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

Are we supporting teacher success? Insights from an alternative route mathematics teacher certification program for urban public schools

M. Q. Foote and others

Education and Urban Society, vol. 43, 2011, p. 396-425

This article examines induction policies and practices for new alternatively certified mathematics teachers in the country's largest urban school district, New York City. Its focus is on the support system for such teachers as it is legislated and as it is enacted. This includes the induction and general supports (e.g., mentoring, coaching, networks) that are available to mathematics teachers in the New York City Teaching Fellows Program (NYCTF). Data sources include a survey of one entire cohort of Fellows (N=167), as well as more in depth interviews and written reflections from 12 case study Fellows. Results indicate that the supports as espoused seem adequate, but as delivered are inconsistent and in many cases inadequate. A key finding is that many teachers found that informal relationships, usually within their local school settings, provided more effective support to help them through their first years of teaching mathematics. This research has implications for the induction of alternatively certified teachers and more generally of all new teachers particularly those in urban schools.

Changing schools in an era of globalization

J. Chi-Kin Lee and B. J. Caldwell (editors)

Abingdon: Routledge, 2011

Much has been written about globalization and the challenge of preparing young people for the new world of work and life in times of complexity and continuous change. However, few works have examined how globalization has and will continue to shape education in the East. This volume discusses education within the context of globalization and examines what is occurring in schools and systems of education in the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Singapore, and Australia. Closer examination of recent developments and current trends reveal the same turbulence and a range of common issues in areas such as assessment, curriculum, leadership, management of change, pedagogy, policy, professional capacity and technology. This volume demonstrates the commonalities and differences and offers tremendous insight into the way things are done in places where student achievement is high but there is also a sense of urgency in continuing an agenda of change.

Helping or hurting: are adolescent intervention programs minimizing racial inequality?

R. Walsh

Education and Urban Society, vol. 43, 2011, p. 370-395

In 1965, appalled by racial disparities with respect to access to higher education, the US federal government implemented the Higher Education Act. After more than 40 years of programmatic intervention, gaps persist. This study analyses two of the three original HEA programmes-Upward Bound and Talent Search-focusing on race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status, and examining programme effectiveness on a national scale. Based on deformed choices ideology and using a nationally representative data set, the National Education Longitudinal Study, event history analysis is employed to determine the effect of Upward Bound and Talent Search with respect to college attendance rates. Both hazard and risk ratios are used to determine the interaction between programme participation and race/ethnicity. Programme participation significantly benefits low-SES African American and impoverished Hispanic students, providing college attendance opportunities equivalent to that of average-SES White students. Once the school effect on the hazard function was taken into consideration, the benefit of programme participation for African American and Hispanic students increased further. Future research is required to ensure effective use of appropriations, while implementation is extended to the masses of low-SES African American and Hispanic students. Directions of future research and policy implications are discussed further.

Intradistrict resource allocation: key findings and policy implications

E. A. Houck

Education and Urban Society, vol. 43, 2011, p. 271-295

The focus on school-level performance brought about by the No Child Left Behind Act-as well as recent court cases challenging the use of race in student assignment polices-has brought greater attention to the need for careful study of the allocation of resources within US school districts. This paper describes the policy context, reviews key intradistrict studies, and proffers three extensions to the field of intradistrict resource analysis: consideration of teacher labour markets, consideration of the resource implications of peer effects, and the use of additional statistical methods such as quantile regression. Taken together, these topics have the promise to extend the field of intradsitrict resource allocation research.

Legitimating school segregation: the special education profession and the discourse of learning disability in Germany

L. Pfahl and J.J.W. Powell

Disability and Society, vol. 26, 2011, p. 449-462

In Germany, half a million pupils attend a segregated special school. Specialist teachers have taught pupils with learning disabilities in separate schools as long as anyone can remember. Today, learning disability is viewed in terms of individual abnormality or deficit, which needs to be handled in special schools that protect pupils. German special educators and their professional association have a strong vested interest in the continuation of the system to protect their relatively high pay, high status and autonomy.

The never ending quest for a competitive edge in higher education

Y. P. Huo (editor)

International Journal of Management in Education, vol. 5, 2011, p. 125-316

The first decade of the 21st century has probably been the most turbulent, if not tumultuous, period in the history of higher education. The megatrend of globalisation has brought both new opportunities and new challenges to the field of higher education. On the one hand, an increasing number of students in developing countries are interested in going abroad for a college education. On the other hand, international competition for students and faculty has also intensified as universities outside North America are gaining high reputations with better-quality programmes and improved infrastructure, thereby becoming more attractive to students who would otherwise choose to attend colleges in the USA or Canada. This situation was further exacerbated by the 'great recession' which followed the 2008/09 financial crisis (Fischer, 2010). This new reality serves as a wakeup call to all institutions in higher education; it is time to for all university administrators to rethink their competitive strategies in order to survive and thrive in the fast-changing task environments. All in a sudden, every college is subject to the fundamental rule of Darwinism, namely, only the fittest survive. Unfortunately, in spite of the abundant supply of brainpower at most university campuses - in particular, professors who teach business and public administration - basic principles of strategic management are rarely practiced or strictly followed by the higher education institutions. This special issue on strategic management in higher education fulfils a timely mission: to provide a forum that helps generate innovative ideas on how to obtain a competitive edge in today's higher education market.

Pedagogical and curriculum renewal in Australia: a visual and intertextual research approach

J. Moss

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol. 15, 2011, p. 285-302

This paper takes the form of a curriculum inquiry text. The context is the recent history of pedagogical renewal in Australian schools. Methodologically, in the post-millennium period, the author informs the understanding of reform practices through visual and intertextual readings. Adopting a critical perspective and using visual methods, the following question is addressed: pedagogically, how do systems support a curriculum for all? Working visually and reading intertextually, the problems of implementation processes of curriculum renewal and the dual challenges of creating system wide professional learning and a curriculum for all are exposed.

Principal development: self-directed project efficacy

E. Piggot-Irvine

Educational Management, Administration and Leadership, Vol. 39, 2011, p. 283-295

The inclusion of self-directed projects as an element within a New Zealand principal development programme was designed to reflect increasing support internationally for such a context-specific 'inquiry' approach. The results reported in this article suggest that considerable clarity is required for such projects if they are to realize the transformative potential that is touted. A mixed methods design employing electronic questionnaires, observation, interviews, focus groups and documentary analysis was used for the evaluation of the effectiveness of projects in the development programme. Data collected early in the programme indicated considerable concern about administration and clarity of expectations. Although the results revealed increasing appreciation of, and engagement with, the leadership projects through to the presentation phase near the end of the programme, this positivity subsided somewhat later with stakeholders providing a balanced view of recognition of the worth of the projects alongside reiteration of concern over poor administration and clarity of expectations. The results suggest that the rationale, expectations, quality criteria, scope and presentation requirements must be explicitly and continuously outlined throughout projects. Further, in terms of the evaluation approach, it is suggested that future nationally funded evaluations of such programmes should be extended to include a longitudinal, deeper, impact study of such elements as projects on teaching and learning, and transformed practice of participants.

Regular primary schoolteachers' attitudes towards inclusive education: a review of the literature

A. de Boera, S. J. Pijlb and A. Minnaerta

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol. 15, 2011, p. 331-353 Teachers are seen as key to the implementation of inclusive education. Positive attitudes are therefore seen as playing a considerable role in implementing this educational change successfully. The aim of this study was to examine what attitudes teachers hold towards inclusive education, which variables are related to their attitudes and if these affect the social participation of pupils with special needs in regular schools. A review of 26 studies revealed that the majority of teachers hold neutral or negative attitudes towards the inclusion of pupils with special needs in regular primary education. No studies reported clear positive results. Several variables were found which relate to teachers' attitudes, such as training, experience with inclusive education and pupils' type of disability. No conclusion could be drawn regarding the effects of teachers' attitudes on the social participation of pupils with special needs.

School leadership in the twenty-first century: thinking and acting both locally and globally

C. Chapman and T. Townsend (editors)

School Leadership and Management, vol. 31, 2011, p. 91-177

The past 30 years have seen more changes in the way in which school education is structured implemented and evaluated than in the previous hundred years since education in most western societies became compulsory. As a consequence, the task of leading a school is much more complex than it was not so long ago and in turn, the task of educating teachers to become school leaders has had to change as well. This special issue brings together five different approaches to the education of school leaders from the United Kingdom, the USA, Australia, Hong Kong and Denmark.

Teacher perceptions of professional development in the context of national educational reform: the case of Qatar

R. Nasser and M. Romanowski

International Journal of Training and Development, vol. 15, 2011,p. 158-167

In 2001 the Qatari government implemented a major reform of the education system with the aim of driving up secondary school standards. In 2002 it launched the Supreme Education Council (SEC) to supervise the conversion of the system previously regulated by the Ministry of Education into a network of independent schools in competition with each other. Currently, all Qatari independent schools have autonomy to pursue their educational objectives, while being held accountable to the SEC. This article describes the current professional development practices and challenges facing administrators and teachers in the Qatari independent school system.

University incorporated: socio-analytic thoughts on the increasing dominance of market and financial pressures on universities

A. Ahlers-Niemann

Organisational and Social Dynamics, vol.11, 2011, p.1-20

In reaction to increasing economic pressure, universities are retreating from their traditional role of 'alma mater' devoted to the ideals of freedom of teaching, learning and thinking. Departments are changing into profit centres, universities are becoming learning factories, and students are mutating into customers. Following this development, the article examines a working hypothesis that universities are becoming examples of non-places as described by the French philosopher Marc Augé. From Augé's perspective, a non-place represents the opposite of an anthropological place. Whereas an anthropological place has a history, an identity and relatedness, a non-place has none of these characteristics.

US universities see rise in UK applicants

R. Garner

The Independent, June 16th 2011, p. 21

More British students are applying to US top universities. The rise in applications is thought to be due to the fear that 200,000 applicants are likely to be turned away from British universities in the rush to beat the massive undergraduate tuition fee increase scheduled for 2012.

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