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

Advocacy networks, choice and private schooling of the poor in India

G. Nambissan and S.Ball

Global networks, vol. 10, 2010, p. 324-343

The two main axes of global trends in education policy are parental choice and the role of 'private' schooling, and the reform of state education systems along global lines. The dissemination of such policies entails both 'policy entrepreneurship' and at the same time a process of policy transfer, and is a mechanism of 'policy convergence'. Working with various 'partners', consultants and education businesses deliver 'development' and aid policy, develop local policy infrastructures, and embed prevailing Western discourses, either directly or as 'spillovers', into the local policy systems. This article investigates the flows of these rhetorics and discourses, particularly those that advocate school choice and private schooling as solutions to the problem of achieving universal, high quality primary education in India.

Bilateral support to primary education

National Audit Office

London: TSO, 2010 (House of Commons papers, session 2010/11; HC 69)

The Department for International Development (DFID) has successfully supported developing countries in progress against goals of universal enrolment in primary education and improved educational prospects for girls. However, quality of education and levels of attainment remain low and pupil and teacher absenteeism is still too high. Typically, salaries - mostly those of teachers - consume 90 per cent of education budgets in developing countries, yet pay is not routinely monitored. Wage-bills have reached levels which limit the affordability of educational expansion in DFID priority countries. There are other opportunities to work with governments to help raise cost-effectiveness: non-formal education initiatives designed to reach remote or migrant communities have features which could be applied successfully in formal schools. The report concludes that, given tight resources for education in developing countries, a greater emphasis on quality and cost-effectiveness to achieve good value for money is especially important.

Evaluating the impact of community-based interventions on schooling outcomes among orphans and vulnerable children in Lusaka, Zambia

M. Chatterji and others

Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, vol.5, 2010, p. 130-141

In sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 12 million children under 18 have lost a parent to AIDS. Despite this situation, the evidence regarding the effectiveness of interventions designed to help these children remains scant. This article contributes to the literature by evaluating the impact of a community-based programme run by a Zambian non-governmental organisation on educational outcomes among orphans and vulnerable children in Lusaka. These outcomes included school enrolment and being at the correct age-for-grade. Results suggest that the programme offers a promising approach to improving educational outcomes for orphans and vulnerable children in urban Zambia.

Experiences and concepts related to gifted education and talent development in Switzerland

V. Mueller-Oppliger

Gifted Education International, vol. 26, 2010, p. 219-233

This article provides a summary of efforts and projects related to the provision of gifted students and talent development in Swiss schools and with partners in German speaking Central Europe. In the first part, relevant activities relating to teacher education in Switzerland based on a cooperative arrangement with the University of Connecticut are discussed. The second part describes best practices from three Swiss schools: a primary school, a middle school and a Gymnasium (high school).

An Exploration of the alienation experienced by African American parents from their children's educational environment

R. R. Brandon and others

Remedial and Special Education, vol. 31, 2010, p. 208-222

This study aimed to determine the degree of alienation from public education felt by African American parents. The survey, a modified version of the Barriers to School Involvement, was factored into five categories for analysis (personal concerns, work, lack of interest, logistics, teacher/parent relationship), and was administered to 421 African American parents. The findings indicate that parents do not see any of the five potential problem areas as a concern impacting on their school involvement.

Implementing the Schoolwide Enrichment Model in Brazil

L. De Souza Fleith and E. Soriano de Alencar,

Gifted Education International, vol. 26, 2010, p. 169-177

The Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) has been one of the most widely used approaches to the education of the gifted in Brazil. It has inspired the recent establishment of Centers of Activities of High Abilities/Giftedness in 27 Brazilian states by the Ministry of Education. This article describes the experience of implementing the SEM in Brazil with respect to: 1) steps followed for identifying gifted students based on the model; 2) type I, II and III enrichment activities that have been carried out; and 3) information concerning professional staff development.

Schoolwide Enrichment Model: challenging all children to excel

M. Beecher

Gifted Education International, vol. 26, 2010, p. 177-192

This article describes how components of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) were used to dramatically reduce the achievement gap in a school with a high at-risk student population in West Hartford, Connecticut.

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