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

Education and social inequality in the global culture

J. Zajda, K. Biraimah and W. Gaudelli (editors)

London: Springer, 2008 (Globalisation, Comparative Education and Policy Research; vol. 1)

The primary aim of this volume is to present a global overview of the interplay between education, socio-economic status, and globalisation. The authors focus on discourses surrounding three dimensions that affect the equality/inequality debate in education and society - hegemony, equity, and cultural capital - as they argue that these are the most critical and significant concepts for examining and critically evaluating the dimensions in the global culture. The book draws upon recent studies in the areas of equity, cultural capital and dominant ideologies in education and various chapters critique the dominant discourses and debates pertaining to the newly constructed and re-invented models of neo-liberal ideology in education, set against the current climate of growing social stratification and unequal access to quality education for all.

The European learned professions and the EU higher education project

V. Olgiati

European Societies, vol. 10, 2008, p. 545-565

This article provides a detailed and systematic analysis and discussion of the rationale of European Union processes and policies relating to both the learned professions and higher education. The challenges, threats and opportunities which eventually resulted in the Bologna Accord are examined as a politico-legal project. Tensions are found to arise from both historically diverse methods of professional regulation in the different nation-states that constitute the EU and from the need of the EU to exercise governance over all EU professionals. This has become necessary both to manage the challenges of global markets and to cope with the multidisciplinary complexity of EU decision-making, which increasingly relies on input from experts.

European regulation of professional education: a study of documents focussing on architects and psychologists in the EU

T. Le Bianic and L.G. Svensson

European Societies, vol. 10, 2008, p.567-595

This paper presents a summary of the law and policies for formal regulation of professional education in the European Union. Data are based on policy documents, directives and agreements with a particular focus on the cases of architects and psychologists. The analysis shows how the EU has moved from 'hard' to 'soft' regulation, giving professional actors themselves, and their national institutions and European professional federations, more room to organise themselves and determine their own priorities and rules of mobility.

Improving teacher education through action research

M. Hui and D.L. Grossman (editors)

London: Routledge, 2008

This book is a result of a project involving a group of educators from The Hong Kong Institute of Education who worked together to research their own pedagogic practices. This multiyear project, known as the Teaching and Learning Action Research Project, comprised three project teams focusing on different aspects of improving teaching and learning, including, assessment for learning, innovative pedagogy, and linking theories into practice. The chapters in the book are case studies derived from the Project around these three themes and the editors see these as demonstrating how action research can be conducted in order to help teacher educators reflect on and improve in their own teaching.

Impact of free primary education in Kenya: a case study of private schools in Kibera

J. Tooley, P. Dixon and J. Stanfield

Educational Management Administration & Leadership, vol. 36, 2008, p. 449-469

It is assumed that access to free primary education (FPE) is required to ensure that poor children enroll in schools. After the introduction of FPE in January 2003 in Kenyan schools, huge increases in enrolment were officially reported. The results from this research conducted 10 months after the introduction of FPE in and around the informal settlement of Kibera in Nairobi, suggest a less beneficial outcome. Although the study found that enrolment increased in government primary schools, the researchers point out that this needs to be balanced against a much larger reported decrease in enrolment in private schools in the informal settlement, many of which were not on the official list of schools. Moreover, parent focus groups reported dissatisfaction with government schools and satisfaction with private schools since FPE. Overall, the findings point to an alternative route to ensuring 'education for all', by embracing, rather than ignoring, the role currently played by the private sector.

Instructional leadership for quality learning: an assessment of the impact of the Primary School Management Project in Botswana

N.O. Pansiri

Educational Management Administration & Leadership, vol. 36, 2008, p. 471-494

This article reports on a study conducted in 2004 to assess the effectiveness of instructional leadership displayed by primary school management teams following the implementation of a Primary School Management Project in Botswana. The key variables that guided the study were leadership skills, coordination of instructional activities, management of curriculum, and quality of learners. The respondents were primary school teachers, including school heads, as well as learners and the data was collected using questionnaires.

Non-university higher education in Europe

J.S. Taylor et al (editors)

London: Springer, 2008 (Higher Education Dynamics; vol. 23)

A substantial proportion of higher education today is provided for outside of the traditional universities in non-university institutions with a multitude of characteristics. This volume focuses mainly on critically examining the history, evolution, and governance structures of the non-university higher education sector in Europe. The opening chapter discusses the changing role of this sector in Europe generally and the remainder of the book contains ten case studies of countries by higher education scholars from each country, namely Austria, Belgium/Flanders, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. The book concludes with a comparative analysis across these countries and an agenda for the future of the non-university sector within Europe.

Using diverse data to develop and sustain school, family and community partnerships: a district case study

M.G. Sanders

Educational Management Administration & Leadership, vol. 36, 2008, p. 530-545

The collection, analysis and presentation of data are increasingly seen as vital to educational improvement. This article reports findings from a case study of district leadership for school, family and community partnerships in a suburban district in the mid-Atlantic region of the USA where the district family and community involvement specialist successfully used different kinds of data to achieve a variety of goals linked to programme growth, improvement and sustainability. The efforts of the district specialist highlight an important district leadership function in an increasingly data-driven educational reform environment.

The worldwide transformation of higher education

D.P. Baker and A.W. Wiseman (editors)

Bingley: JAI, 2008 (International Perspectives on Education and Society; vol. 9)

This volume offers a sample of contemporary comparative studies of the higher education sector which present a discussion of the worldwide transformation of this sector from multiple perspectives. The chapters are broadly organised into two groups. The first encompasses issues of higher education expansion and the impact of this global trend, while the second grouping includes examinations of specific national system phenomena related to the expansion of higher education. The systems specifically investigated are Brazil, Germany, Russia, Uganda, Thailand, South Korea, China, Taiwan and the United States.

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