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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2007): Education - overseas

Attitudes of Greek parents of primary school children without special educational needs to inclusion

E. Kalyva and others

European Journal of Special Needs Education, vol. 22, 2007, p. 295-305

Successful inclusion of children with special educational needs (SEN) in mainstream classrooms depends largely on the attitudes of the parents of peers without SEN. This study explores the attitudes of Greek parents of primary school children without SEN towards inclusion. The 338 parents who participated in the survey had an overall positive attitude towards inclusion. Gender differences came to light, with fathers having more positive attitudes to inclusion than mothers. However, mothers were overall more willing than fathers to engage themselves and their child in interaction with a child with SEN.

Balance of powers: public opinion on control in education

D. Zarifa and S. Davies

Canadian Journal of Sociology, vol. 32, 2007, p. 259-278

Public opinion may be exerting greater influence on the organisation of professional work as a consequence of two trends. Firstly, political parties are placing issues of governance of public services on their agendas. Secondly, governments are subjecting professionals to more stringent controls, often for public relations reasons. This article uses data from the 2002 Public Attitudes towards Education in Ontario Survey to gauge public support for different forms of control of state schools. Findings suggest that Ontarians prefer state education to be controlled via a balance of powers shared between the provincial government, teachers and parents. There is an acceptance of the trend that has strengthened central government and parental powers at the expense of teachers.

The Difficult search for compromise in a Canadian industry/university research partnership

A. Mesny and C. Mailhot

Canadian Journal of Sociology, vol. 32, 2007, p. 203-226

Institutional innovations aimed at promoting closer relationships between university and industry and, more particularly, research partnerships between faculties and firms, generally supported by the state, have multiplies in the last 20 years. Industry/university research partnerships (IURPs) differ from looser types of alliances between industry and university. They are generally based on a hybrid mode of management at all stages in the research process. This article sheds new light on the difficult conciliation between the logic of industry, technology and commercial interests on one side, and the logic of academic science and basic research on the other, through the in-depth study of a Canadian IURP.

Economic and non-financial performance indicators in universities: the establishment of a performance driven system for Australian higher education

J. Guthrie and R. Neumann

Public Management Review, vol. 9, 2007, p. 231-252

This article outlines the establishment of a performance-driven, market-oriented university system in Australia. It analyses the higher education policy environment since the 1980s, and outlines Australia's performance-based funding approach to universities. It describes the contribution of universities to the nation's economy and the development of benchmarks and performance indicators used for annual reporting at system and institutional level. It discusses issues with choice of indicators, their reliability and interpretation of results. There remain some fundamental concerns around the direction of the Australian Higher Education System and the strong, aggressive market/performance-driven approach adopted in Australia.

Education for sustainability: the role of capabilities in guiding university curricula

S. Sterling and I. Thomas

International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, vol. 1, 2006, p. 349-370

This paper is concerned with how to begin movement in higher education curricula towards Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) where there is currently none or very little. Experience in the UK and Australia shows a growing willingness among academics to embrace sustainability, but real issues about how to do this, given common constraints. This paper provides indicative guidance on what the ESD curriculum might be expected to provide for students and suggests some capabilities that graduates should achieve. The argument is also advanced that curriculum change presupposes learning within the higher education community among academics and managers in order to build understanding and ability to design and deliver ESD curricula for students.

Enterprise education programmes in secondary schools in Ireland: a multi-stakeholder perspective

N. Birdthistle, B. Hynes and P. Fleming

Education + Training, vol. 49, 2007, p. 265-276

Enterprise courses should provide students with skills in the areas of ideas generation, market research, product development, communication, negotiation, conflict management, project management and people management. This paper aims to examine perceptions of, and attitudes to, enterprise education in Irish secondary schools. It also provides a profile of the Irish educational system, explains the evolution of enterprise education, and identifies and evaluates enterprise programmes at secondary school level. Finally, it obtains feedback from pupils, teachers and parents on their level of satisfaction with these programmes.

'Making schools practical': practice firms and their function in the full-time vocational school system in Germany

T. Deissinger

Education + Training, vol. 49, 2007, p. 364-379

This paper studies, mostly with reference to the state of Baden-Wurttemberg, the role of full-time vocational schools (and the practice firms within them) in Germany. The research shows that full-time vocational schools mainly prepare students to enter higher education or to undertake an apprenticeship, rather than to enter the labour market immediately. A practice firm is a fictitious company within a vocational school that works like a normal company, but without real exchange of goods and money. A real company normally provides support for the practice firm.

Rethinking school and community relations in Hong Kong

F.W. Tam

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 21, 2007, p. 350-366

Current education policies have forced schools in Hong Kong to compete with each other for survival. The need to survive has forced schools to come out of their bureaucratic shells, to change their detached and indifferent attitude to the community, and to consider how to form productive relationships with that community. However, in order to develop a healthy and synergetic relationship with its community, a school first needs to differentiate itself from its competitors. This can be done by examining the strengths and weaknesses of the school, developing a set of shared core values, and creating a distinctive school programme.

Teachers' salaries in public education: between myth and fact

A.E. Nir and M. Naphcha

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 21, 2007, p. 315-328

There is some evidence that competition between state and private schools can improve teachers' pay in the state sector. Based on a secondary analysis of data from OECD countries in which education privatisation has grown in the last decade, this paper seeks to determine if the existence of a private education sector parallel to the state system contributes to an increase in state school teachers' salary levels when controlling for GDP. Findings suggest that the existence of a private education sector alongside the state system may indirectly contribute to higher rates of pay for teachers in state schools.

Workplace learning and higher education in Finland: reflections on current practice

M. Virolainen

Education + Training, vol. 49, 2007, p. 290-309

Polytechnics in Finland were created in stages during the 1990s. They were established to raise the standard of higher vocational education and to replace the former professional tertiary institutions. They are expected to work in close cooperation with local firms and to aim to enhance the regional economy. Students' workplace learning is one facet of cooperation between the polytechnics and local firms. More importantly, it is a phase in the students' induction into professional life. This paper describes the varied models of workplace learning offered as part of polytechnic education in Finland.

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