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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2008): Education - overseas

The academic and social inclusion of oral deaf and hard-of-hearing children in Cyprus secondary general education: investigating the perspectives of the stakeholders.

K. Hadjikakou, L. Petridou and C. Stylianou

European Journal of Special Needs Education, vol.23, 2008, p.17-29

This paper reports the results of a study which had been carried out for the first time in Cyprus, with the aim of exploring the views of deaf and hard-of-hearing (D/HH) children (who attend secondary schools, and use an auditory/oral approach), as well as the perceptions of their parents, teachers and headteachers on their academic and social inclusion. For the purposes of the study, four questionnaires were issued to all D/HH children attending secondary general schools, to their parents, to their teachers and to their headteachers with a view to investigating their perceptions on inclusion. The data were analysed statistically and revealed that the majority of the D/HH children had been included well socially and had achieved a reasonable academic standard. The study also shows that the D/HH children's communicative skills were positively related to their academic and social inclusion. The authors stress that this academic inclusion has been facilitated by the provision of a number of resources, the most important being pre-tutoring sessions, in-service training for designated teachers, and modifications of normal classroom delivery. Deaf awareness of hearing children and general teachers were also found to be positively related with D/HH children's social inclusion.

Beyond ADHD: a consideration of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and pedagogy in Australian schools

B.J. Prosser

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol. 12, 2008, p. 81-97

Debate about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been dominated by a psycho-medical discourse originating in the USA that constructs ADHD as a dysfunction within the brain resulting in hyperactive and inattentive behaviours that cause social impairment and require psychostimulant treatment. This article calls for an alternative way of conceptualising ADHD that answers questions that the psycho-medical explanation alone cannot. One such question is the role of schooling in the construction, diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. It argues that current pedagogical practices in Australia focus on integrating students with a diagnosis of ADHD into mainstream schools, instead of on adapting schools to meet their needs.

Curriculum theory: conflicting visions and enduring concerns

M. S. Schiro

London: Sage, 2008

This book is intended to help both experienced and pre-service educators understand the educational philosophies or ideologies they are likely to encounter and to assist educators to analyse how their own personal educational philosophies have been shaped. To accomplish this, four visions or ideologies of what curriculum should consist of are presented and considered in the historical context within which they have developed over the last century. The four curriculum ideologies covered are: scholar academic, social efficiency, learner centred and social reconstruction. A website devoted to this book has also been developed and provides instructors with ideas on how to use this book in teaching courses on curriculum along with extension activities.

Dilemmas of Difference, Inclusion and Disability: International perspectives and future directions

B. Norwich

Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007

Inclusion has become very influential internationally in the field of education. This has involved the introduction of policies that pursue more provision for, and acceptance of, students with special educational needs or disabilities in ordinary school settings. However, these policies represent different and often conflicting values and approaches to education. This book examines the perspectives of professional educators and administrators at national and local authority level across three countries: England, the USA and the Netherlands, and questions how they recognise tensions or dilemmas in responding to student differences. In particular the author addresses the following key dilemmas: whether to identify students as having special educational needs/disabilities; whether a common curriculum is relevant to these students; and whether or not appropriate learning can take place in ordinary schools and classes.

Extending resources, fostering progress or meeting needs? University extension and continuing education in western Canada

S. McLean

British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol. 29, 2008, p. 91-103

Practices of extension and continuing education were integral to universities in Western Canada during the twentieth century. Over the course of that century, the universities made three basic claims regarding the purposes of their extension and continuing education units. Prior to 1940, university extension units wee dedicated to extending the resources of the university for the benefit of citizens of their respective provinces. In the 1940s and 1950s, they adopted the mandate of fostering social and economic progress. From the 1960s to the present, they have focused on meeting the lifelong learning needs of individuals. This evolution has reflected major ideological and political-economic changes that characterised the region in the twentieth century.

Flexible higher education: reflections from expert experience

E.J. Burge (ed)

Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2007

This unique book analyses the work of over forty pioneers who helped drive key late twentieth century changes in access to, and learning in, higher education, via distance education. It examines how they defined their challenges, made decisions, coped with traditionalist resistance, developed new teaching and learning models, used various technologies, felt the excitement of innovation, and, above all, respected adult learners' goals and contexts. The book also examines the relevance of that experience and skill to the current situation. Seven international leaders in adult, distance and higher education assess the pioneers' reflections to identify concerns and research ideas that are important for contemporary teachers and administrators and to draw on lessons and experience that might promote theory-building and practice enhancement for post-secondary education today.

Higher education policy, enrollment and income inequality

A. Bergh and G. Fink

Social Science Quarterly, vol. 89, 2008, p. 217-235

In many developed countries public subsidies to higher education are large, and tuition fees low or non-existent. Such subsidies are believed by policymakers to increase enrollment and reduce income inequality. This article examines whether this belief is correct using data from the World Bank Development Indicators and the World Income Inequality Database version 2. Results show that public expenditure on higher education has no positive effect on enrollment. Increased enrollment is mainly explained by higher GDP per capita. Contrary to some previous studies, no robust relationship was found between higher education spending and lower income inequality.

The labour market, skill formation and training in the 'post-developmental' state: the example of South Korea

I. Park

Journal of Education and Work, vol. 20, 2007, p. 417-435

Economic globalisation and democratisation have fundamentally altered the nature of the labour market in South Korea. In response, the state has had to develop a new role in the training of workers. In its developmental phase, the state focussed on the provision of general skills through the formal education system. Currently, the state aims to upgrade the skills of all workers. To this end it is encouraging private providers and civil society organisations such as the YMCA to enter the training market, while reinforcing public programmes for the development of technical manpower and the retraining of unemployed workers.

New arenas of education governance: the impact of international organizations and markets on educational policy making

K. Martens, A. Rusconi and K. Leuze (editors)

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007

How and to what extent is education becoming a field of international and market governance? Traditionally, education policy making has been viewed as the responsibility of the nation state, falling within the realm of domestic politics. But recent years have witnessed the transformation of the state. Globalization has introduced new actors and led to the internationalization and marketization of education. The book provides an up-to-date account of these new arenas of education governance, examining the impact of international organizations and the role of the market in policymaking. It demonstrates how education policy is formulated at international levels and what the consequences for national policy making will be.

Planned transitions from education into employment in a managed post-communist market economy: a case study in Samarkand

K. Roberts and others

Journal of Education and Work, vol. 20, 2007, p. 437-451

This article arises from case studies in 2006 of 20 businesses in Samarkand (Uzbekistan), surveys of their up to 30-year-old employees, follow-up interviews with eight of these employees, and matched samples in Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan). The main difference in education in Samarkand and the comparator locations was that the former was maintaining government-regulated and state-funded academic and vocational tracks through upper secondary and higher education that were intended to prepare young people for employment at different levels in different industries. In contrast, in Almaty and Bishkek there has been since 1991 an unregulated expansion of general upper secondary and higher education.

Policy discourses, gender, and education: constructing women's status

E. J. Allan

London: Routledge, 2008

A primary objective of this book is to provide an overview of how critical theory and Foucauldian post-structuralism, which are often critiqued for their inaccessibility, can offer helpful lenses for analysing policy, gender and equity, particularly in the context of education. To this end, Part I begins with a thorough overview of discourse theory and then elaborates the conceptual underpinnings, methodology, and methods of policy discourse analysis. Another objective is to expose readers to the work of university women's commissions and provide concrete examples of how researchers might employ policy discourse analysis to analyse policy-related initiatives from a different perspective. Thus, Part II describes predominant policy discourses of university women's commission reports produced at four U.S. research universities spanning 25 years.

School performance measurement: politics and equity

W.H. Miller, B. Kerr and G. Ritter

American Review of Public Administration, vol. 38, 2008, p. 100-117

Growing political pressure for increased efficiency in government has led many to support the use of performance measurement schemes. Such schemes frequently influence the allocation of resources and power. This study explores the disparate impact of three education performance measurement schemes (adequate yearly progress, value added and adjusted performance measures) on predominantly African-American primary schools in Arkansas when compared to those which are not predominantly African-American. Results show that majority African-American schools, when compared to non-majority African-American schools, fail most dramatically when judged by the adequate yearly progress measure, leaving them open to sanctions. This analysis demonstrates that relying exclusively on adequate yearly progress measures to evaluate schools raises significant equity concerns.

Surface or deep change? How is a curriculum change implemented at ground level?

B. B. Sng

International Journal of Educational Management vol. 22, 2008, p.90-106

This paper examines academic staff's collaboration and communication in implementing a curriculum change within an engineering school at a university in Singapore and investigates the organisational factors that influenced the academics' communication in relation to this change. Previously, students had undertaken one year of a common engineering curriculum when enrolling in a Bachelor of Engineering program; this was then expanded to a two year common engineering programme. Those academics interviewed desired a greater involvement in decisions on curriculum changes so that they could contribute their professional and pedagogical viewpoints. It was also felt that more attention should be paid to students' learning, particularly in developing skills that would help them to adapt to a knowledge-based economy and rapid economic development.

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