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

Barriers to girls' education in Mozambique at household and community levels: an exploratory study

J.L. Roby, M.J. Lambert and J. Lambert

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol. 18, 2009, p. 342-353

Research has shown that educating women and girls brings significant social, economic and health benefits to them, their children and their communities. While Mozambique has recently accelerated its efforts to improve access to education for girls, they are still enrolled and attending school at a much lower rate than boys. Caregivers tend to see girls as having more responsibilities for younger siblings and for working at home. They fear the dangers involved in travel to a distant school or the bad influences of school. Girls are still being married off early in rural areas, either for the bride price or to reduce the perceived burden of raising a girl. Some caregivers do not believe that education will make a difference to the future of the children, especially the girls.

The cost-effectiveness of raising teacher quality

S.S. Yeh

Educational Research Review, vol. 4, 2009, p. 220-232

Econometric studies suggest that student achievement may be improved if high-performing teachers are substituted for low-performing teachers. Drawing upon a recent study, an analysis was conducted to determine the cost-effectiveness of requiring teacher applicants to meet a minimum 1000 SAT test score requirement, while raising salaries by 45 percent in order to maintain an adequate pool of candidates. Results indicate that the cost-effectiveness of this approach to raising teacher quality is substantially lower than the cost-effectiveness of a competing approach for raising student achievement, involving the implementation of systems that provide formative assessment feedback to students and teachers regarding student performance in maths and reading.

Creating and sustaining successful mixed-income communities

M. Joseph and J. Feldman

Education and Urban Society, vol. 41, 2009, p. 623-652

This article examines the theory and evidence behind the increased policy and scholarly interest in the role that schools might play in promoting neighbourhood revitalisation and focuses on the extent to which schools might be a key component of the growing efforts across the United States to address urban poverty by creating and sustaining mixed-income neighbourhoods. The article concludes that schools can play unique roles as amenities, local resources, and forums for interaction and collective action but leveraging that potential value for the benefit of everyone will require impeding real estate market forces and surmounting differences in parental school expectations and engagement associated with socio-economic status.

Developing an inclusive system in a rapidly changing European society

S. Drudy and W. Kinsella

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol. 13, 2009, p. 647-663

This paper uses Ireland as a case study to examine progress towards an inclusive education system. It explores policy and progress in developing such a system under a number of key headings: social class, ethnicity, gender, and disability, with a particular focus on disability. Using official statistics and the results of a research study of the inclusion of children with disabilities and special needs, the questions explored are whether the major changes that have taken place in Ireland since the mid-1990s have resulted in a more inclusive system, an increase in equality, and an increase in inclusive practices in schools. On the basis of the available evidence, the results appear to be mixed.

The future of higher education: policy, pedagogy and the student experience

L. Bell, M. Neary and H. Stevenson

London: Continuum, 2009

This text explores policy, pedagogy and the student experience at a conceptual level and is divided into three parts: part 1 explores key policies that have shaped higher education since the late twentieth century, and traces the impact that these policies have had on the extent and nature of higher education provision; part 2 explores how these emerging policies, and the need for higher education institutions to respond to them, have produced a radical re-evaluation of what higher education is and how it might best be delivered at an institutional level; and part 3 gives consideration to pedagogy and the student experience in contemporary higher education.

International perspectives on education

M.H. Chau and T. Kerry (editors)

London: Continuum, 2008

This is a collection of papers from a group of international scholars who are writing around a theme that can be summarised as the re-humanisation of education. It falls into three parts: perspectives; supporting the learning process; teachers and professional development. The book is designed for two main groups of educators - those who have an interest in education as an academic area or from the perspective of applied theory and, secondly, those who are concerned with the management and governance of education.

A meta-analysis of comparative studies on Chinese and US students' mathematics performance: implications for mathematics education reform and research

J. Wang and E. Lin

Educational Research Review, vol. 4, 2009, p. 177-195

The United States and China are reforming mathematics teaching by shifting from students' attainment of facts and procedures toward development of competencies in reasoning, communication, connections, and problem solving as well as application of these in real life contexts. This meta-analysis examines US and Chinese student mathematics performance studies and identifies the strengths and weaknesses in overall and specific competencies. It raises questions about theoretical assumptions, discusses the limitations of research designs, and proposes research that may lead to a critical understanding of the quality of mathematics learning.

Social capital and educational organizing in low income, minority, and new immigrant communities: can the university strengthen community organizations?

M.A. Krasner and F. Pierre-Louis

Education and Urban Society, vol. 41, 2009, p. 672-694

This paper reports on a college-based programme that combined training, direct support, and technical assistance which was found to produce significant gains in bonding and bridging social capital and key political attributes among low-income, minority, and immigrant groups which organised to enhance their power to influence school politics and policies in New York City.

Traveller, nomadic and migrant education

P.A. Danaher, M. Kenny and J.R. Leder (editors)

London: Routledge, 2009

This book presents international accounts of approaches to educating mobile communities such as circus and fairground people, herders, hunters, Roma and Travellers. The chapters focus on three key dimensions of educational change: the client group moving from school to school; those schools having their demographics changed and seeking to change the mobile learners; and these learners contributing to fundamental change in the nature of schooling. The book brings together research into the challenges and opportunities presented by mobile learners interacting with educational systems predicated on fixed residence. As well as identifying obstacles to these learners receiving an equitable education, it also explores a number of educational innovations, ranging from specialised literacy programmes and distance and online education to mobile schools and specially trained teachers.

Vocational qualification frameworks in Asia-pacific: a cresting wave of educational reform?

P. Comyn

Research in Post-Compulsory Education, vol. 14, 2009, p. 251-268

In terms of policy initiatives, the introduction of national qualification frameworks (NQFs), including frameworks specifically for the vocational sector (NVQFs) have had far reaching implications for the management and delivery of education and training. This paper summarises current developments in the Asia-Pacific region where enthusiasm for national qualification frameworks has reached new heights. The paper also draws on the author's experiences in working on NVQF development and implementation in Bangladesh and Papua New Guinea to highlight the role of donors who are active partners in the expansion of the international trend to implement qualification frameworks.

A whole-child perspective assessment guide for early years settings

S. Hanafin and others

Community Practitioner, vol. 82, Oct. 2009, p. 22-25

This paper describes the development of a national assessment guide to assist the Irish Pre-School Inspectorate in evaluating support for whole-child development in early years settings. The guide was produced as a result of changes to regulations governing pre-school childcare provision in Ireland. Regulations published in 2006 encouraged service providers to take a whole-child approach to the planning and delivery of pre-school services. The assessment guide was developed to enhance inspectors' understanding of the whole-child approach required by the regulations and to ensure consistency in the inspection process.

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