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

Academic entrepreneurship and community engagement

B. Kingma

Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2011

This poignant study presents a collection of research on entrepreneurship and community engagement. The context of this book is Syracuse University's award winning model of Scholarship in Action with its emphasis on sustainable campus-community entrepreneurial partnerships and its resultant 'Syracuse Miracle', the transformation that has occurred in the Central New York community thanks to the university's partnership with the community to drive social, environmental, and economic development.

Aspiring principal development programme evaluation in New Zealand

E. Piggot-Irvine and H. Youngs

Journal of School Administration, vol. 49, 2011, p. 513-541

The New Zealand Ministry of Education has constructed a wide-ranging 'Professional Development Plan' providing a four-stage national pathway for progression to principalship; the first stage was the impementation of the National Aspiring Principals Pilot (NAPP) programme in five regional locations. The purpose of this paper is to outline the evaluation of the programme. A mixed method approach to evaluation was employed where qualitative and quantitative data were collected almost simultaneously, and compared and contrasted. Key findings indicated overall sound programme delivery, curriculum coherence, high relevancy to stakeholders and good rates of principal appointments. Primary-sector participants course facilitation, online learning, and 'relevancy of the course for principal development' more positively than their secondary counterparts. Aspirants who had partial or full completion of a relevant post-graduate leadership qualification rated eight aspects of NAPP lower than those without such qualifications. Aspirants who were approached and encouraged to apply for NAPP by their principal and subsequently supported by them, found the programme more relevant and applicable.

Community Connections: a programme to enhance domestic and international students' educational experience

R. Gresham and V. Clayton

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol. 33, 2011, p. 363-374

It has been widely acknowledged that an important indicator of a successful sojourn for international students is social integration into the host community. Despite seemingly regular opportunities to integrate, many international students report that their interactions with local residents remain superficial. The Community Connections programme at the University of Newcastle in Australia has aimed to address this issue over the past 13 years by engaging a broad range of volunteers from the host community to welcome, befriend, and support international students. In 2009, the opportunity arose to conduct a small pilot project within Community Connections, the aim of which was to focus specifically on facilitating relationships between international and domestic students. Thirty domestic students and a similar number of international students volunteered to participate in this pilot project. This paper describes the steps involved in developing this project, outlines the evaluation process, and discusses the impact of participation in the programme on student experience.

Deaf education in the 21st Century

N. Scheetz

Pearson, 2011

Specifically developed as a current and comprehensive look at the rapidly evolving field of deaf education, this first edition text covers a wide array of critical topics regarding deaf and hard-of-hearing education including cognition, social development, personal development, myths and misconceptions, postsecondary opportunities and employment, cochlear implants, and personnel training. Supplemented with a variety of illustrations, charts, and tables, Deaf Education in the 21st Century has been carefully written and organized to prepare today's students to work effectively with this population.

Developing a system for training unemployed adults at the VTC (vocational training centres) in Greece

V. Brinia and N. Soundoulounakis

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 43, 2011, p. 314-321

The issue of quality assurance is high on the agenda for the development of educational policy in Greece. This research aims to suggest a system that would serve as a quality assurance standard for the operation of a particular vocational training centre (VTC). However, the system proposed should also be adaptable so that it could be applied to other VTCs. Research was carried out among trainees, teachers and managerial/administrative staff aimed at identifying the key factors that influence the quality of the training provided.

A diffusion approach to study leadership reform

C. M. Adams and G. Jean-Marie

Journal of School Administration, vol. 49, 2011, p. 354-377

This study aims to draw on elements of diffusion theory to understand leadership reform. Many diffusion studies examine the spread of an innovation across social units but the objective here is to examine diffusion of a collective leadership model within school units. Specifically, the strength of reform diffusion is tested to account for differences in instructional capacity and to explain the spread of leadership reform within Title I elementary schools. A mixed method design was used to understand how social factors facilitated the diffusion of leadership reform, and to test for a diffusion effect. Qualitative data were derived from interviews, field notes, observations, and documents using a grounded theory approach. Open and axial coding techniques were used to develop coherent categories of major and minor themes. Quantitative data were hierarchical, with teachers and students nested in schools. A random-intercepts, means-as-outcomes model was used to test for a diffusion effect on instructional capacity. Strong principal leadership, a commitment to collective responsibility and shared influence, frequent and open communication, and time to build capacity were conditions that supported diffusion of the leadership model. Diffusion of the leadership model mattered for instructional capacity. Each indicator of instructional capacity was more prevalent in schools that had diffused the leadership model to the mentoring and sustaining stages.

The effectiveness of private school franchises in Chile's national voucher program

G. Elacqua and others

School Effectiveness and School Improvement, vol. 22, 2011, p. 237-264

There is persistent debate over the role of scale of operations in education. Some argue that school franchises offer educational services more effectively than small independent schools. Skeptics counter that large centralized operations create hard-to-manage bureaucracies and foster diseconomies of scale and that small schools are more effective at promoting higher quality education. We can gain insight into this debate by examining Chile's national voucher programme. This paper uses 4th-grade data to compare achievement in private franchises, private independent, and public schools in Chile. Our findings suggest that franchises have a large advantage over independent schools, once student and peer attributes and selectivity are controlled for. We also find that further disaggregating school franchises widens the larger franchise advantage. We conclude that policies oriented to create incentives for private school owners to join or start up a franchise may have the potential for improving educational outcomes.

Enacting and justifying local reforms: implications for understanding change in educational organizations

A. E. Krumm and K. Holmstrom

Leadership and Policy in Schools, vol. 10, 2011, p. 294-321

This article argues that the processes of enactment and justification comprise two key, underdeveloped aspects of sensemaking theory as applied to educational organizations. Enactment and justification are illustrated using examples drawn from a school that significantly changed the way in which it coordinated reading instruction. Examples drawn from the school demonstrate that teachers and administrators enacted an environment around reading instruction and singled out various aspects of their redesign efforts to justify the expansion of their continually developing reading programme. The ways in which enactment and justification can be used to better understand change processes in educational organizations are discussed.

Enhancing aspects of the higher education student experience

M. Buultjens and P. Robinson

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management , vol. 33, 2011, p. 337-346

Enhancing the student experience is now recognised by tertiary institutions as a valuable undertaking. Universities are committed to providing the broadest possible range of student services and activities, to continue to attract and retain a capable, diverse student body and to build on their commitment to equity, access and participation. In late 2007, the student population at a large Australian university was consulted by means of an electronic questionnaire to gauge their views about student services and a proposal to establish a student 'one stop shop'. Facilitating engagement and collaboration of services can enable equity across all student populations, ultimately increasing retention and satisfaction. In this paper we report on focus group discussions which examined and explored the ways in which services could be centralised for students through a one-stop 'student hub'.

Entrepreneurial architecture: a blueprint for entrepreneurial universities

J. Nelles and T. Vorley

Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, vol.28, 2011, p.341-353

Government policy worldwide has encouraged universities to become more economically relevant and accountable as well as increasingly entrepreneurial. This paper employs the concept of 'entrepreneurial architecture' developed by Burns to explore the wide range of factors within universities that encourage entrepreneurial behaviour. It concludes by discussing the contribution of entrepreneurial architecture to the organisational theory of higher education and policy making in the knowledge economy.

Expanding doctoral education in South Africa: pipeline or pipedream?

C. Herman

Higher Education Research & Development, vol. 30, 2011, p. 505-517

The purpose of this paper is to discuss both the status of the PhD in South Africa and the feasibility of the country's aspiration to increase by fivefold the production of PhDs by 2025. Based on the first empirical studies of doctoral education in South Africa, it argues that in order to move towards this target, an expanded and coordinated effort is necessary. This includes the removal of barriers that hinder the expansion of the South African higher education system. In particular the paper highlights insufficient funding, policy that stands in the way of expansion, scarcity of students, limited supervisory capacity and lack of recognition of the value of the doctorate and higher learning, as well as limited and inadequate partnerships. The main question is whether South Africa can achieve the desired outcome by following international trends or whether the expansion target is merely a pipedream.

Explaining lower educated workers' training intentions

J. Sanders and others

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 23, 2011, p. 402-416

The working population of industrialised countries is ageing, and there is debate about how to extend people's working lives. Lower educated workers lag behind in participation in training which could enable them to remain in employment for longer. Using data from the Netherlands Study on Life Long Learning and Employment, this study aims to identify the drivers which could be used to increase lower educated workers' intrinsic motivation to participate in training. The new knowledge could be used to develop evidence-based interventions aimed at helping lower-educated workers to enhance their human capital and improve their current and future labour market position.

Identifying the comparative academic performance of secondary schools

L. Bendikson, J. Hattie and V. Robinson

Journal of School Administration, vol. 49, 2011, p. 433-449

One of the features of the New Zealand secondary schools system is that achievement closely reflects the taught curriculum. The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) directly assesses student achievement based on the secondary school curriculum through a combination of criterion-based internal and external assessments. The nature of NCEA means school-level results not only reflect student achievement but also the ability of leaders to organise, deliver, and monitor a relevant curriculum for students. This paper aims to describe how NCEA data were used to develop a simple but fair system to assess the relative performance of secondary schools. No standardised measures of performance prior to Year 11 are available in New Zealand. Nor are student-level data available. In the absence of these, multiple indicators of gross performance, added value and improvement over time were analysed using a schools-of-similar-type methodology.

Individual policy preferences for vocational versus academic education: microlevel evidence for the case of Switzerland

M.R. Busemeyer, M.A. Cattaneo and S.C. Wolter

Journal of European Social Policy, vol. 21, 2011, p. 253-273

This paper uses an original dataset from a survey conducted in Switzerland in 2007 to study the determinants of individual preferences on education policy. It focuses on the contribution of educational background, income, partisan affiliation and institutions to explaining policy preferences. Findings suggest that educational background and income are important determinants of individual policy preferences concerning the distribution of public spending across academic education and vocational training. Individuals tend to support the concentration of public spending on the sector by which they themselves were educated. However, preferences for levels of educational spending are determined by partisan affiliation, with left wingers supporting more investment in human capital. In addition, institutional context matters: concentrating public spending on vocational training is more popular in Swiss cantons with a strong tradition of vocational education.

Late entry in Swedish tertiary education: can the opportunity of lifelong learning promote equality over the life course?

M. Hällsten

British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol.49, 2011, p. 537-559

Lifelong learning has been promoted by governments in the belief that it will improve the employability and skills levels of the workforce. It is also supposed to be a way of reducing social inequality. This article tests whether further education at the tertiary level increases or decreases social inequality over the life course. Specifically, this article asks whether position in previous earnings rank distributions, unemployment experience and social origin affect the decision to apply. It utilises high quality Swedish register data where it is possible to trace individuals' previous labour market experience over time and link this information to data on people's university applications. Results show that the likelihood of a late entry into university is especially high for individuals who are disadvantaged to a moderate extent in terms of current earnings rank and also with some unemployment experience. Class differences in transition to tertiary education decline with age.

Making universities more entrepreneurial: development of a model

D.A. Kirby, M. Guerrero and D. Urbano

Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, vol.28, 2011, p. 302-316

An entrepreneurial university is one where multiple policies and programmes are put in place to ensure that the knowledge generated contributes to regional economic development. To advance the empirical literature concerning entrepreneurial universities, this study was conducted in two phases. In phase one, experts in the field were surveyed to establish the degree to which there is consensus about the defining characteristics of an entrepreneurial university. They were also asked to rank factors thought to facilitate and hinder the development of such organisations, and to suggest indices that could be used to evaluate their success. In phase two, faculty at a widely recognised entrepreneurial university were surveyed to determine the extent to which these barriers and facilitators were systematically related to measures of success. Although the facilitating factors were positively associated with success indices of the entrepreneurial university, the expected negative relationship between barriers and success criteria was not observed.

Models for determining the efficiency of student loans policies

B. Dente and N. Piraino

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol. 33, 2011, p. 375-386

For both efficiency and equity reasons, student loans schemes have been introduced by several countries. Empirical work has been carried out in order to measure the effectiveness of these policies, but, with few exceptions, their results are not comparable because of their concentration on specific aspects. The present work suggests a comprehensive framework for the analysis of the effectiveness of student loans policies. Starting with the identification of the different possible goals of a loan scheme and taking into consideration the main elements of the policy design, the paper builds a system of four ideal types suggesting appropriate effectiveness indicators for each of them.

No we won't! Teachers' resistance to educational reform

I. Berkovich

Journal of School Administration, vol. 49, 2011, p. 563-578

Teachers' resistance to educational reform has been explored, with special attention given to the reasons driving opposition and the resistance practices employed inside school walls. These studies have not, however, examined the agenda setting strategy employed by teachers opposing new policy on the national level, nor has any extensive study focused on the messages or rhetoric characterizing their opposition. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the rhetoric and images used in web-based campaigns by teachers to secure public support for their resistance to the 'New Horizon' reform in Israel 2007 during the teachers' strike. This study employs a descriptive case study methodology to illustrate the bottom-up political strategy employed by teachers seeking public support for their opposition to reform. Content analysis of entries and manifestos posted on prominent teachers' weblogs and partisan school web sites during Israel's 64-day teachers' strike in 2007 was conducted. Texts discussing the reform and its leaders, as well as educational and policy issues were analyzed inductively, divided according to meaning units, and then grouped together into categories. Data indicate that the media, and specifically the internet, are perceived as the major arena for garnering legitimacy and support. Teachers' rhetoric of resistance to reform was found to be characterized by: the use of emotional and rational appeals, an attempt to present teachers as 'champions of education', the use of dramatic labeling addressed at reformist leaders, and symbolic images of political parties.

Teachers' attitudes towards inclusion of students with intellectual disability in Bosnia and Herzegovina

H. Memisevic and S. Hodzic

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol. 15, 2011, p. 699-710

The aim of this study is to examine the attitudes of teachers in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) towards the educational inclusion of students with an intellectual disability in regular classes. The sample for this study consisted of 194 elementary school teachers from eight schools in BiH. The attitudes of the teachers were measured by 'The Attitudes towards Inclusion' questionnaire. The results of this study indicate that a little more than 50% of the teachers support the concept of inclusion. Another finding of this study reveals that the teachers believe that they are not supported enough to efficiently deal with the issue of inclusion. BiH still has a lot of challenges to deal with in successfully implementing the process of inclusion.

School choice in the Netherlands

H.A. Patrinos

CESifo DICE Report, 2/2011, p. 55-59

The Dutch education system is characterised by school choice made possible by public funding. Most schools are private and managed by religious organisations, but publicly funded. State schools are managed by municipalities. The system promotes competition between schools, resulting in efficiency as measured by high test scores in international student achievement assessments.

Twelve years of upper-secondary education in Sweden: the beginnings of a neo-liberal policy hegemony?

D. Beach and M. Dovemark

Educational Review, vol. 63, 2011, p. 313-327

In this article the authors discuss data produced about learning practices and learner identities during the past 12 years of upper-secondary school development in Sweden based on ethnographic fieldwork that has examined these issues with respect to two sets of pupils from these schools: one successful, one unsuccessful. Two things are considered in particular. One is how these pupils and their school activities are described and positioned by teachers. Another is how pupils describe their own activities and position themselves. Some policy changes have been noted across the researched period. Questions relating to participation are considered in relation to them and there is also an attempt to make a connection to a possible social-class relationship. The main concern however, is how recent policy changes have been enacted in schools and classrooms and what effects this enactment seems to have had on learner subjectivity and learner identities.

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