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Welfare reform on the Web (October 2006): Education - Overseas

Democracy, education, and equality: Graz-Schumpeter lectures

J. E. Roemer

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006

The book asks whether democracy, modelled as competition between political parties, will result in educational funding policies that will produce citizens who have equal capacities, thus breaking the link between family background and child prospects. Several models of the problem are studied, which vary according to the educational technology posited, that is, the relationship between family inputs, school inputs, and the eventual human capital of the adult the child becomes.

The dilemma of school finance reform

J. Hall

The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, vol.31, 2006, p.175-190

Over the past thirty years increases in US state expenditure on education have been triggered by a wave of court-ordered school finance reforms. Since 1970, every state has changed its school finance system to create a more equal distribution of funding among districts. However, these school finance reforms have not reduced inequalities in educational attainment. This paper argues that policy makers should devolve decision-making as much as possible to parents and school officials, empowering them to use local knowledge to improve student performance.

Education policy: process, themes and impact

L. Bell and H. Stevenson

London: Routledge, 2006

Education policy is high on the agenda of governments across the world as global pressures focus increasing attention on its outcomes and on their implications for economic prosperity and social citizenship. The book explores how education policy is formed, what drives it and how it impacts on schools and colleges. Its three key topics are:

  • Development of education policy at the level of both the nation state and the individual institution.
  • The forces that shape policy with a particular emphasis of the themes of human capital theory, citizenship and social justice and accountability.
  • How policy develops in practice in a range of situations.

Ethnicity, gender and vocational education in Denmark

B. Colding

International Journal of Manpower, vol.27, 2006, p.342-357

In Denmark, higher dropout rates from vocational upper secondary education have been identified as the most important reason the educational attainment of children of immigrants is lower than that of their native Danish peers. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether parental background characteristics and choice of vocational field explain why 60% of male children of immigrants and 51% of female children of immigrants drop out. The main findings are that: 1) family background variables do not explain the gap in dropout rates between natives and children of immigrants; 2) that dropout rates from different vocational fields vary but affect natives and children of immigrants equally; 3) that girls do better than boys in immigrant families; and 4) that intergenerational mobility is greater among children of immigrants than natives.

Gender and racial differences in vocational education: an international perspective

Y. van der Meulen Rodgers and T. Boyer

International Journal of Manpower, vol.27, 2006, p.308-320

This article shows, using both descriptive analysis of cross-country education statistics and an overview of current debates in the research literature, that gender and racial imbalances are inherent features of access to vocational training, areas of specialisation within vocational training, and relative benefits from vocational schooling.

Global trends in educational policy

D. P. Barker and A. W. Wiseman (editors)

London: Elsevier, 2005

The book highlights the valuable role that educational policy plays in the development of education systems and society around the world. The first eight chapters explore the impact that global trends in educational policy have on social transformation or in specific social contexts. The last three chapters look at how comparative and international educational research has impacted on educational policymaking.

Knowledge, power and educational reform: applying the sociology of Basil Bernstein

R. Moore and others (editors)

London: Routledge, 2006

The book seeks to develop the field of educational policy and educational policy research by offering insights and examples of contemporary work which draws upon Basil Bernstein’s sociology of pedagogy. It illustrates how contemporary pedagogic reforms can be analysed and understood in the context of social order and social change and covers:

  • The use of particular concepts such as voice research
  • The significance of social class in relation to the language, schooling and home cultures
  • The formation of different types of identities
  • The construction of the learner
  • The analysis of performance-based educational reforms and their impact on pedagogy.

Learning outside the academy: international research perspectives on lifelong learning

R. Edwards, J. Gallacher and S. Whittaker (editors)

London: Routledge, 2006

The book concentrates on learning that takes place outside the academy including: experiential learning, informal learning, community-based learning and learning in the workplace. It examines how different strands of research can contribute to each other, thereby enhancing the understanding of learning in diverse contexts. The range of issues covered includes:

  • European policies on non-formal learning
  • The combination of work and learning
  • Knowledge and learning in social movements
  • Possibilities for further research

Legal remedies for girls’ under-representation in non-traditional career and technical education

E. Eardley and J. Manvell

International Journal of Manpower, vol.27, 2006, p.396-416

This article documents the extent of girls’ under-representation in non-traditional high school vocational courses in the USA, examines the role of sex discrimination in these disparities, and identifies legal remedies for addressing the problem. There are high levels of sex segregation in vocational course enrolment, with girls making up on average 15% of students in non-traditional courses and 87% in traditionally female fields. Substantial evidence of sex discrimination in vocational education makes a strong case for its role in girls’ low enrolment in non-traditional courses. Various state laws can be used to address the problem.

Making choices for multicultural education: five approaches to race, class, and gender. 5thth ed.

C. E. Sleeter and C. A. Grant

Chichester: Wiley, 2007

The book examines the latest theoretical perspectives on multicultural education and includes recent demographics and research that connects culturally situated teaching and learning with student achievement. It shows how schools reflect broad social patterns of institutional discrimination, and then offers five approaches to addressing those patterns in the classroom. New features of the fifth edition include:

  • Multicultural issues related to the current accountability movement
  • The connections between student achievement and the teaching process
  • Assessment in relation to high-stakes testing
  • Examination of the curriculum in the context of state content standards
  • Updated statistical information, particularly data on discrimination in society at large and in schooling.

Making inclusion work: effective practices for all teachers

J. Beattie, L. Jordan and B. Algozzine

London: Corwin Press, 2006

A continuing objective of the US Department of Education is to increase the percentage of children with disabilities served in mainstream settings with their peers without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate by providing needed supports and accommodations in general education. The book starts with the description of the current American special education system and then reviews the social, political and legal basis for both general and special education. The rest of the book offers practical advice for including students with disabilities in general education classrooms including: developing individualised education programmes, using diagnostic testing, differentiating instruction, improving behaviour and motivation, and assisting families.

“New” educational injustices in the “new” South Africa: a call for justice in the form of vertical equity

K. Brown

Journal of Educational Administration, vol.44, 2006, p.509-519

In South Africa, overt racism in the form of the apartheid laws has been replaced by covert racism and school segregation by social class. Mainly white schools are using a range of measures to exclude black children, including entrance tests, high fees, and maintenance of Afrikaans as the dominant language of instruction. At the same time, the governing bodies and parents‘ committees serving these schools remain white dominated and resistant to change. As a result, new educational injustices are preventing poor and marginalised groups from accessing high quality schooling. Theoretical de-segregation in the post-apartheid era has not changed racialised patterns of schooling.

Organisational antecedents of market orientation in the public university system

C. Flavian and J. Lozano

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol.19, 2006, p.447-467

This study concentrates on the influence of different organisational factors on the level of market oriented behaviour displayed by university teaching staff. It analyses the Spanish public university system , examining how the set of regulations, values and beliefs, promoted in the different departments, condition and influence the level of market orientation adopted by different teachers.

South Africa’s unintended experiment in school choice: how the National Education Policy Act, the South Africa Schools Act and the Employment of Educators Act create the enabling conditions for quasi-markets in schools

S. Woolman and B. Fleisch

Education and the Law, vol.18, 2006, p.31-75

Under the National Education Policy Act (NEPA), domicile determined feeder zones appear to constrain the ability of pupils to choose the schools they attend. However regulations issued under NEPA shatter these boundaries and grant children not domiciled in the feeder zone varying degrees of access to all state schools. The South Africa Schools Act (SASA) allows schools to charge fees to cover costs not borne by the state. This power encourages schools to admit as many full fee-paying pupils as possible, regardless of whether they live in the feeder zone. The Employment of Educators Act creates additional incentives to recruit as many pupils as possible by tying the number of teaching posts at the school to the number of pupils on the roll. The greater the number of teaching posts, the better the chances of promotion for staff. Viewed collectively, the provisions of these Acts create the conditions for a quasi-market in schools.

Universities in a competitive global marketplace: a systematic review of the literature on higher education marketing

J. Hemsley-Brown and I. Oplatka

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol.19, 2006, p.316-338

This review focused on exploring, categorising and comparing empirical research studies on higher education marketing in an international context. Results are presented under four headings:

Research methodologies and sampling

  • Marketing communications (communicating image and reputation and consumer behaviour issues)
  • Marketing models (transactional vs. relationship, marketing product vs. services marketing)
  • Strategic marketing (segmentation, targeting, positioning and branding)

Using panel data to determine the effect of the Americans with Disabilities Act on per-student public education expenditures at state level

M.P. Gius

Public Budgeting and Finance, vol.26, Fall 2006, p.81-88

This study sought to determine whether the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 had a statistically significant impact on public school spending at the state level. Results are consistent with anecdotal evidence that enactment of the ADA has had a positive effect on per-capita educational expenditure. Hence, unfunded legislative mandates may result in increased state spending. In addition to the ADA, several of the leading determinants of per -capita education spending include population density, per-capita income, percentage of the state’s residents who have a four year college degree, percentage of state’s residents who are homeowners, and total student population.

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