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

Equality, quality and quantity: challenges in inclusive education policy and service provision in India

M. Kalyanpur

International Journal of Inclusive Education vol.28, 2008, p.243-262

Despite government efforts to provide services for children with disabilities in line with recommendations from international aid agencies, the 2003 Census of Individuals with Disabilities found that over 90% remain unserved. This paper identifies some of the limitations of these efforts in the context of the census findings, with particular reference to the issues of under-representation of specific groups and identification. The 2003 Education For All programme and recent policy initiatives, the Right to Education Bill (2005), the Action Plan for Inclusion in Education of Children and Youth with Disabilities (2005) and the National Policy for Persons with Disabilities (2006) are examined for their responsiveness to these concerns.

European vocational education and training: concepts, experiences and prospects

P. Grollmann and G. Spöttl (eds.)

Journal of European Industrial Training vol.32, 2008, p.81-234

On November 15, 2007 the European Council adopted the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), an important step in the process that had started in 2002 when the European Vocational Education Policy was set in motion with the 'Copenhagen Declaration' (European Commission, 2003). European Vocational Education and Training (VET) policy has reached new dynamics and compared with earlier VET policy phases there is a surprisingly high commitment from the member states and the different stakeholders. This special issue provides a forum for conceptual and analytical contributions to the debate, with contributors examining paradigms and principles of European VET. It also focuses on European design principles put into practice with reports of empirical experiences that have been gathered from projects within European VET co-operation.

Including children with selective mutism in mainstream schools and kindergarten: problems and possibilities

H. Omdal

International Journal of Inclusive Education vol.28, 2008, p.301-315

This paper reports the findings of a study of five children meeting the DSM-IV criteria for selective mutism, who were video-observed in social interactions in kindergarten/school and at home. The children's parents and the kindergarten/school staff also took part in semi-structured interviews. Themes arising from the data were:

  1. assessment by the kindergarten/school
  2. interactions in the kindergarten/classroom: inadvertent maintenance of mute behaviour
  3. interactions in the kindergarten/classroom: overcoming selective mutism
  4. kindergarten/school contacts with parents
  5. tensions in cooperation between home and kindergarten/school.

Kindergartens/schools that succeeded in including children with selective mutism found that the child started to speak after a year with encouragement and gentle support from adults and other children. In those cases where the children maintained their selectively mute behaviour, teachers and other children either accepted their refusal to speak and their exclusion of themselves, or selectively reinforced the maladaptive behaviour.

Internationalizing the university

Y. Turner and S. Robson

London: Continuum, 2008

While international students bring much needed revenue for universities and help to stimulate learning within the classroom, they also have high expectations and demands. This book focuses on the implications for those involved in this area in organisational, managerial and student support roles. A key theme is the importance of 'reciprocal internationalization', whereby universities find ways to develop within an internationally integrated environment rather than merely accommodate the needs of people from other countries into pre-existing practices.

Politics of inclusive education policy-making: the case of Cyprus 4784

A. Liasidou

International Journal of Inclusive Education vol.28, 2008, p.229-241

Defining as a spatial and chronological context the island of Cyprus at the outset of the twenty-first century, this paper aims to provide the socio-historical and political backcloth against which the hybrid and contentious nature of inclusive education policies emerge and are reified. In particular, the author explores the following issues: the major legislative reforms regarding special education; the historical, political and cultural factors that accounted for these changes; and the current situation in relation to integration and inclusion in ordinary schools in Cyprus.

Schools and Society: A Sociological Approach to Education 3rd ed.

J.H. Ballantine & J.Z. Spade (eds)

London: Sage, 2008

The third edition of this book features 32 original readings, 2 readings revised for this edition and 19 article excerpts by leaders in the area of Sociology of Education. Expanded text introductions to each chapter provide a holistic view of the field. The editors incorporate a wide array of theoretical perspectives, a broad range of respected sources and both classic and contemporary studies in addressing key issues in the field. Geared at upper-level undergraduate courses, conclusions to each section also feature suggested topics for continued exploration of the topic.

Sustainability and Education: Towards a Culture of Critical Commitment

S. Sterling & J. Gray-Donald (eds)

International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development vol.2, 2008

This special issue seeks to present new or challenging thinking in the area of education and sustainability. A number of papers come from the Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Plymouth, representing aspects of the range of innovative research interests being pursued there. Several papers address Education for Sustainability specifically, others the deeper learning issues around current responses to the current volatile environment. The entries encompass a variety of perspectives, including 'think pieces' that do not necessarily count as research per se, and feature well-established and respected writers alongside those in the early stages of their careers.

Training and workforce transformation in the European steel industry: questions for public policy

D. Stroud and P. Fairbrother

Policy Studies, vol. 29, 2008, p. 145-161

This analysis concentrates on the way in which EU policies on work organisation, employment and training are undermined by corporate management, using the steel industry as a case study. It argues firstly that, within the context of steel industry restructuring, EU policy initiatives on work, employment and training are viewed by corporate management through neoliberal eyes. This has implications for the way that the processes of workforce modernisation are performed, particularly with regard to undermining principles of social cohesion. Secondly, it is argued that aspects of the restructuring process rest, in part, on nationally-based and focused VET arrangements. This means that corporate management can exploit the inter-section between supra-national and national policies. The outcome in the steel industry is that progressive learning strategies are promoted for new, young, formally-qualified workers, while little is done to help older workers upgrade their skills, leaving them in a vulnerable position.

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