Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2012): Education - overseas

Are academics in Kazakhstan capable of self-regulation? a study of faculty's normative structure in the midst of higher education decentralization reforms

N. L. Rumyantseva and T. C. Caboni

Tertiary Education and Management, vol. 28, 2012, p. 1-16

This paper investigates the state and structure of professional norms in the context of undergraduate teaching in a university in Kazakhstan. The purpose is to understand the belief system held by academics with regards to their professional duties in the context of teaching. Evidence of such a normative structure would suggest that the Kazakhstani academic profession holds potential for effective and ethical self-regulation; its absence would raise a red flag for university administrators and policy-makers. In order to place our findings in a meaningful context, we compare the normative structure in Kazakhstan to that of the US academic profession previously studied by Braxton and Bayer. We find that academics in Kazakhstan adhere to a normative structure which is quite similar to, although somewhat more relaxed than, that of US professors. We discuss the implications of these findings and empirical evidence for academic corruption in the context of decentralization reforms, authority devolution and formation of accountability mechanisms.

Between mission and market position: empirical findings on mission statements of German higher education institutions

A. Kosmützky

Tertiary Education and Management, vol. 18, 2012, p. 57-77

Higher education institutions operating in quasi-markets have to identify their distinct characteristics and nowadays, most of the German universities have published a mission statement. But since the tasks and mission of German universities are set for them by state regulation, the paper analyses for what purpose mission statements have been introduced and what universities are stating in them. Addressing this question, the article reveals that mission statements contribute to constructing corporate images. Instead of defining a single overarching organizational identity that is distinct from other universities, mission statements express the tasks and missions that are set for them by higher education law and supplement these missions with distinct images.

Contextual framing for school leadership training: empirical findings from the Commonwealth Project on Leadership Assessment and Development (Co-LEAD)

S. Brauckmann and P. Pashiardis

Journal of Management Development, vol. 31, 2012, p. 18-33

The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of (Co-LEAD) (Commonwealth Project on Leadership Assessment and Development), the overall purpose of which was to discover school leaders' training needs around the Commonwealth in order to provide some answers with regard to the professional development needs of school principals. A mixed methods approach (i.e. qualitative as well as quantitative) was utilized in order to carry out this study. The questionnaire consisted of 46 statements which make reference to the main functions of school leadership, such as, School Climate and School Improvement, Instructional Leadership and Human Resource Management, as well as Relations with Parents and the Community. The gap analysis method was used for the questionnaire items. Finally, complimentary to the questionnaires, it was decided to undertake on-site visits and interviews with 'real people' on the ground. Based on the authors' analyses and interpretations, it seems that the greatest needs for leadership improvement and training are in three areas: trust building and collaboration which includes relations with parents and the community, promotion of cooperation with other organizations and businesses from the community so that students' needs are addressed and initiation of trust building activities within the local community; encouraging instructional leadership and human resource development which includes instructional leadership and human resource management and systematic monitoring of instructional and managerial processes to ensure that programme activities are related to program outcomes; and initiating school improvement and development which includes the application of research findings to facilitate school improvement, the development of budgets based upon documented programme needs, and the provision of opportunities to students to participate actively in school management issues.

The educational experience of Hispanic immigrants in the United States: integration through marginalization

N. P. Stromquist

Race Ethnicity and Education, vol. 15, 2012, p. 195-221

This article calls attention to the educational situation of Latino immigrants in the United States. Through an extensive review of the literature, it examines the nature of contemporary Hispanic immigration and the school response to the linguistic and cultural attributes of the students - particularly those of Mexican origin, who represent the largest proportion of students whose parents are immigrants. Although the US education system seeks the incorporation of immigrant students into American society through the provision of specialized English language programmes, the evidence indicates that often these programmes produce an educational experience characterized by limited access to academic courses, labeling by peers and teachers, and reduced chances of access to higher education.

Educational leadership in the era of mass media: state, consequences and repercussions

T. Gavish and I. Oplatka

School Leadership & Management, vol. 32, 2012, p. 73-89

This article examines the consequences of the relationships between school head teachers and mass media for various aspects of their role: emotional-personal, behavioural-managerial and perception. It also examines the sociocultural experience in which these head teacher-media interactions take place, that is, the adjustment of the school system, modernist by nature, to the relativist and postmodern reality represented by the relationships with the media. The answer to the questions that arise in this type of situation is derived from a study based on semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 30 head teachers from the Israeli school system. Findings show that the media plays a significant role in the professional lives of school head teachers. Most of the head teachers who participated in the study experienced personalisation, that is, the media's tendency to focus on the leader and emphasise his/her responsibility, without taking the bigger picture into account. Many head teachers adopt mediatisation as a coping strategy, meaning they often take the media's presence into account, speak its language and act according to the image they would like to project. This study highlights the three main strategies that head teachers use to cope with the media. Each strategy was developed in line with the approaches adopted by the head teachers as a result of their encounters with the media.

The education of black males in a post racial world

A. L. Brown and J. K. Donnor

Abingdon: Routledge, 2012

This book examines the varied structural and discursive contexts of race, masculinities and class that shape the educational and social lives of Black males. The contributing authors take direct aim at the current discourses that construct Black males as disengaged from schooling because of an autonomous Black male culture, and explore how media, social sciences, school curriculum, popular culture and sport can define and constrain the lives of Black males. The chapters also provide alternative methodologies, theories and analyses for making sense of, and addressing the complex needs of Black males in schools and in society. By expanding our understanding of how unequal access to productive opportunities and quality resources converge to systemically create disparate experiences and outcomes for African-American males, this volume powerfully illustrates that race still matters in 'post-racial' America.

Effects of student participation in decision making at school. A systematic review and synthesis of empirical research

U. Mager and P. Nowak

Educational Research Review, vol. 7, 2012, p. 38-61

This article reviews international empirical research on the effects of student participation in school decision-making processes. Out of 3102 searched citations, a total of 32 publications met the inclusion criteria. The qualitative analyses employed in this review yielded a typology of student participation, a categorisation of the diverse effects of student participation and an overview of the quality and quantity of related research (available evidence). We found moderate evidence of positive effects of student participation on life skills, self-esteem and social status, democratic skills and citizenship, student-adult relationships and school ethos. We found limited evidence of positive effects on academic achievement, facilities, rules or policies, and health; we also found low levels of evidence of negative effects. We did not find sufficient research on the positive effects of student participation on peer relationships or on effects on teachers. Different forms of student participation seem to have different effects, but first and foremost, this review indicates a need for more comprehensive high quality research.

The French evolution: France and the Europeanisation of higher education

M. Pilkington

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol. 34, 2012, p. 39-50

In this paper, the salient characteristics of the French higher education system are examined in the light of its recent evolution and in the context of overwhelming Europeanisation trends. In spite of major weaknesses still hindering the performance of French universities, it is argued that following the recent wave of reforms, the country is well-equipped to face the numerous challenges of the global knowledge economy.

German training revisited: an appraisal of corporatist governance

T. Lange

Education + Training, vol. 54, 2012, p. 21-35

The German apprenticeship system enjoys worldwide recognition and continues to be the envy of many industrial nations, although it has come under increasing challenge. It has been attacked for excessive labour market regulation, for breeding social inequality, and for the pursuit of self-interest by the social partners, combined with concerns about a shortage of in-company training opportunities. This paper reviews the political roots of the system. It shows that the German apprenticeship system is the product of a wider post-war consensus, which has been described as 'socially controlled welfare capitalism'. This tightly regulated system is shown to be the outcome of a complicated political process, linked to its historical origins, which allows a considerable degree of self-interest alongside its corporatist roots and values.

Going on to uni? Access and participation in university for students from backgrounds of disadvantage

J. Wilks and K. Wilson

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol. 34, 2012, p. 79-90

This article reports on a research project that investigated the aspirations of primary and secondary school students about access to, and participation in higher education. The research was undertaken at schools in low socio-economic status regional and rural areas of north-eastern New South Wales. The paper discusses the background to the research and the methodologies used. It reports findings on the impact and intersections of demographics, financial factors, geographic location, and cultural and social capital in relation to the formation of students' perceptions, choices and decisions about participation in higher education.

Inclusive education in Israel from a curriculum perspective: an exploratory study

G. Avissar

European Journal of Special Needs Education, vol. 27, 2012, p. 35-49

The objective of this exploratory study was to examine the curricular practices of teachers in Israel as a result of the mandate to include children with special educational needs. It is based on the understanding that curriculum is at the core of education. As inclusive education has become more prevalent, the curriculum perspective has gained greater interest among educators and researchers. The questions we sought answers to were: (1) what are the curricular practices teachers employ in inclusive settings?; (2) what are the curricular practices teachers employ in non-inclusive settings?; and (3) what are the changes that have occurred in teachers' curricular practices? Data were collected by pre-service special education teachers as part of the requirements in an undergraduate course. Twenty-nine teachers, representing a variety of educational settings, ranging from inclusive classes in a mainstream school to special schools, were interviewed. In addition, observations were carried out in their classes. Content analysis of the different texts revealed the following themes: (1) the nature of the curriculum; (2) possible connections between the individual educational plan and the general curriculum; and (3) employing curricular adaptations. Discussing the changes in the past decade resulted in a typology of the implementation of inclusion in Israel.

Internationalisation and reform of higher education: global challenges and local interpretations

G. Telegina

International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, vol. 5, 2011, p. 333-353

'Globalisation' and 'internationalisation' have been dominant concepts in the development of higher education policy no less than in business. This paper analyses the 'semantics' and 'pragmatics' of these key concepts in the discourse of higher education. The common features of higher education reforms in Europe and worldwide which constitute the contemporary social, political and economic conditions for education and social policy making are analysed in connection with the tensions of globalisation. The processes of translation and recontextualisation involved in the implementation of similar policies in specific national settings are then explored in the context of the transition in the higher education system of Russia.

Making local meaning from national assessment data: a Western Australian view

H. Wildy and S. Clarke

Journal of Management Development, vol. 31, 2012, p. 48-57

This paper presents a case study of the support provided to all three education sectors in one state of Australia to assist school leaders in the analysis and interpretation of their school's performance on state-wide and subsequent national assessments of Literacy and Numeracy in Years 3, 5, 7, and 9.the case study is presented from the perspective of the chief investigator over a ten-year period. The approach is an interpretive one, involving reflection on action and some external qualitative evaluation data. The case study illustrates the need for those involved in large-scale assessment aimed at school improvement to adopt a long-term view, understanding that the use of data to inform and change school practices, pedagogical and administrative and cultural, takes time and a great deal of support.

On the mismatch between multicultural education and its subjects in the field

N. Mizrachi

British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol. 33, 2012, p. 185-201

This article draws attention to the growing evidence of a mismatch between sociological categorization and actors' worlds of meaning as expressed in the classroom. The mismatch is especially blatant in cases where students from disadvantaged groups are introduced to what educators and theorists presume to be the liberating discourse of multicultural education. Nurtured by recent developments in the sociology of culture, the article sheds light on this phenomenon by delving into the logic of the actors' own worlds of meaning while making a concerted effort to avoid directing prepackaged allegations of 'false consciousness' at informants. The article delves into the mismatch by reviewing multicultural education sites in two national contexts, the United States and Israel. Its findings from a unique high school in Jerusalem invite researchers to explore new avenues for understanding cultural encounters at school in view of the growing multicultural reality.

Reconceptualising professional learning in a changing society

T. Fenwick, M. Nerland and K. Jensen

Journal of Education and Work, vol. 25, 2012, p. 1-162

In this special issue of the Journal of Education and Work, international authors draw from theories emphasizing social activity and materiality in work place learning and other sociometrical perspectives of actor-network theory, sociocultural and activity theories complexity science, and Knorr Cetina's notion of 'epistementalitis'. Each paper actually pushes well beyond the basic precepts of these individual perspectives to extend, combine and question them. Working in this fashion, the authors discuss how professional learning can be reconeptualised as a matter of negotiating different knowledge resources 'assemble' strategies, values, objects and relations.

Rethinking educational systems, policy and schools

P. Thomson, B. Lingard and T. Wringley (editors)

Critical Studies in Education, vol. 53, 2012, p. 1-117

This special issue of Critical Studies in Education brings together a collection of writers who are not directly engaged in transforming the everyday practices of schooling, but are deeply involved in building alternative theoretical resources for thinking about education as systemic, policy, school and pedagogic levels. These are ideas for practice, rather than ideas in practice. In his paper, Jihn Smith argues that public schools around the world have been hijacked and deformed beyond recognition by the forces of the economy over the past three decades. His paper provides an analysis and a way out of this miasma around the notion of the socially just school. Greg Dimitriatis traces three traditions and bodies of work: The Chicago School of Sociology, the Birmingham School of Cultural Studies and the New Sociology of Education. Stewart Ranson argues for that a democratic, stakeholder model remains crucial to the effective practice of governing schools. Eugenie Samier addresses theories of the avant-garde, especially but not exclusively in art and as part of a modernist aesthetic. Richard Bates' paper argues that schools are currently sandwiched between demands of the economy on one side and increasingly fundamentalist communities on the other; that schools need some degree of autonomy from each; that the greatest challenge of the century is how we can live together despite our differences; and that the only way of successfully meeting this challenge is for schools to put social justice at the heart of their activities, activities that are best informed by the cultivation of reasoned imagination - that is, by an aesthetic approach to the development of intellectual, social, cultural, economic and personal identities. Reva Joshee's paper begins from a position of critique of the dominant neo-liberal, human capital framing of education policy today. However, unlike most critiques of this kind, the paper argues that schooling's role in the preparation of workers and consumers is nonetheless important. In offering a Charter for Change, Kalantzis and Cope recognise that knowledge and learning will be pivotal to the social and personal transformations necessary to address the idiosyncratic challenges of our times. Finally, Wringley and others challenge the view that there are no alternatives today to global neo-liberalism and its manifestation within schooling systems and educational practices, particularly as high stakes testing and reductive pedagogies and curricula.

School characteristics that make a difference for the achievement of all students: a 40-year odyssey

W. Hoy

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 50, 2012, p. 76-97

The purpose of this paper is to trace a 40-year research journey to identify organizational properties that foster the achievement of all students, regardless of socio-economic status (SES). The author describes a search for US school properties that have an impact on the cognitive and social-emotional development of faculty and students, with special emphasis on academic achievement. Three characteristics of schools were identified that make a positive difference for student achievement controlling for the SES: collective efficacy, collective trust in parents and students, and academic emphasis of the school. Further, these three measures are elements of a latent construct, academic emphasis of the school, which is a powerful predictor of student achievement regardless of SES.

School context and educational outcomes: results from a quasi-experimental study

R. Casciano and D.S. Massey

Urban Affairs Review, vol. 48, 2012, p. 180-204

This article considers whether low-income children who reside in a subsidised housing development in a middle-class suburb and attend school there show improved academic performance relative to children whose families applied to live in the development but had not moved in. The analysis suggests that moving to the subsidised housing development led to a substantial improvement in the quality of the schools attended by the resident children. Parents who were residents of the development displayed higher levels of school involvement than those who had not moved in, and their children were exposed to lower levels of school disorder and violence and spent more time reading outside of school. Living in the development did not influence educational attainment directly, but indirectly by increasing the time resident children spent reading outside of school.

Social inclusion and higher education

T. N. Basit and S. Tomlinson

Bristol: Policy Press, 2012

This book is about the experiences of students in institutions of higher education from 'non-traditional' backgrounds. The expansion of higher education world-wide shows no signs of slowing down and there is already a large literature on who has access to higher education and to qualifications that offer higher life-time incomes and status. However to date there has been minimal focus on what happens to the students once they are in the institutions and the inequalities that they face. This book aims to fill this gap in the literature. The chapters demonstrate that the students and their families are finding ways of acquiring forms of capital that encourage and sustain their participation in higher education. Contributions from the UK, the USA and Australia reveal that the issues surrounding the inclusion of 'non-traditional' students are broadly similar in different countries. It should be read by all those leading, managing, or teaching in institutions of higher education and all students or intending students whatever their background.

Sustainability in higher education of Bangladesh - an overview

M. Shamsuddoha, S. Gihar and T. Nasir

International Journal of Education Economics and Development, vol. 3, 2012, p. 10-18

This paper attempts to discuss sustainability in Bangladeshi higher education. There are many ways for universities to be involved in maintaining sustainability and ensure sustainable development through education. Approaches can vary from simply functioning in a social, economic and environmentally friendly way to focus on the quest for sustainability. Undoubtedly, Bangladesh is a developing country lacking a standard approach to sustainability in higher education due to which, students who graduated from different universities and colleges, fail to play an effective role in promoting sustainability their professional lives. It is recognised and recommended by the experts that both the content and form of education must be changed so that sustainable development through education may become the norm.

University ranking as social exclusion

S. S. Amsler and C. Bolsmann

British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol. 33, 2011, p. 283-301

In this article we explore the dual role of global university rankings in the creation of a new, knowledge-identified, transnational capitalist class and in facilitating new forms of social exclusion. We examine how and why the practice of ranking universities has become widely defined by national and international organisations as an important instrument of political and economic policy. We consider the development of university rankings into a global business combining social research, marketing and public relations, as a tangible policy tool that narrowly redefines the social purposes of higher education itself. Finally, we look at how the influence of rankings on national funding for teaching and research constrains wider public debate about the meaning of 'good' and meaningful education in the United Kingdom and other national contexts, particularly by shifting the debate away from democratic publics upward into the elite networked institutions of global capital. We conclude by arguing that, rather than regarding world university rankings as a means to establish criteria of educational value, the practice may be understood as an exclusionary one that furthers the alignment of higher education with neoliberal rationalities at both national and global levels.

Widening global access - the need for a paradigm shift from excellence to responsibility in international higher education

A. Lenger, C. Schneickert and F. Schumacher

International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, vol. 5, 2011, p. 354-373

This paper analyses the issue of widening global access, i.e., increasing opportunities for people from the developing countries from the Global South to participate in international higher education. Following Bourdieu it is argued that there are class specific patterns to higher education hidden by the neoliberal postulate of excellence. Using Wallerstein's global system analysis a brief discussion of the global structure is presented. Thereafter, a normative framework is developed using the idea of inclusion and capabilities to legitimise Widening Global Access. Since the capabilities are reproduced unequally the need is for widening participation of students from the developing countries. Widening Global Access means that the comparison between students from the industrialised and developing countries cannot be done on an absolute level but rather a relative approach taking into account the unequal starting position must be applied.

Women and leadership in higher education: learning and advancements in leadership programmes

S. R. Madsen

Advances in Developing Human Resources, vol. 14, 2012, p. 1-128

The purpose of this issue of Advances in Developing Human Resources is to examine the topic of women and leadership development in higher education. Specifically, the intent is to link the theory, research and practice together to assess the current state of leadership development programmes in higher educational contexts and also offer suggestions for future leadership development programmes, strategies and research. It provides researchers and practitioners in various fields of study (HRD, management, leadership, organisational psychology, education and women's issues) with frameworks to be used for developing, evaluating and researching leadership programmes for women in higher education.

Women participation in higher education of India: the enrolment scenario

U. Moon

International Journal of Education Economics and Development, vol. 3, 2012, p. 79-96

The role of education in development of the economy is well established. Since independence, the contribution of investments made by the government in higher education has been substantial. However post 1980s there has been a decline in the same. Questions of access, equity, and participation and empowerment of women have been an issue of deliberation all around the world. Higher education provided to women would mean independence in decision making and economic independence. It would develop their capabilities to discharge duties and responsibilities in the social, economic, political and cultural arenas. The objective of the study is to highlight the trends in women's enrolment in different faculties of higher education and understand its contribution to women's empowerment. This study is based on secondary data available from the Census of India, Selected Educational Statistics, UGC annual reports and research articles. The limitations to the study are inadequacy of the data and variance in the data available from different sources.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web