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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2009): Education - overseas

Be careful what you ask for: exploring the confusion around and usefulness of the male teacher as male role model discourse

B. Sevier and C. Ashcraft

Men and Masculinities, vol.11, 2009, p. 553-557

Current educational reforms in the USA have called for more male teachers, especially in primary schools, to act as role models. However, data from interviews with 14 male primary school teachers illustrates confusion surrounding the concept of the male teacher as male role model. All the men in the study clearly understood and accepted the expectation that they serve as male role models. All the participants could also articulate the reasons why more male teachers were allegedly needed to act as role models. However, they exhibited confusion when asked to describe what a male role should look like, and tended to fall back on traditional gender scripts.

Charter schools and students with disabilities: how far have we come?

M.B. Estes

Remedial and Special Education, vol. 30, no. 4, 2009, p. 216-224

The number of charter schools opening in the United States continues to grow, fifteen years after the first charter school legislation was passed. In 2000, research was conducted to examine the extent and quality of services to students with disabilities in charter schools based in Texas. Descriptive statistics and structured interviews were used to identify areas of strength and weakness in special education service provision. This article describes a replication of that study, reviews the initial findings, and presents data that shed some light on changes that have occurred in the interim.

Conceptualizing training in the radical adult education tradition

J.D. Holst

Adult Education Quarterly, vol. 59, 2009, p. 318-334

This article reviews contemporary definitions of training in adult education literature with a focus on the narrowing of what is generally considered and not considered to be training today. It also provides a number of historical and contemporary examples of training within the radical tradition and argues that within this tradition, the terms training and education are at times used interchangeably to refer to a democratic and participatory form of education.

The developing world and state education: neoliberal depredation and egalitarian alternatives

D. Hill and E. Rosskam (editors)

New York; London: Routledge, 2009

At a time when financial systems globally appear to be in crisis, this book critically examines neoliberal policy impacts on schooling/education in the developing world. The contributing authors analyse developments in Latin America, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Pakistan, India, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Mozambique, Turkey and China. Chapters in this volume critically examine neoliberal impacts on equality, equal opportunities and access to schooling and education; impacts on democracy/democratic control of schools and education; impacts on critical thinking and analytical skills among students; and impacts on the rights/pay and conditions of education workers. Overall, the book both analyses and promotes the notion of resistance to the move towards neoliberalism, a philosophy that the authors believe wrongly assumes that the market and privatisation are compatible with education

Education across borders: politics, policy and legislative action

J. Fegan & M.H. Field (editors)

Dordrecht: Springer, 2009

This book focuses on the implications of globalisation in higher education and in particular looks at relations between states and institutions. The chapters analyse the interactions between the South and the North, as well as considering the challenges for 'non-elite' institutions and examining the potential for knowledge flow and creation in across-border relationships.

Engaging with teachers' knowledge: promoting inclusion in Zambian schools

S. Miles

Disability and Society, vol.24, 2009, p. 611-624

Providing an effective education for all children is arguably the biggest challenge facing school systems worldwide. In this paper a study carried out in schools in Northern Zambia is used to suggest ways in which disabled children can be included in mainstream schools. It is argued that specialist expertise is not essential for the inclusion of disabled children. Practitioners can be engaged in a process of critical reflection and questioning in order to generate locally relevant knowledge about attitudinal, environmental and institutional barriers to inclusion.

Governance in Australian universities: where next?

J. Swansson and D. Blackman

CESifo DICE Report, 2/2009, p. 39-46

In 2004 a set of National Governance Protocols were established for universities in Australia because there had been some significant breakdowns that had damaged reputations, caused tens of millions of dollars of losses, and led some universities to the brink of bankruptcy. In February 2008, the Australian government decided to separate the National Governance Protocols from funding requirements, in effect making them voluntary. However there is evidence that there are still significant governance issues prevalent throughout the Australian higher education sector, and there needs to be consideration of how such challenges can be addressed.

The impact of governance on education inequality: evidence from Bangladesh

S. Al-Samarrai

Public Administration and Development, vol. 29, 2009, p. 167-179

Despite weak governance and the poor quality of public institutions, Bangladesh has experienced healthy economic growth and large reductions in poverty. Enrolment in primary and secondary education also expanded rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s, partly as a result of the introduction of conditional cash transfer schemes. These advances, however, have not led to systematic improvements in equity. In education, enrolment disparities have narrowed but remain large, and progress in improving equity in attainment has been slow. This article argues that education inequality, particularly at the primary level, has been the result of weak governance and corruption. In particular, efforts at addressing equity have been unsuccessful because of the diversion of resources intended for the poor as well as the anti-poor biases in resource allocation and policy implementation.

Informal learning of active citizenship at school: an international comparative study in seven European countries

J. Scheerens (editor)

Dordrecht: Springer, 2009 (Lifelong learning book series; vol. 14)

This aim of this book series is to advance research and scholarship in the area of lifelong learning as well as offering access to a range of resources for researchers, policy-makers, scholars, professionals, and practitioners in the field. This particular volume is an international comparative study that focuses on the importance of the idea of active citizenship and the ways in which this can be developed for citizens of democratic polities, both formally and informally, through patterns of learning offered in the work, activities and relationships of primary and secondary schools. The seven European countries that form the basis of this study are Cyprus, Denmark, England, Germany, Italy, Romania, and the Netherlands.

International perspectives on the governance of higher education: alternative frameworks for coordination

J. Huisman (editor)

London: Routledge, 2009 (International studies in higher education; vol. 2)

This is the second in a series of volumes aimed at exploring how systems of higher education respond to new and demanding political and socio-economic environments, as particularly evidenced in places such as the former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe, South Africa, Latin America, India and China. This volume in particular examines the emergence of the state-steering model of governance which raises questions as to how institutions, regulatory bodies and government interact to shape policy and practice; whether there is a role for the market and how much encouragement there is for institutional entrepreneurialism; if national governments are becoming increasingly less important in shaping the pattern of development as both international organisations and supra-national political bodies take increasing responsibility for the development of higher education; and so forth. These and other related issues are located in different theoretical and geographical contexts within this volume in an attempt to further the understanding of the changing governance of higher education in the contemporary world.

Knowledge, values and educational policy: a critical perspective

H. Daniels, H. Lauder and J. Porter (editors)

London; New York: Routledge, 2009 (Critical perspectives on education)

This is one of two volumes examining issues facing contemporary education and educationists. This particular volume is divided into five sections: section 1 asks fundamental questions about what schools are for and what should be taught in them; section 2 contains discussion around one of the newest areas of interest, that is learning across boundaries; section 3 examines issues of diversity and equity; section 4 locates these issues in terms of policies and practices within a school environment; and, finally, section 5 presents a series of reflections on the importance of theory for guiding educational practice and for developing research in education.

Leading and managing extended schools

D. Middlewood and R. Parker

London: Sage, 2009

This is one in a series of books concerned with how leadership in education can contribute to social change which brings greater social justice. It is argued that this cannot be achieved unless some of the major issues in communities are addressed, such as inequalities in opportunities for employment, economic prosperity, health, and general well-being. National governments have signalled their intentions to do this through initiatives such as 'No Child Left Behind' in the United States and 'Every Child Matters' in the United Kingdom. In doing so, these governments have placed the child, and therefore schools, at the centre of the attempted solutions to such issues. Drawing on examples of schools which appear to be making a significant difference, the authors set out to explore ways in which leaders and managers of extended and full-service schools are already helping, or planning to help, transform communities. Case examples are widely used in the book and the schools visited or contacted include nursery, primary, secondary and special schools.

Much ado about very little: the benefits and costs of school-based commercial activities

B.O. Brent and S. Lunden

Leadership and Policy in Schools, vol. 8, 2009, p. 307-336

School-based commercialism exists whenever a district enters into a relationship with a business that provides access to students or staff in exchange for fiscal or in-kind resources, that is, goods or services. While some hold the view that commercial activities offer districts a much needed means to supplement their resources, others maintain that it exposes children to unhealthy products and promotions. The authors of this article argue that the literature only contains anecdotal evidence on this debate and in response to this they have applied multiple methods to analyse data from Pennsylvania and New York school districts. The results show that the net benefits of commercial activities are modest at best. In addition, the results indicate that districts that engage in commercial activities are poorer, exert greater local effort, and spend less than those that do not. The implications of these findings are discussed in the article.

On knowledge and work

H. Lauder (editor)

Journal of Education and Work, vol.22, 2009, p. 157-162

This special issue addresses some of the fundamental questions arising from the policy insistence that education should primarily be a preparation for the labour market, what Grubb and Lazerson (2006) have called the Education Gospel. It focuses on the question of academic knowledge and its relationship to the labour market, including:

  • A powerful defence of human capital theory, arguing that education produces minds and characters that are productive in the labour market.
  • A critique of competency-based training

Power in the academy

J. Satterthwaite, H. Piper and P. Sikes

Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books, 2009 (Discourse, power, resistance; vol. 7)

This series offers a critique of educational and academic theory and practice in the UK, the US and elsewhere. This seventh volume is written by academics concerned to sustain that critique and who aim to affirm what they believe are the true and lasting values of the academy. Some of the themes and issues discussed in this volume include an exploration of how power operates in the academy with the argument that power is itself no bad thing; an examination of the effect on UK universities of military contracts; and an analysis of the cultural politics of power in the world of personal relationships. In addition, contributors from the Caribbean, the USA, China and the UK discuss the impact of power on research. These four chapters show power, both internal and external to the universities, at work to determine what research may be done, what methodology used and what constraints and protocols observed.

Quality education for African Americans after Parents Involved

F. Brown (guest editor)

Education and Urban Society, vol. 40, no. 5, 2009, p. 519-618

This special issue on racially segregated state schools analyses the issues associated with race and education in America and suggests changes in the future of school desegregation in the wake of the 2007 United States Supreme Court decision in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No.1. This decision basically dismantled the ability of school boards to act affirmatively to desegregate their schools by assigning students to schools beyond their neighbourhoods, thereby leading to de facto segregated schools by race and ethnicity.

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