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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2006): Education - overseas

Dare public school administrators build a new social order?

C.A. Lugg and A.R. Shoho

Journal of Educational Administration, vol.44, 2006, p.196-208

Traditionally, school administrators in the United States have focused on managerial issues and the exercise of police powers to discipline pupils and teachers. The use of police powers coupled with managerial imperatives can lead to sometimes brutal enforcement of the status quo. However, over the past 15 years there have been efforts to move research and practice in educational administration towards the promotion of social justice through the school system. This article examines the tensions between social justice, the managerial imperative and police powers in educational administration through the lens of the work of an earlier US educator who espoused social reconstruction, George S. Counts.

The economics of education: human capital, family background and inequality

D. Checchi

Cambridge: CUP, 2006

The book offers an economic perspective on the demand for and supply of education. It explores the reasons why, beyond a certain point, investment in education has not resulted in reductions in social inequalities. It draws on individual data on the intergenerational transmission of income and education for the United States, Germany and Italy, as well as aggregate data on income and educational inequality for a much wider range of countries. The book further explores whether resources spent on education are effective in raising students’ achievement, and analyses alternative ways of financing education.

Education for social change: girls’ secondary schooling in Eritrea

T.J. Muller

Development and Change, vol.37, 2006, p.353-373

This article looks at the modernisation of gender roles through education, using a case study of secondary schooling in the context of the revolutionary society of Eritrea. The study is based on observation and interview data gathered in four secondary schools. It looks at the young women’s journeys in terms of gender resistance as exemplifying modernity and gender accommodation as exemplifying tradition. It is argued that these categories are not as opposed as claimed by the Eritrean government’s policy agenda, and that many young women strive to find a balance between the two.

The Europeanization of higher education: markets, politics or learning?

I. Bache

Journal of Common Market Studies, vol.44, 2006, p.231-248

This article considers the motives for and implications of increased co-operation in higher education through a case study of the proposal for universities to adopt a common core curriculum for European Studies. The Europeanisation of higher education has to be understood in the context of political and economic imperatives promoting ever closer union between member states. In this context there is a danger that debate on the academic implications of common core curricula may be subordinated to an overriding economic and political rationale that undermines the potential pedagogic benefits of greater European co-operation.

A pilot study of factors affecting the process of integration in Greek nursery schools

G. Barbas and others

European Journal of Special Needs Education, vol.21, 2006, p.217-226

This article reports on a pilot study of how special needs children participate in the learning process in inclusive classrooms and their relationship with other pupils. Results of observation and interviews showed that the two children studied were not integrated into their classes due to their social rejection by their peers and to their inability to conform to general rules of behaviour in the classroom.

Preparing educational leaders to embrace the “public” in public schools

D.L. Hoff, N. Yoder and P.S. Hoff

Journal of Educational Administration, vol.44, 2006, p.239-249

The research reported in this article investigated the extent to which a sample of students at a New England University, most of whom experience little diversity within their communities, were being engaged in developing philosophies and practice for multicultural and diverse schools. Findings of a survey and in-depth interviews indicate that these emerging school administrators are not adequately equipped to lead state schools towards a greater understanding of diversity or to help change the social order. They claim little responsibility for promoting social justice, especially when social change may challenge local norms.

Prospects for inclusive education in European countries emerging from economic and other trauma: Serbia and Albania

V. Radoman, V. Nano and A. Closs

European Journal of Special Needs Education, vol.21, 2006, p.151-166

This article provides an overview of past and present provision for the education of children with disabilities and/or learning difficulties in Serbia and Albania, and the role of international aid agencies in the promotion of inclusive education over the past decade. Barriers to inclusive education common to both countries include lack of government resources to facilitate change, social stigmatisation of disabled people, the rigidity of mainstream school curricula, the tradition of high academic attainment, the prevalence of frontal, whole-class teaching, and the prescription of undifferentiated attainment levels for all children to move on to the next grade. Finally, two individual examples of schools that are making progress are profiled.

School disaffection: perspectives from across Europe

C. Parsons

International Journal on School Disaffection, vol.3, no.2, 2006, p.39-43

Article surveys work carried out in Europe and America on multi-service schools, full service schools and community schools and the impact of Education Action Zones in England. It also looks at the policy environment, including the introduction of new public management, the retreat of government and the marketisation of provision.

Segregation, integration, inclusion: the ideology and reality in Finland

J. Kivirauma, K. Klemela and R. Rinne

European Journal of Special Needs Education, vol.21, 2006, p.117-133

Two contradictory trends have influenced special education in Finland. Historically children with special needs have been educated in separate institutions in order to ensure the smooth running of mainstream schools. However there have been increasing demands for the integration of pupils with special needs into mainstream schools. This article presents the results of a survey of stakeholders in special schools in Turku, a city where pupils with disabilities or learning difficulties are still educated separately. Results show that boys, children of immigrants and children of lower class parents are over-represented in special schools.

Social justice and educational administration: mutually exclusive?

C.F. Karpinski and C.A. Lugg

Journal of Educational Administration, vol.44, 2006, p.278-292

While educational administration practice in the USA has been characterised as maintaining the social and political status quo, there are historic examples of leaders promoting social justice. This article presents a case study of the work of African-American school leader J. Rupert Picott who worked in the segregated South and exemplified a leadership approach with social justice, human rights and individual dignity at its centre.

The uneven march toward social justice: diversity, conflict and complexity in educational administration programs

R. McClellan and R. Dominguez

Journal of Educational Administration, vol.44, 2006, p.225-238

This article argues that educational administrators in the USA need to be trained to act both as scientific managers and as champions of social justice within their schools. Students need to be taught how to work within traditional structures, maneuver within political arenas and recognise which conventions are unlikely to change. In addition, they need to be taught how to identify bias and learn how to shape more socially just institutions. This article describes in detail the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program at the University of New Mexico, Las Cruces, which unites a traditional educational administration curriculum with issues of social justice.

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