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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2010): Education - overseas

Academics as part-time marketers in university offshore programmes: an exploratory study

D. Poole & C. Ewan

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol. 32, 2010, p. 149-158

Although offshore students comprise an estimated 30 per cent of international student enrolments at Australian universities (IDP, 2009a), there is evidence that many institutions neither prepare academics to add value beyond their core teaching roles, nor create the environment in which academics become formally aware of their potential to serve as part-time marketers on behalf of their institutions. The aim of this exploratory study was to determine the extent to which such international management deficiencies exist in a sample institution. The results indicate that substantial potential exists for the more active participation of academics in marketing processes while engaged in offshore teaching activities and that deliberate strategies to achieve this outcome were both demanded and desired.

But I know that already: rhetoric or reality the accreditation of prior experiential learning in the context of work-based learning

I. Scott

Research in Post-Compulsory Education, vol. 15, 2010, p. 19-31

Within the context of work-based learning, this article reviews the evidence that supports the assumptions behind, and the claims made, for the accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL). It was found that many of the claims made for this accreditation practice were not substantiated and some of the assumptions were challenged by the evidence. In general, however, the extent and level of evidence was found to be low and the author argues that its paucity is undermining the development and exploitation of APEL as a practice.

Economics of distance and online learning: theory, practice and research

W.J. Bramble and S. Panda (editors)

New York: Routledge, 2008

This book provides an overview of the organisational models of distance and online learning from an international perspective and from the point of view of economic planning, costing and management decision-making. It contains a collection of articles from researchers and practitioners in the field which focus on areas such as funding policies, cost-benefit of distance training, models of distance and online learning and the cost and quality of these.

Equality in the secondary school: promoting good practice across the curriculum

M. Cole (editor)

London: Continuum, 2009

This book contains material from a range of contributors all of whom focus on the importance of promoting equality in schools. Topics covered include social class, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability and special educational needs, with reference to subjects taught at secondary school level.

Globalisation, ideology and education policy reforms

J. Zajda

Dordrecht: Springer, 2010

This book sets out to explore the interrelationship between ideology and education reforms in a global context as well as featuring ideas about the future direction policy reforms could take. Each chapter features research on discourses in the field of comparative education and draws upon recent studies in the areas of equity, cultural capital and dominant ideologies in education.

Higher education and the largest impoverished and marginalized group of the Indian population: reviewing enrolment and access to higher education among Tribals in India

K. Joshi

Asian Social Work and Social Policy Review, vol.4, 2010, p.57-65

Higher education promotes social and economic development within a society by building human and technical capabilities. Members of Scheduled Tribes constitute the second largest social group in India and account for 8% of the total population. Access to higher education in the Tribal population as reflected by the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) is an issue of concern as it falls behind the rest of the population even when compared with other deprived groups. The government has adopted various forms of affirmative action to enhance access to higher education among Tribals, including scholarships, quota systems and lower entry qualifications.

The higher education manager's handbook: effective leadership and management in universities and colleges. 2nd ed.

P. McCaffery

London: Routledge, 2010

In the updated version of this handbook the author draws on a range of US and UK case studies based in innovative practice as a means of providing guidance on various aspects of the manager's role, as well as discussing the navigational tools that can be used to operate successfully in an area where the legitimacy of "management" has often been questioned.

Measuring academic growth in students with disabilities in charter schools

E.R. Drame

Education and Urban Society, vol.42, 2010, p. 379-393

In the climate of high-stakes accountability created in the USA under the No Child Left Behind legislation, state schools, including charter schools, are under intense pressure to show consistent improvement in student achievement for all students. Students with disabilities present unique challenges for schools attempting to meet Annual Yearly Progress targets. An accountability system that relies exclusively on students' ability to meet a fixed proficiency level is now under great scrutiny. Efforts to pilot an assessment system that measures individual students' growth are underway in a number of states. This article contributes to the debate by reporting research conducted in four charter schools where growth in reading and maths achievement were examined for students with and without disabilities.

Mega-schools, technology and teachers: achieving education for all

J. Daniel

London: Routledge, 2010

This book examines the challenges created by the successes and the failures of the universal primary Education for All (EFA) campaign. It also advocates new approaches for providing access to secondary education for today's rapidly growing youth population.

Morale of teachers in high poverty schools: a post-NCLB mixed methods analysis

M. Byrd-Blake and others

Education and Urban Society, vol. 42, 2010, p. 450-472

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) 2002 mandates the annual measurement of academic progress for all pupils in US schools in reading, maths and science. Schools are required to raise the achievement of pupils each year and to eliminate the attainment gap by race, ethnicity, language and special education status or face severe sanctions. A survey of teachers in four urban schools in Southern Illinois demonstrates the negative effect of the pressures of NCLB targets on teacher morale.

More than experiential learning or volunteering: a case study of community service learning within the Australian context

E.A. Parker and others

Higher Education Research & Development, vol. 28, 2009, p. 585-596

This paper provides an example of the application of community service learning (CSL) - the integration of experiential learning and community service into coursework such that community needs are met and students gain both professional skills and a sense of civic responsibility. Based on survey data from 36 programme participants within an undergraduate health unit at the Queensland University of Technology, it demonstrates the impact of CSL on student outcomes. Results show that students benefited by developing autonomy through real-world experiences, through increased self-assurance and achievement of personal growth, through gaining new insights into the operations of community service organisations and through moving towards becoming responsible citizens. Students expect their CSL experience to have long-lasting impact on their lives, with two-thirds of participants noting that they would like to continue volunteering as part of their future development.

Policy borrowing, policy learning: testing times in Australian schooling

B. Lingard

Critical Studies in Education, vol.51, 2010, p. 129-147

This paper provides a critical policy analysis of the Rudd government's national agenda for Australian schools. The specific focus is on the introduction of national literacy and numeracy testing and the recent creation by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority of the website 'My School', which lists the results of these tests for all schools, including school performance against averages and against the performance of 60 socio-economically similar schools across the nation. It is argued that we are seeing the emergence of a national system of schooling as part of the reconstitution of the nation in the face of globalisation, despite the states being constitutionally responsible for education.

Politics and school education in Australia: a case of shifting purposes

N. Cranston and others

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 48, 2010, p. 182-195

This paper explores federal government schooling policies in Australia in the period since 1972 in terms of funding and policy priorities and argues that there has been a privileging of the private (social mobility) and economic (social efficiency) purposes of schooling at the expense of the public (democratic equality) purposes. The authors note that the findings have relevance beyond Australia, as similar policy agendas are evident in many other countries, and this raises the question as to how the shift in the purposes of education in those countries might mirror those in Australia.

Principal leadership and teacher motivation under high stakes accountability policies

K.S. Finnigan

Leadership and Policy in Schools, vol.9, 2010, p. 161-189

Many urban schools in the USA are failing to educate children. In the last decade, educational policies have tackled the problem by holding schools accountable for student achievement. This study indicates that important differences exist between low-performing schools under accountability sanctions and their higher performing counterparts. Probation schools are more likely to have African-American teachers and to serve populations that are mostly African-American and low-income. Crucially, head teachers are less likely to exhibit key leadership behaviours associated with organisational change. Leadership matters, but head teachers are less likely to exhibit transformational leadership behaviours in the schools that need it most.

Relationships in reform: the role of teachers' social networks

A.J. Daly and others

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 48, 2010, p. 359-391

Social network theory argues that the structure of social relationships may influence the direction, speed, and depth of organisational change and therefore may provide valuable insights into the social forces that may support or constrain reform efforts. This paper is based on a study which aimed to explore this issue. It reports the findings of a mixed-methods case study involving five schools in the California area within one under-performing school district as it enacted a system-wide reform. Quantitative survey data were collected to assess social networks and teacher perception of the schools carrying out the reform while qualitative data were gathered through individual interviews with educators within representative grade levels as a way of assessing the diffusion and implementation of the reform. Despite being enacted as a system-wide reform effort, the results suggest significant variance within and between schools in terms of reform-related social networks and these networks appeared significantly related to the uptake, depth, and spread of the change.

The role of difference in the creation of work-responsive curriculum units

J.W. Garraway

Higher Education Research & Development, vol. 28, 2009, p. 571-584

Academic curriculum and curricular units that are responsive to work necessarily involve the interaction of knowledge from two different communities. In this paper a number of cases of responsive curricula are analysed in order to answer the following questions: can general differences between work and academic knowledge be ascribed to the nature of the relevant knowledge fields? Were some fields of academic knowledge more amenable to interaction and hybridisation with work than others? The author concludes that difference does indeed play a part in hybridisation. Where difference is too large or too small, hybridisation may be less successful than where difference is optimal.

Speaking back to educational policy: why social inclusion will not work for disadvantaged Australian schools

J. Smyth

Critical Studies in Education, vol.51, 2010, p. 113-128

The Rudd Labour government in Australia has a strong commitment to promoting social inclusion. This article explores, taking education policy as the case study, which of the various versions of social inclusion has been adopted by the Australian government. It is concluded that the underlying tone behind the government's approach is largely punitive, with a thinly veiled victim blaming mentality. There is no genuine attempt to understand the complexities of the lives that are being damaged as a result of marginalisation. The perspectives and aspirations of the people who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of social inclusion are largely absent from the policy process, despite some rhetoric to the contrary. There is no sense that social exclusion may result from the way that society is structured, rather than being the fault of groups like teachers, schools and communities themselves.

Swedish primary-school teachers' attitudes to inclusion - the case of PE pupils with physical abilities

K. Jerlinder, B. Danemark & P. Gill

European Journal of Special Educational Needs, vol. 25, 2010, p. 45-57

The aim of this study is to investigate Swedish PE teachers' attitudes to inclusion of pupils with physical disabilities in mainstream PE classes at primary school. A total of 221 PE teachers responded to an email questionnaire with questions covering demographics, general attitudes, support from school management and staff, possible hindrances and personal experiences of inclusion. The authors conclude that Swedish PE teachers are generally very positive to inclusion of pupils with physical disabilities into general PE, especially PE teachers with actual previous experience of teaching pupils with physical disabilities. Stepwise multiple regressions were used to establish a predictive model of positive attitudes to inclusion based on: (1) having adequate training; (2) having general school support (from management and staff); and (3) demands on resources.

Teachers' attitudes to inclusion in Turkey

S. Rakap & L. Kaczmarek

European Journal of Special Educational Needs, vol. 25, 2010, p. 59-75

This study investigated the opinions of general education teachers working in public elementary schools in Turkey regarding the inclusion of students with disabilities in their classrooms and their willingness also to include students with more severe learning disabilities. The authors conclude that the teachers sampled possessed slightly negative attitudes towards the inclusion of students with disabilities in regular education classrooms. Results also demonstrated that only 35% of the one hundred and ninety-four teachers who completed the survey were open to learning new skills in order to better accommodate students with disabilities by attending in-service education programmes, although most expressed willingness to collaborate with the families of students with disabilities.

TVET reform in Chongqing: big steps on a long march

P. Comyn and A. Barnaart

Research in Post-Compulsory Education, vol. 15, 2010, p. 49-65

This article reports on the results of a trial of outcomes-oriented vocational education and training in vocational schools and colleges in the Chongqing municipality of central China. Between March 2002 and August 2007, a team of Australian advisors worked with the Chongqing Municipal Education Commission to implement new vocational education and training programmes in five key industry fields. The article gives an overview of the projects, highlights the key challenges experienced during the five years of implementation and goes on to situates the key outcomes against the broader process of reform of technical and vocational education and training in China, including an examination of the likely long-term impacts.

The use of structuration theory to conceptualize alternative practice in education: the case of private school outreach in India

L. Day Ashley

British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol. 31, 2010, p. 337 - 351

This paper argues for the potential of using Giddens' structuration theory in educational research. Conceptual schemes from structuration theory were applied to the author's empirical research on a type of alternative educational practice in India - private school outreach - and shows the analysis how Giddens' concepts of 'social system', 'structure' and 'agency' helped to conceptualise this practice and also how the ideas of 'constraint' and 'ontological security' offered explanations for apparent contradictions in relation to the reasons and motivations of the actors involved.

'We are the professionals': a study of teachers' views on parental involvement in school

U-D.K. Bęck

British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol. 31, 2010, p. 291-305

This study examines teachers' attitudes and experiences regarding home-school cooperation based on a mixed-methods approach with survey and qualitative interviews among teachers in Norway. Using Bourdieu's concept of social field as a power relation to interpret the findings, the results show that while teachers experienced the interaction in a positive way, they tried to limit parents' influence through emphasising their own professionalism, thus leaving parents in the role of supporters. Teachers who related to well-educated parents appeared to be especially conscious of maintaining a distance from the parents.

Why knowledge matters in curriculum: a social realist argument

L. Wheelahan

London: Routledge, 2010

This book argues that providing students with access to knowledge should be the cornerstone of education with the premise that access to knowledge is an issue of social justice because society uses it to to conduct its debates and controversies. This volume focuses on what should be taught in schools, vocational and higher education and uses competency-based training to explore the negative consequences that may arise when knowledge is displaced in curriculum in favour of a focus on workplace relevance.

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