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

Bridging the implementation gap: a teacher-as-learner approach to teaching and learning policy

A. Harvey and P. Kamvounias

Higher Education Research and Development, vol.27, 2008, p.31-41

A major dilemma facing higher education institutions around the world is how to achieve quality outcomes for students in an increasingly internationalized and competititive environment. To effect change in teaching and learning, the authors advocate a teacher-as-learner approach to the implementation of teaching and learning policy. This approach has been influenced by approaches to change management as well as contemporary educational theories, such as constructive alignment and deep and surface approaches to learning. In this paper the authors use these approaches to evaluate the success of a policy initiative designed to encourage subject coordinators to use a faculty-endorsed template to embed graduate attributes into their subject outlines. The difficulties experienced by teachers at the disciplinary level in using the subject outline template illustrate how a seemingly positive and well-intentioned initiative can have a potentially minimal effect on teaching and learning practice and, as a consequence, student learning. The authors suggest that the Course Experience Questionnaire provides a useful model for evaluating not only teaching but also the management of teaching and hope that their views will provide a more integrated approach to teaching and learning changes in higher education.

The contested product of a university education

F. Rochford

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol.30, 2008, p.41-52

The disclosure in 2006 by Oxford's Conference of Colleges that it would require newly matriculated students to sign a student-college contract is the latest evidence of the tendency to reduce the university-student relationship to one of contract. It represents a fundamental paradigm shift that requires a radical rethink of the new university as a community. This paper traces the transformation of the student from a status relationship, in which the student is a member of a university community, to one in which the student is a client of the university. This process involves the denaturing of the students, and through them, the university. The consequences of such a process can be considered at the level of the student's engagement with the university and the studies undertaken there. The author considers, in particular, the ramifications of an 'actuarial' mentality adopted by students to assess the 'economic choices' available to them in their higher education, by which they hope to manage their future and insure against risk.

Education of Tibetans

G. A. Postiglione (guest editor)

Educational Review vol. 60, no.1, 2008

This special issue contains a discussant paper from the guest editor and a number of articles from other academics. These all focus on the subject of Tibetan education but cover a range of topics including multiculturalism; the intellectual style of Tibetan university teachers and students; Tibetan community schools; a case study examining the education of Tibetan girls; the role of primary school curriculum in nation building; and the construction of Tibetan ethnic identity in India.

GATS and the steering capacity of a nation state in higher education: case studies of the Czech Republic and the Netherlands

A. Vlk, D. Westerheijden and M. van der Wende

Globalisation, Societies and Education vol. 6, 2008, p.33-54

This paper looks at the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) as an important part of the international trade law system and explores if and how it affects the steering capacity of a nation state regarding higher education. It offers a new conceptual framework to look, the impact of GATS on higher education within its increasingly complex environment by distinguishing between the 'static' dimension (GATS' rules and disciplines) and the 'dynamic' dimension (stakeholders' standpoints, views and actions). By comparing two case studies conducted in the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, it connects the theoretical framework on GATS and the steering capacity of a nation state with specific national conditions and complements case studies that have been carried out in other countries. The authors conclude that neither through the static dimension, nor through the dynamic, was the steering capacity in the two cases affected directly: nation states remain the prime actors regarding higher education. Nevertheless, exercising their power over higher education has become more complex and nation states must consider more fully the consequences of their internal policy choices.

Hands across the waters

A. Sharman

The Independent Postgraduate Supplement, March 6th 2008, p. IV

Reports on a scheme developed by the World Universities Network, an alliance of 16 research-focused universities in the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, Canada, the US and China which is encouraging postgraduate students and junior faculty staff to spend periods studying overseas, researching at partner institutions.

International campaign to ensure education for all by 2015

L. Turner

Education Guardian, March 11th 2008, p. 7

In 2000 a set of Millennium development goals were drawn up by world leaders with a target of 2015 for delivery, including the goal of every child receiving access to primary education. 72 million children however, are still missing out on this access, which has prompted the launch of the Send My Friend to School campaign in which thousands of pupils across the world will encourage world leaders to redouble their efforts.

Internationalisation of higher education: the gap between national policy-making and institutional needs

B. Stensaker and others

Globalisation, Societies and Education vol. 6, 2008, p.1-11

Based on case studies of 12 Scandinavian universities and colleges, this article shows how issues related to internationalisation trigger processes of trying to enhance the institutional capacity for strategic decision-making and institutional integration through formalisation, centralisation and professionalisation. Depending on the institutional history and tradition, strategic ability and institutional characteristics, the outcomes of this process show a considerable degree of variation in the motives and institutional adaptation to internationalisation. The authors argue that future policy-making in the field of internationalisation should pay attention to the diverse needs of higher education, and develop policies that allow more flexibility and autonomy at the institutional level.

Investigating Fourth Amendment judicial outcomes across contrasting minority school settings: subjectivity in disciplinary decision making in diverse settings?

M.S. Torres and J.L. Callahan

Education and Urban Society, vol. 40, 2008, p. 377-405

The Fourth Amendment to the US constitution guarantees citizens the right not to be subjected to unreasonable searches and seizures of their property. There are concerns that this right may be infringed by the growing number of searches of students for illegal drugs and weapons carried out on school premises. This research explores whether students in high-minority settings are more likely to be subjected to more aggressive searches than their peers in white-majority schools and to receive less sympathy in court. Using published and unpublished student search and seizure court cases from 1985 to 2003, the analysis examines how courts ruled on students' privacy rights in contrasting settings.

Measuring educational liberalism: a global analysis of GATS

A. Verger

Globalisation, Societies and Education vol. 6, 2008, p.13-31

This paper examines the process of liberalisation of trade in educational services in the framework of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The author discusses in detail the methodology of GATS negotiation, measures the degree of liberalisation of educational services using an index called EduGATS and reviews and analyses the commitments on liberalisation consolidated by member countries in terms of educational services. The sources of the primary data are the lists of commitments on services of the WTO, interviews with delegations from member countries, documents on the position of various delegations and documents from the WTO Council for Trade in Services.

Moral and human rights education: the contribution of the United Nations

M. Print and others

Journal of Moral Education, vol.37, 2008, p.115-132

This paper critically reviews developments in human rights education (HRE) during the ten years of the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (UNDRHE, 1995-2004) in the context of moral education. The authors argue that, despite some modest successes, the decade lacked direction and impact and has failed to prepare a sound basis for securing HRE internationally. These outcomes largely account for the United Nations (UN) decision in 2005 to initiate the World Programme for Human Rights Education. Meanwhile initiatives to define the goals and practice of HRE have happened outside the UN context. The authors conclude that the UN's contribution to building HRE and moral education has, at best, been only marginally successful due in large measure to the inherent weaknesses of the organization as well as the UN's inability to engage member states.

The place of leadership in turnaround schools: insights from organizational recovery in the public and private sectors

C. Day and others

Journal of Educational Administration, vol.46, 2008, p.74-98

This paper is a review of literature from the organizational sciences to develop a grounded narrative of turnaround leadership. The paper finds three defining themes that flow from the review of empirical and theoretical work on organizational recovery in firms, non-educational public agencies, and not-for-profit organizations: leadership as the critical variable in the turnaround equation; change of leadership as a generally essential element in organizational recovery; and type of leadership. The author suggests that the literature on turning around failing organizations in sectors outside of education provides blueprints for recovery activity in failing schools.

Plan to put 16 million African children into school

J. Borger

The Guardian, March 27th 2008, p. 7

Britain and France have unveiled a joint collaboration designed to send 16 million African children to school in the next two years. Football's world governing body FIFA, also a partner, will be using international stars to promote the project and ensure pupils' attendance at school through a focus on sport.

Policy options for managing international student migration: the sending country's perspective

C. Gribble

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol.30, 2008, p.25-39

A consequence of the dramatic rise in international student mobility is the trend for international students to remain in the country in which they study after graduation. Countries such as Australia, the UK and Canada stand to benefit from international student migration as they are able to fill skill shortages with locally trained foreign students who also expand the demand for goods and services and add to gross national product. The effects on the sending country, however, are potentially less favourable and the emigration of highly educated people can have a detrimental effect, depleting an already scarce resource. More recently it has been suggested that an increasing proportion of migratory movement is temporary and that sending countries may benefit from circular or temporary migration via financial remittances, technology transfer, entrepreneurial partnering, and the development of personal networks and diplomatic ties. This paper considers the impacts of international student migration on sending countries and discusses the policy responses that various sending countries have employed in attempting to regulate student migration.

Restructuring university degree programmes: a new opportunity for ethics education?

J. Escámez, R. García López and G. Jover

Journal of Moral Education, vol.37, 2008, p.41-53

This article explores the possibilities of reinforcing ethics education at the university level within the context of new internationalization processes using the situation in Spain as a case study. The article provides a review of the rationale behind this issue and the authors analyse the place of the ethical dimension in education in the proposals for adapting Spanish university degree programmes to the European Higher Education Area. Fieldwork carried out at three higher education institutions reveals that, while professors accept the institutional function of the university in ethics education, their hazy conception of the matter weakens the likelihood of a pedogogical approach in keeping with the level of importance given to such a function.

School choice and the creation of social capital re-examined

J.H. Cox and C. Witko

American Journal of Political Science, vol.52, 2008, p. 142-155

Scholars have argued that school choice creates social capital by encouraging parental involvement in school activities. Analysis of Early Childhood Longitudinal Study data suggests that the act of choosing a school in and of itself has little impact on the creation of social capital or on parental involvement. Participation in school activities is largely determined by individual-level attributes and the school context, rather than choice per se.

School knowledge in comparative and historical perspective: changing curricula in primary and secondary education

A. Benavot and C. Braslavsky (editors)

Dordrecht: Springer, 2007

In this book, scholars with diverse backgrounds and conceptual frameworks explore how economic, political, social and ideological forces impact on school curricula over time and place. In providing regional and global perspectives on curricular policies, practices and reforms, the authors move beyond the conventional notion that school curricula contents reflect principally national priorities and subject-based interests. Some authors emphasize a convergence to standardized global curricular structures and discourses. Others suggest that changes regarding the intended contents of primary and secondary school curricula reveal regional or trans-cultural influences. Overall, these comparative and historical studies demonstrate that the dynamics of curriculum-making and curricular reform are increasingly forged within wider regional, cross-regional and global contexts.

Teacher appraisal and its outcomes in Singapore primary schools

K. Ong Kelly and others

Journal of Educational Administration, vol.46, 2008, p.39-54

This paper examines the attributes of the performance appraisal system used for primary school teachers in Singapore, and how these attributes affect satisfaction with the appraisal system, stress experienced with the appraisal system, attitudes towards performance bonus, job satisfaction and motivation, and perceived cooperativeness amongst teachers. Data were obtained from surveys of primary school teachers in Singapore and analysis indicates that fairness of the appraisal system and clarity of appraisal criteria are related to greater satisfaction with the appraisal system, more positive attitudes towards performance bonus, and higher job satisfaction and motivation. The findings may help primary school administrators design and implement more effective performance appraisal systems.

Tempering universities' marketing rhetoric: a strategic protection against litigation or an admission of failure?

A. Onsman

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol.30, 2008, p.77-85

The changed dynamic between tertiary students and universities has resulted in much discussion about consumer rights and obligations. Whilst some consider the change from students to clients to be simply an accurate reflection of changing times, others believe the trend to be a covert blueprint for radical change imposed by forces external to the academy. In either case, the discussion is more concerned with rights, responsibilities and obligations than pedagogic issues. With the shift in focus comes the possibility of consumer-based litigation based upon contractual obligations. This paper considers one of the ways in which universities have responded to the potential of being sued by dissatisfied customers: a tempering of hyperbole in their advertising. But how does the implication of such a strategy impact upon the perceived or actual standards of teaching? The author provides a brief overview of how universities have responded to students recasting themselves as customers, with concomitant demands for satisfaction. He describes how these trends have become manifest in Australia, before focusing on how one university has responded to the changing environment, and using the example of one faculty within that university to exemplify the change in strategy.

What happens when supply lags behind demand? Disadvantaged students and the ever increasing competition for university places

D. Edwards

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol.30, 2008, p.3-13

Competition for entry to university has escalated in Australia over the past decade. This rise in competition is attributable to a number of factors, a major one being that the provision of university places has not kept pace with growth in the population of university-aged persons. Using the city of Melbourne as a case study, this paper highlights the impact that rising competition for university has had on two disadvantaged groups: those from the Government school sector and those from areas of low socioeconomic status. It finds that the opportunities for university entrance among applicants in these two groups diminished substantially between 1996 and 2004. In particular, this was because of the rising entrance requirements at some of the more 'academically accessible' university campuses, which previously provided an opportunity for many educationally disadvantaged students.

What really works in special and inclusive education: using evidence-based teaching strategies

D. Mitchell

London: Routledge, 2008

Teachers around the globe are anxious to develop genuine, evidence-based policies and practices in their teaching of children with special educational needs, yet this field is notorious for the significant gap that exists between research and practice. The book presents teachers of children with special needs with a range of strategies they can implement right away in the classroom. It selects recent studies in inclusive education that have the most genuine potential for improving the practices of teachers and schools, in order to help the teachers produce high-quality learning and social outcomes for all. Each of the sixty strategies included here has a substantial research base and a sound theoretical rationale, clear guidelines on how they can be employed, as well as cautions about there use. The book covers:

  • Strategies for arranging the context of learning, such as inclusive education, cooperative group teaching and the classroom climate
  • Cognitive strategies, including self-regulated learning, memory enhancement and cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Behavioural strategies, addressing issues of functional assessment and direct instruction
  • Formative assessment and feedback
  • Assistive technology and opportunities to learn

When parents choose to start up a school: a social capital perspective on educational entrepreneurship

O. Eyal

Journal of Educational Administration, vol.46, 2008, p.99-118

By exploring the unique network linking parents, this paper attempts to shed light on the assumptions of social capital theory, showing the advantages of combining bonding and bridging social capital for educational entrepreneurship. Focusing on a group of Israeli parents who founded a new school, 20 interviews were conducted with founders, school employees, and people who supported the building of the school. The author concludes that bonding and bridging social capital complemented each other: whereas the former was employed to take advantage of existing opportunities in the community, the latter was used to explore new opportunities that would otherwise not be available. The study shows that parents with cultural capital know the 'rules of the game' and can therefore take advantage of network opportunities to ensure the school's survival.

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