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

After-school program effects on behavior: results from the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program national evaluation

S. James-Burdumy, M. Dynarski and J. Deke

Economic Inquiry, vol.46, 2008, p. 13-18

After-school programmes have been hypothesised to improve child and youth behavioural outcomes, but evidence on whether they do so is mixed. In 1999, Mathematica Policy Research began a national evaluation of the US Department of Education's 21st Century Community Learning Centers programme. This paper describes the findings of that evaluation related to behaviour. Findings come from both of the study's components: a primary school component based on random assignment of 2,308 pupils in 12 school districts and a middle school component based on a matched comparison design including 4,264 pupils in 32 districts. The evidence from the evaluation found that after-school programmes increased negative behaviours among both primary and middle school pupils. Additional analyses suggest that difference in disciplinary policies between after-school programmes and the school day may explain some of the increase in behaviour problems.

Australian educational institutions' international markets: a correspondence analysis

T.W. Mazzarol and G.N. Soutar

International Journal of Educational Management vol.22, 2008, p.229-238

This study examines the countries from which Australian education institutions draw international students and uses this information to enhance understanding of patterns. Data were obtained from a sample of 225 schools, colleges and universities actively engaged in the recruitment of international students and correspondence analysis and cluster analysis were used to examine the recruitment choices used by these institutions. Three distinct groups emerged from within the data that had different recruitment strategies:

  1. 'local players' who cater primarily for the needs of international students studying in Australia and have a narrowly focused recruitment strategy
  2. 'global players' mainly universities who operate both within Australia and offshore and therefore recruit widely
  3. 'minor players' mainly high schools who engage in international student recruitment only on an ad hoc basis.

The authors conclude that managers in educational institutions seeking to engage in overseas markets must make a strategic choice as to the level of commitment to their internationalisation and that this will impact on the choices they make about the way they recruit international students.

Education reform policy and early childhood teacher education in Hong Kong before and after the transfer of sovereignty to China in 1997

G. Yuen

Early Years, Vol. 28, p. 23-45

Built on a sociocultural framework of policy analysis and Wertsch's concept of mediation, the present study examines how early childhood teacher education has changed as a result of interactions between reform policy and the action of teacher educators. Ten teacher educators participated in the study, along with eight early childhood leaders, 15 kindergarten principals and child care centre supervisors, and one policy-maker. Data collected through interviews, focus-group discussions, and reviews of government and organisational documents as well as press materials were analysed. The findings revealed that early childhood organisations were more active than teacher educators in the process of negotiation. Although early childhood teacher education has expanded since the handover in 1997, the voice and identity of the profession are still in an embryonic state. The study offers implications for redefining the roles of teacher educators and restructuring teacher education contexts to help facilitate the development of ideological consciousness and new understanding.

Educational reform in Ghana: the leadership challenge

M.Y. Zane, W.C. Hope and T. Respress

International Journal of Educational Management vol.22, 2008, p.115-128

This article considers the responses of head teachers in Accra, Ghana, to a survey about proficiencies required for effective leadership in basic schools and those demonstrated in practice. The research reveals that heads of basic schools lack leadership proficiencies because of the absence of professional preparation programmes in leadership, practice management and administrative behaviours. The authors conclude that, although Ghana has implemented several reforms with the intent of developing a quality educations system, there has not been a focus on leadership and that Ghana therefore faces a leadership challenge related to head teachers' professional development.

Ethical educational leadership in turbulent times: (re)solving moral dilemmas

J.P. Shapiro & S.J. Gross

New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2008

This book is theoretically based on Gross's Turbulence Theory and Shapiro and Stefkovich's Multiple Ethical Paradigms of justice, critique, care, and the profession. The authors introduce and explain these concepts and provide authentic ethical dilemmas, recently derived from and field tested in doctoral level courses, to demonstrate how these concepts can work together to assist leaders in dealing with challenging situations.

The intersection of cultures: multicultural education in the United States and the global economy

J. Spring

New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2008

This book focuses on the need for educators in the age of globalisation and mass migration to be able to recognise and respond to the different ways their culturally and linguistically diverse students interrelate with the world, as well as to assist them in making the transition into a new culture. All chapters include model lessons for primary through to higher education level classes and use a problem-solving approach to the issues involved in educating this group of students.

Raising the stakes: from improvement to transformation in the reform of schools

B.J. Caldwell & J.M. Spinks

Abingdon: Routledge, 2008

The book draws on best practice in several countries to show how resources can be allocated to help achieve high expectations for all schools. The authors demonstrate how schools can move from satisfaction with improvement to accepting the challenge to transform, identifying and exploring the need to align four kinds of resources: intellectual capital, that is the knowledge and skill of talented professionals; social capital, being mutual support from networks of individuals, organisations, agencies and institutions in the broader community; financial capital, which must be carefully targeted to ensure that these resources are aligned and focused on priorities for learning; and spiritual capital, which can be viewed in a religious sense or in terms of the culture and values that bring coherence and unity to these endeavours.

Strategy and the internationalisation of universities

G. Elkin, J. Farnsworth and A. Templar

International Journal of Educational Management vol.22, 2008, p.239-250

This paper explores the relationship between having a complete strategic focus and the extent of the internationalisation of university business schools and the level of desire for future internationalisation. Data were collected for business schools and business facilities using the Elkin, Devjee model of concerning their current and desired levels of internationalisation and schools were additionally asked six key questions about strategic focus. Results suggest that those schools with complete strategic focus had higher levels of current internationalisation and greater aspirations for even higher levels of internationalisation than schools without a complete strategic focus. The study also suggests there may be a connection between research intensity and internationalisation.

A Study of leadership effectiveness in a large VET institution in Australia

D. Adams and D.T. Gamage

International Journal of Educational Management vol.22, 2008, p.214-228

This paper focuses on a quantitative and qualitative survey of the effectiveness of head teacher leadership within TAFE NSW, using a sample of head teachers and teachers. The results suggest that there is a significant difference between the self-perceived effectiveness of the head teachers and the leadership effectiveness recognised by the teachers. The study also showed that the effects of gender, length of service as a head teacher and the educational discipline area did not have a substantial effect on head teacher leadership effectiveness. However, emergent issues, such as workload, lack of support and training, and the gap between the head teacher and higher-level management were significant factors affecting head teachers' performance.

Transforming academic work: communities of practice in Australian universities

D. Churchman & T. Stehlik

Journal of Organisational Transformation and Social Change, Vol. 4, p. 263-278

This article explores the model of communities of practice as an alternative to the competitive, corporatised model of universities prescribed in current Australian federal government policies and described in the document Universities: Backing Australia's Future (2003). The authors argue that the federal government's policies, which include the proposal to create niche Australian universities, with specific purposes such as teaching-only, will reduce inter-institutional plurality and interdisciplinary activities. This represents a significant shift for most Australian tertiary institutions which have, over the past two decades, invested significant resources addressing disparate agendas of an increasing range of stakeholders. The current policies, with their emphasis on individualism and competition, have been criticised as demonstrating a poor understanding of academic work. The authors argue that a government-regulated environment will limit the opportunity for collaborative and scholarly ways of doing academic work and suggest that the communities of practice model can offer a transformative approach to the organisation of academic work, by recognising and building on diversity, promoting collaboration and encouraging interdisciplinary research.

Uganda's decentralised primary education: musical chairs and inverted elite capture in school management committees

G. Prinsen and K. Titeca

Public Administration and Development, vol. 28, 2008, p. 149-164

Decentralisation policies in Africa increasingly shift responsibilities and resources for the provision of public services to local bodies which include service users, such as School Management Committees. This paper investigates whether School Management Committees are in danger of being hijacked and controlled by local elites consisting of better educated and wealthier individuals. On the basis of field research in Uganda, it is argued that there is no evidence that school management committees have been taken over by local elite groups.

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