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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2004): Education - Overseas

ATTRACTING, RECRUITING AND RETAINING MALE TEACHERS: POLICY ISSUES IN THE MALE TEACHER DEBATE

M. Mills, W. Martino and B. Lingard

British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol.25, 2004, p. 355-369

Paper focuses on an Australian education policy document from the State of Queensland that is concerned with the attraction, recruitment and retention of male teachers in the government education system. It considers the failure of this document, as with many of the calls for more male teachers, to take into account complex matters of gender raised by feminism and the sociology of masculinities. The paper then attacks the primary argument put forward for the recruitment of more male teachers: that is, that male teachers provide boys with much-needed role models.

BALANCING STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS AND DISCIPLINE: A CASE STUDY OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT

E. Palley

Social Service Review, vol.78, 2004, p.243-266

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was amended in 1997 to include specific disciplinary procedures for these children. One component is a provision for the "manifestation determination meeting" which must be held when students with disabilities have been suspended or expelled from school. The article assesses the implementation of IDEA's disciplinary provisions, particularly those which require schools to hold manifestation determination meetings. It finds that IDEA's disciplinary amendments are being widely ignored, so that children with disabilities who misbehave are treated no differently from other children.

COMPETING PHILOSOPHIES IN THE CLASSROOM: A CHALLENGE TO HONG KONG TEACHERS

D.K.P. Wong, V. Pearson and E.M.K. Lo

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol.8, 2004, p.261-279

Education in Chinese society was traditionally the prerogative of the wealthy, and although education became compulsory in Hong Kong in 1971, the system never divested itself of its elitist principles. In the main, there are two separate schooling systems in Hong Kong - mainstream for "normal" children and special schools for the remainder. However, in recent years, the Board of Education has promoted integrated education, encouraging students with mild disabilities to be taught in mainstream schools. The article examines the experiences of teachers in teaching children with special needs in mainstream schools, and seeks their views on the feasibility of the scheme. It reveals that integration is fraught with difficulties, with teachers feeling inadequately trained and under-valued and with unrealistic academic targets in an inflexible curriculum. The article concludes that there is a conflict of philosophies between achieving academic excellence defined by grades and achieving equality and inclusion. A number of measures for improvement (pre- and in-service training for teachers, the provision of necessary equipment and facilities, access to ample funding and additional manpower) are suggested to help integration to succeed.

CROSS-CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE EFFECT OF CULTURAL ATTITUDES TOWARDS INCLUSION FOR CHILDREN WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES

E. Gaad

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol.8, 2004, p.311-328

The article explores the differing attitudes to the inclusion of children with intellectual disabilities in regular schools in three countries across three different continents - Egypt in North Africa, the United Arab Emirates in Asia, and England in Europe. Interviews were held with parents and teachers in the three countries and the author combined the results of these with her own cultural knowledge to form conclusions. The article examines the general attitudes of people in each of the three countries towards people with intellectual disabilities, and how these affect the parents and teachers of children with these disabilities.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION: SOCIETY AND CULTURE

A. Anning, J. Cullen and M. Fleer

London: Sage Publications, 2004

This book presents social and cultural perspectives on current theories of learning in early childhood education. It sets out research evidence, linking theory and practice in early childhood settings with emphasis on the child's perspective and respect for each child's individual background.

EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS OF GRADUATES OF AN EXPERIMENTAL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

D. Tubin, R. Likritz and D. Chen

Educational Research, vol.146, 2004, p.153-162

The article examines the educational achievements of graduates of an experimental school compared with those of a regular school. It begins by exploring the educational rationale and principles of the experimental school, which was designed to accommodate diversity of learning styles and subject interests within a school population. The school's effectiveness was assessed by examining the performance of its pupils after a year at secondary school compared to their peers who had been educated in a regular school. Assessments in academic achievement, practical skills, self-efficacy and motivation all showed that the pupils from the experimental school, regardless of their ability, performed better than their counterparts at the regular school and that struggling pupils who had attended the experimental school were more motivated than their weak peers who had been educated at a regular primary school. The article concludes that such educational achievements may change prevalent beliefs about what constitutes a "real school".

FAIR PLAY FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITY

G. Hampton and R. Gosden

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol.26, 2004, p.225-238

At university, disabled students are required to enter into competition with non-disabled students. To make this competition fair, disabled students in Australia are provided with a range of concessions and accommodations. The availability of these compensatory measures can place university administrators in a dilemma. They have to make difficult choices in deciding who is eligible for the accommodation and how much accommodation is appropriate. Disabled students can exploit disability discrimination legislation to demand excessive concessions that threaten academic standards.

GLOBALIZATION AND HIGHER EDUCATION

J.K. Odin and P.T. Manicus

Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press 2004

Post-secondary education is a globalizing industry with a potential for massive growth. By 2010 there will be 100 million people in the world, all fully qualified to proceed from secondary to tertiary education. This volume addresses the complexities of globalized higher education including a number of difficult questions such as:

  • do the processes of global capitalism fundamentally challenge the inherited forms of University?
  • how should the use and nature of markets be conceived and how are they related?
  • if growing participation in higher education is an over-riding good, should this be conceived in terms of fulfilling national goals, or attaining employment skills?

GLOBAL-NATIONAL-LOCAL DYNAMICS IN POLICY PROCESSES: A CASE OF "QUALITY" POLICY IN HIGHER EDUCATION.

L. Vidovich

British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol.25, 2004, p.341-354

Paper offers an analysis of quality policy in Australian higher education in the context of globalisation. It explores the way in which a national settlement on quality policy in higher education was actively negotiated, incorporating influences from both global/international and local institutional levels along with those from key national level stakeholder groups. Concludes by discussing policy transfer between countries and the associated potential for policy convergence across the world.

GOVERNMENTS AND UNIVERSITIES AS THE MAIN DRIVERS OF ENHANCED AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITY RESEARCH COMMERCIALISATION CAPABILITY

G. Harman and K. Harman

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol.26, 2004, p.153-169

The paper discusses the efforts of state and Commonwealth governments and universities to enhance the research commercialisation and technology transfer capabilities of Australian universities. Australia has adopted neither the Swedish top-down approach depending on government initiatives nor the American bottom-up approach depending on incentive systems relating to university ownership of intellectual property and a highly competitive and entrepreneurial university environment. Instead, Australia has used a combination of government and university initiatives. Research commercialisation has become a major commitment especially among larger research-intensive universities, but there is concern about the confusing proliferation of government programmes and poor co-ordination of the work of different departments and levels of government.

IMPACT OF SOCIAL RESEARCH ON EDUCATION POLICY AND REFORM IN THE PHILIPPINES

V.A. Miralao

International Social Science Journal, no.179, 2004, p.75-87

Since the 1970s there has been growing evidence of deterioration in the education system of the Philippines. This has been systematically analysed and investigated in three national reviews undertaken between 1998 and 2000. The recommendations of these reports for reform were accepted at the highest level of government, but there was resistance from middle- and lower-level bureaucrats, Senators and members of Congress and the public at large.

INCLUSION ON THE FINAL FRONTIER: A MODEL FOR INCLUDING CHILDREN WITH EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIOUR DISORDERS (E/BD) IN CANADA

N.L. Heath and others

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol.8, 2004, p.241-259

The article describes an ecosystems model which has been introduced into some Canadian schools to facilitate the inclusion of children with E/BD. A team called the Family School Support Treatment Team works in the schools to enact the changes necessary to include children with behavioural problems. The team consists of school personnel (teachers, behaviour resource specialists and principals), board personnel (school psychologist, child development specialist and team co-ordinator) and hospital personal (psychiatrist) and works together to ensure that children with E/DB are supported in the classroom. A survey regarding the effectiveness of the system revealed that although teachers did not believe that the students' behaviour had changed, they felt more confident about having these children in the classroom. Although a more detailed study revealed that children in the inclusive team schools exhibited more internalizing and off-task behaviour compared to children in non-team schools, children and parents reacted more positively, reporting less internalized feelings and more confidence in their children respectively in team schools. The article concludes with a discussion regarding the difficulty of evaluating outcomes in the inclusion of children with E/BD.

INTERNATIONALISATION OF CURRICULA: AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE TAYLORISATION OF ACADEMIC WORK

J.M. Schapper and S. E. Mayson

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol.26, 2004, p.189-205

The article presents a case study of how Monash University has sought to expand its business through a combination of twinning with higher education institutions in Singapore and Hong Kong, the establishment of overseas teaching campuses in Malaysia and South Africa, and extensive efforts to attract overseas students to study at its Australian based campuses. This strategy has required academics to develop standardised and pre-packaged courses that can be delivered to a wide variety of students with efficiency and economy through telecommunication technologies.

THE POWER OF ACCREDITATION: VIEWS OF ACADEMICS

L. Harvey

Journal of Higher Education Management, vol.26, 2004, p.207-223

Accreditation of institutions and courses by government regulatory bodies or professional societies is examined by drawing on the experiences of academics and managers in Britain and North America. It is argued that accreditation processes are not benign and apolitical but represent a power struggle that impinges on academic freedom while imposing an extensive bureaucratic burden in some cases. Accreditation can also act as a restraint on innovation and run counter to pedagogic improvement processes.

SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL REFORM IN UZBEKISTAN

R. Ubaidullaieva

International Social Science Journal, no.179, 2004, p.89-100

Reports on research which assessed the relation between social research and education reform policies in Uzbekistan, as well as the broader impact of the latter in terms of social reform. The study established a list of problems identified by social research, determined user groups, assessed policy priorities and finally examined the social distribution of interests and opinions with respect to educational reform. Methods used were: systematic compilation of existing published information, meta-analysis of empirical research in the field of educational reform 1991-2000 and implementation of a questionnaire survey. Concludes that data from sociological research provide crucial information on public attitudes to education, relations between the education system and its users, required policy change, and on funding issues.

UNDERSTANDING WALDORF EDUCATION: TEACHING FROM THE INSIDE OUT

J. Petrash

Edinburgh: Floris Books, 2004

Since their inception over eighty years ago, Steiner/Waldorf schools have offered a model for educational reform based on a philosophy of a three-dimensional education. The author provides a picture of the key components of a Waldorf education and its child learning experiences that develop thought, feeling, and intentional, purposeful activity.

WORKING CLASS PARENTS' VIEWS OF SECONDARY EDUCATION

R.W. Connell

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol.8, 2004, p.227-239

The article explores Australian working-class parents' views on and experiences of secondary education. Despite often having difficult or truncated experiences, parents were generally very positive about education, stressing its importance for their children. However, due to their lack of familiarity with upper-secondary and post-school pathways, parents are reliant on the services and guidance provided by the schools.

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