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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2011): Education - overseas

An analysis of the capacity of charter schools to address the needs of students with disabilities in Wisconsin

E. Drame

Remedial and Special Education, vol. 32, 2011, p. 55-63

Over the past 10 years increasing numbers of charter schools have been considered a viable option for many students seeking to obtain a quality education. Public charter schools and their administrators and teachers are obligated to follow the principles enshrined in federal mandates, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This study examines the capacity of charter school operators to create environments and service delivery models that effectively address the needs of students eligible for special education services via a survey of Wisconsin charter school operators and a content analysis of the applications of independent charter schools. The results indicate that charter operators experienced significant challenges with addressing special education in the planning and implementation of their charter schools. Policy implications for the role of charter authorizers are explored.

A comparative study of the positioning of children with special educational needs in the legislation of Britain, New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland

D. Howie

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol. 14, 2010, p. 755-776

This paper uses Positioning Theory, a theoretical framework within Discursive Psychology, to explore the positioning of children with special educational needs in the legislation of Britain, New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland. In terms of positioning the child with special educational needs as a person, the human rights legislation in all three countries ascribes person status, as does, in general, their Child Welfare legislation. Influenced by the Warnock Report of 1978, the education legislation positions the child first as a person having a special need, thus conferring person status. In terms of positioning the child as having a voice, all three countries affirm such positioning within their general legislation, but Ireland positions the child most strongly as an active partner with a voice within its recent education legislation. Finally, in terms of positioning with the right to appropriate education, all three countries confer strong rights to education and have now moved beyond the early numerous Warnock caveats to inclusion, with the wishes of parents and the best interests of the child, as remaining positive caveats.

The education of black males in a 'post-racial' world

A. Brown and J Donnor (editors)

Race, Ethnicity and Education, vol. 14, 2011, p. 1-136

The goal of this special issue of Race, Ethnicity and Education is to contribute to the education literature's understanding of the contemporary challenges in the schooling of African American males. The contributors to this special themed issue discuss, in varying ways, the constant and dynamic interplay between ideology, history, space, policy, and structure in configuring the education of African American males. Further, the contributors to this special issue of Race Ethnicity and Education respond to the mainstream, curricula, theoretical, and methodological discourses that continue to construct Black males as a 'unique' population with dispositions and proclivities that are inherently contradictory to societal norms. Lastly, the articles in this special issue highlight the structural, institutional, and discursive practices that define, constrain, and adversely affect the material and existential lives of African American males.

Educational inequality in Colombia: family background, school quality and student achievement in Cartagena

C. Rangel and C. Lleras

International Studies in Sociology of Education, vol. 20, 2010, p. 291-317

This study examines the effects of family socio-economic disadvantage and differences in school resources on student achievement in the city of Cartagena, Colombia. Using data from the ICFES and C-600 national databases, the authors conduct a multilevel analysis to determine the unique contribution of school-level factors above and beyond family background. The results from the hierarchical linear models show that while family socio-economic background significantly affects student achievement, school composition and school resources explain as much as half of the effects. More specifically, the achievement gap in public schools is explained in large part by differential resource allocation and concentration of poor students in public schools, which in turn lower student achievement.

From university democratisation to managerialism: the changing legitimation of university governance and the place of students

T. Luescher-Mamashela

Tertiary Education and Management, vol. 16, 2010, p. 259-283

This article examines the implications of the rise of managerialism for student participation in university governance. It explores this theoretically by proposing a matrix of ideal-type regimes of student governance based on the work of Hyden, Olsen and others. The working of this typology is illustrated in a case study of the student political dynamics involved in governance changes at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in the decade after the transition from apartheid to democracy. The study finds that after two waves of university democratisation, UCT experienced a rise of managerialism which entailed incisive changes in student-university relations. Changes could be observed at various levels, including the emergence of a de-politicised form of student activism and the adoption of a consumerist student political discourse. It is argued that the rise of managerialism thus precipitated a momentous change in the legitimation of student participation in university governance.

The 'Global 30' Project and Japanese higher education reform: an example of a 'closing in' or an 'opening up'?

C. Burgess and others

Globalisation, Societies and Education, vol. 8, 2010, p. 461-475 The Global 30 Project, a new Japanese government initiative that aims to upgrade a number of existing universities to form a select hub of elite intitutions for receiving and educating international students, has come in for considerable criticism. Using the dual concepts of kokusaika (internationalisation) and gurobaruka (globalisation), this paper highlights the contradictory goals in a policy that combines a nationalistic 'closing in' with a cosmopolitan 'opening up'. The problems apparent in Japan's most recent attempt to reform higher education are argued to be the latest manifestation of a historical push and pull that can be traced back to the sakoku (closed-country) policy of isolation operated during the Edo period.

Globalisation, higher education, the labour market and inequality

A. Kupfer

Journal of Education and Work, vol. 24, 2011, p. 1-208

Since the 1990s we have lived in a world characterised by the vanished socialist states, the rapid rise of higher education in East Asia and elsewhere, and the creation of social technologies that are being produced in a new international division of labour forged by transnational companies. These processes effect changes in employment systems in many countries around the globe. In this context higher education plays a crucial role in two ways. On the one hand, it serves as a source of these new technologies and therefore as a motor of economic globalisation. On the other hand, higher education institutions serve as feeders into labour markets and therefore respond to these developments. The developments are very complex and cannot all be explored by the papers in this special issue. The first set of papers focuses on presenting overviews of the main ways in which various national systems have implemented new higher education policies and analyses of the changing values of degrees in respect of labour market access. A second group looks at more specific concerns such as the management of transition from higher education to a newly emergent labour market in China, gender inequality in the distribution of research funds in Sweden, and the impact of apartheid on access to doctoral programmes in South Africa.

Higher education governance and university autonomy in China

L. Wang

Globalisation, Societies and Education, vol. 8, 2010, p. 477-495

The primary aim of the paper is to examine the scope of university autonomy and extent of Chinese government control over higher education (HE) through mapping out the complexity of centralised decentralisation of HE. It consists of three major parts. University autonomy is critically analysed in the first section by examining regulative rules and opinions expressed by questionnaire respondents. Institutional autonomy is the analytical focus in this part, because the paper focuses on the state-university relationship. It then turns to the controlling mechanisms applied by the government and Chinese Communist Party to HE. This is followed by a discussion on shifting university identity and its influence on university autonomy. It concludes by arguing that the coexistence of dual control mechanisms and neo-liberal practices indicate an innovative scope of state capacity.

The internationalised university as discourse: institutional self-presentations, rhetoric and benchmarking in a global market

J. Stier and M. B rjesson

International Studies in Sociology of Education, vol. 20, 2010, p. 335-353 In the last half century higher education has had to respond to a rapidly accentuated process of globalisation. Consequently, universities worldwide are more concerned with internationalisation than before. Stier identifies three intrinsic internationalisation ideologies (idealism, instrumentalism and educationalism) in higher education. Drawing from these ideologies and using discourse analysis, written documentation on internationalisation from 31 universities in 12 countries has been analysed to explore the self-presentations that universities project in discursive space. Focal questions were: (1) what types of rhetorical devices are used in a university's self-presentations and (2) what are the ideological consequences of this use? Five ideal typical self-presentations were discussed. One conclusion drawn is that universities must harmonise politically controversial dichotomies, which produces consensus narratives. Yet there are potential tensions between these dichotomies. On the language level these tensions are resolved by harmonising different ideals.

Localising neoliberalism: indigenist brokerage in the New Zealand university

E. Rata

Globalisation, Societies and Education, vol. 8, 2010, p. 527-542

The examination of indigenist interests in the New Zealand university is framed by a theoretical understanding of indigeneity as a strategy in regulating social organisation and resource management in neoliberal global capitalism. Three stages of the brokerage of indigenist interests are identified. These are: the production and representation of indigenous knowledge; the use of Treaty of Waitangi partnership and principles to connect the tribe and the university; and the use of specific policies and practices to put the Treaty principles into operation. Studies of the penetration of Treaty compliance into everyday university operations, exemplified in the analysis of indigenous knowledge discourse and university policy documents, are used to demonstrate the brokerage of indigenist interests and the tensions that result from that brokerage.

On the evolution of colleges and universities

S. Fugazzottoa

Tertiary Education and Management, vol. 16, 2010, p. 303-312

Generating knowledge for various constituents and for society has always defined colleges and universities. Recent decades, though, have witnessed shifts in knowledge production and consumption. Research-oriented higher education institutions have developed closer linkages to for-profit firms, which have sought to exploit and commercialise academic know-how. In practical terms, these linkages can serve as an additional revenue stream for institutions that have seen declining state support in many national contexts. More broadly, collaboration with industry has come to mean that entrepreneurialism increasingly defines the work of universities. To what extent, though, does entrepreneurialism characterize the next stage of evolution for higher education? This paper applies ecological logic and literature on resource constraints to work on the innovation-driven, entrepreneurial university. It is suggested that, in spite of its increasing salience, the entrepreneurial university need not represent an evolutionary inevitability.

Quality improvement in early years settings in Hong Kong and England

D. Ho, V. Campbell-Barr and C. Leeson

International Journal of Early Years Education, vol.18, 2010, p. 243-258

This article looks to compare the issues of quality assessment and improvement in early childhood education in Hong Kong and England. The similarities and differences in the two educational systems are explored to increase understanding of the interplay of different sociocultural contexts and dynamics in shaping quality improvement in the early years settings. Three key issues are discussed: relevance of the quality criteria for assessment, interpretations of the quality improvement mechanism and its use in guiding practice, and the influence of contextual factors in terms of stakeholders' views of the quality process.

Some reflections on the expansion and quality of higher education in public universities in Kenya

D. Sifuna

Research in Post-Compulsory Education, vol. 15, 2010, p. 415-425

This article explores the socio-economic and political factors which have contributed to the rapid expansion of education in the public universities in Kenya and how it has impacted on the quality of education in these institutions. It mainly focuses on the response to insatiable public demand for university education in the country as well as historical and regional inequalities and how the expansion has affected quality in terms of facilities and teaching and learning technologies, staffing and instruction. Finally, the article proposes some measures for improving the quality of education in public universities in the country.

Te Whariki: the New Zealand early childhood curriculum: is it effective?

K. Blaiklock

International Journal of Early Years Education, vol.18, 2010, p. 201-212

The New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whariki, was introduced in 1996 following a lengthy period of consultation. The curriculum has been much praised, both within New Zealand and internationally, but there is little research evidence of its effectiveness. This article raises concerns about its structure and content. It suggests that the lack of attention to subject content, coupled with varying amounts of subject content and pedagogy in New Zealand teacher training courses, may result in the neglect of important areas of children's learning. Moreover, the non-prescriptive nature of the guidelines in Te Whariki on programme planning means that centres are free to include, or not include, important experiences that foster children's learning and development. Finally, the article raises concerns about the adequacy of the assessment techniques that have been developed for Te Whariki.

Training, understanding, and the attitudes of primary school teachers regarding inclusive education in Hong Kong

C. Leung and K. Mak

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol. 14, 2010, p. 829-842

Inclusive education is one of the most important issues in education in Hong Kong, China. Because the role of teachers is critical to the success of inclusive education, this study investigated some of the elements that determine its successful implementation. Teachers' perceived definition of inclusive education, the opportunities for teachers to receive training in inclusive education, and the attitudes of teachers were examined through responses to questionnaires. The sample consisted of 51 primary school teachers from two schools participating in the 'New Funding Mode'. Results were analysed using content analysis and Chi-square tests. Implications of the findings are also discussed.

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