United Nations Development Program's capacity development principles can be a useful reference point. These principles are consistent with the Capability Approach view of education as an empowerment process, in which not only job-oriented, but also life-oriented skills are provided. Moreover, the capacity development principles suggest how to organize educational policies operatively in order to give people crucial capabilities. Finally, we argue that network organizations are possible environments in which educational policies can be implemented.
Education is one of the critical dimensions through which public policies for economic growth and human development can be assessed and analyzed. By increasing individual skills, abilities and competencies human capital 2 accumulates and enlarges individual freedom by making self-empowerment, civic engagement and social participation easier to achieve. The central role of human capital in economic development has recently been recognized in endogenous growth theories, proposed and discussed during the 1990s, 3 and repeatedly emphasized by international institutions and political declarations (from the 1990 World Declaration on Education for All to the 2004 World Bank Development Report; see WB (2004)). However, what education quality really means is a highly debatable issue, and huge diversities about ways of defining or measuring educational outcomes exist. For illustrative purposes, we consider two main approaches. On the one hand, we have a Productive Approach (PA, henceforth), in which educational outcomes are given by technical combinations of educational inputs. Among the latter, education quality (i.e., teachers’ CVs, the teacher/student ratio, etc. …), natural ability, good parenting, in-school facilities and peer-to-peer relations have been recognized as crucial for specific and generic human capital accumulation. 4 Consistently with this view, school performance is described and measured by learning outcomes (test scores) and the after-school earnings/productivity of graduates. Human capital is here conceived as the attributes of a person that are productive in a given economic context, and education is seen as an investment whose returns are mainly private. In this context, social returns and the intrinsic value of education are of less importance than its instrumental and private value. 5 Despite its shortfalls (e.g., reducing education to a productive issue, and not taking into account external benefits, connecting input and educational attainment through a questionable education production function,6 etc. …), this approach is largely operative, empirically verifiable and politically consistent with the market (or quasi-market) reforms of education, because of its managerial flavor. However, as O'Shea (1999) stresses, it risks undermining the view that education must be personally, socially and culturally enabling, and hence that educational policies must be judged in terms of the enrichment of human life, and not simply through job market earnings or productivity. On the other hand, the Capability Approach (CA, henceforth) sees education as more strongly connected with human freedom. 7 Under this view, education benefits and results are viewed as multidimensional, not value-free, and are measured by substantial achievements in freedom. This freedom can be expressed in terms of human capabilities or/and functionings all referred to (politically and ethically accepted) dimensions of human development. 8 Roughly speaking, human productivity is simply viewed as a mean of human development. Hence, social and cultural educational achievements, as well as education's role in promoting socially sustainable developmental paths, receive greater attention. Thus, in the CA, the overall value of education is defined by the sum of instrumental values (wages, test scores, certificates, etc. …), intrinsic values (achievements in agency, autonomy and well-being) and positional values (established social relations, access to positional goods, etc. …). This means taking into account, describing, designing and implementing a process of human capital accumulation, its effects on the implicit social norms (such as labor market norms), social inequalities (race, gender and so on) and individual freedom, all elements misleadingly represented by job-market positions and earnings. Finally, education has to provide not only job-oriented competencies and skills, but also life-skills and life-options in terms of being able to know, to act and to live together in a social environment. 9 In this paper, we propose a conceptual framework in which educational policies can be analyzed and designed consistently with the CA. Firstly, relationships between human capital accumulation, human capabilities and education are discussed and analyzed. Then a policy-oriented route for applying the CA in structuring educational policies is briefly discussed. The organization of the paper is as follows. Starting from Sen's (1997) suggestion of investigating the links between human capital and human capabilities, we define the latter as fuzzy entities and build a loop, in which the interaction between investments in human capital, human capabilities and modes of economic production and reproduction is examined (Sections 2 and 3). Thus, once this complexity has been acknowledged, educational policies can be designed, taking into account their direct and indirect effects on human capabilities. Then, we present a compact list of the UNDP's capacity development principles which, if implemented, would lead to an increase in the effectiveness of educational policies in enlarging human capabilities (Section 4). In particular, we point out some capabilities that can be strongly fostered by educational intervention inspired by the UNDP's principles. As we shall see, these include abilities, options and skills that are considered crucial in the Information Age. Finally, we discuss (in Section 5) why network organizations might be needed to make these principles work effectively.