Medium 9781475848861

IJER Vol 27-N4

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Development of a Theoretical Model for Achieving Inclusion in Schools . . . Mario S. Torres Jr., Jean Madsen, Wen Luo, Yuhong Ji, and Elisabeth Luevanos

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Development of a Theoretical Model for Achieving Inclusion in Schools

Mario S. Torres Jr.

Jean Madsen

Wen Luo

Yuhong Ji

Elisabeth Luevanos

ABSTRACT: School systems are in the midst of dealing with changing demographics. It is assumed schools play an important role in addressing the varying educational, cultural, and social needs of an increasingly diverse group of members (Holme, Diem, & Welton, 2013). In response authors reviewed multiple inclusive models and frameworks relevant to schools with changing demographics. The scale was based on three meta-constructs: leadership capacity, organizational justice, and performance outcomes. The School Inclusion Survey used in this study employed robust scales to ascertain inclusiveness. An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and Cronbach’s α for subscale reliability, in addition to confirmatory factor analysis, were employed to evaluate the construct validity of the inclusion model. While the school inclusion model is exploratory, it is believed schools can use this tool to gauge organizational inclusiveness and develop strategies to address gaps or weaknesses to address the needs of their changing demographics.

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The Problem with the Problem of Human Irrationality . . . John D. Eigenauer

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The Problem with the Problem of Human Irrationality

John D. Eigenauer

ABSTRACT: Despite the widespread social harm that human irrationality causes, irrationality is not considered to be a social problem. This article explores why this is so, argues why irrationality is unlikely to be considered a social problem, and suggests that the best hope for reducing the social harms caused by human irrationality lies with the educational system.

KEY WORDS: irrationality, social problems

Introduction

Human irrationality has been found to be the source of much societal harm. It affects medicine and healthcare via improper and incorrect diagnoses as well as harmful patient decisions (Croskerry, 2003; Groopman, 2007; Croskerry, 2014); it affects global finance by means such as overly optimistic growth assessments and ill-advised lending policies (Shiller, 2015); it affects personal finance through poor decision-making such as susceptibility to scams (Modic & Lea, 2013) and falling prey to the sunk cost fallacy (Garland & Newport, 1991; Arkes & Blumer, 1985); it affects the global environment when science is ignored, leading to policy decisions that discount the long-term dangers of matters such as global warming and species extinction (Berger, 2009); it affects legal proceedings and decisions by perpetuating injustice through personal prejudice and unjust sentencing (Benforado, 2015); it affects personal belief systems when people accept superstitions, homeopathic medicine, and conspiracy theories while rejecting scientific findings that contradict these beliefs.

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Ideology of Joyful Learning Through Play in Early Childhood Classroom in Hong Kong: Misconceptions or Paradoxes? . . . Grace Lau

ePub

Ideology of Joyful Learning Through Play in Early Childhood Classroom in Hong Kong

Misconceptions or Paradoxes?

Grace Lau

ABSTRACT: The ideological slogan of the latest drafted reform document for early childhood education in Hong Kong in July 2016 is, “Joyful Learning Through Play: Balanced Development All the Way.” Based on this ideological slogan, this article “Ideology of Joyful Learning Through Play in Early Childhood Classroom in Hong Kong: Misconceptions or Paradoxes?” discusses the myth and reality of play and its underlying child-centeredness philosophy in the early childhood classroom in Hong Kong. Practical examples would be drawn to compare with the literature review on play and the drafted reform document and to identify any misconceptions and paradoxes that exist. The findings and implications discussed would help readers look at the issue of equity and equality confronting religious-affiliated schools in Hong Kong if the play curriculum and its allied child-centeredness philosophy are to be applied in the reform process.

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Increasing Inclusion and Reducing the Stigma of Special Needs in Latvia: What Can We Learn from Other Countries? . . . Zaiga Mikelsteins and Thomas G. Ryan

ePub

Increasing Inclusion and Reducing the Stigma of Special Needs in Latvia

What Can We Learn from Other Countries?

Zaiga Mikelsteins

Thomas G. Ryan

ABSTRACT: Latvia regained its independence in 1991 and has been slowly transforming the education system to meet the standards of the European Union (EU) and the Western world. Since regaining independence Latvia has started to integrate children with special education needs into regular schools and society; yet the process is quite restrained and measured, causing many to suggest that there must be a way and means to accelerate this process. If only Latvians could access and use practices found (Alberta) Canada or another inclusive country (Finland), that has successfully integrated students and adults with disabilities into school and society, to diminish Latvian problems such as life long dependency, poverty and social exclusion that adds to an already existing stigma of intellectual disability according to the European Union Monitoring and Advocacy Program (EUMAP, 2005). Stigma is the one issue that keeps surfacing as the key challenge for people with special needs in Latvia (Fine-Davis & Faas, 2014). ­Latvian society at present has minimal exposure and experience with children and adults with special needs, resulting in unawareness, avoidance, and a general misunderstanding of this population.

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To Brevet or Not to Brevet: Lebanon Contemplates Abandoning the Middle-Secondary Examination . . . Tharwat Dabaja and Barend Vlaardingerbroek

ePub

To Brevet or Not to Brevet

Lebanon Contemplates Abandoning the Middle-Secondary Examination

Tharwat Dabaja

Barend Vlaardingerbroek

ABSTRACT: The Lebanese government in 2016 was presented with a proposal to abandon the middle-secondary Brevet examination. The Brevet acts as a filter for the upper secondary tier and channels considerable numbers of students into technical/vocational education. This article discusses the likely impact of the abolition of this public examination and presents data compiled from a survey of student views. The authors argue that the fundamental problem plaguing Lebanese education is its poor articulation with the labor market and warn against abolishing the Brevet unless the move is part of a package of reforms aimed at rectifying this dysfunctional interface.

KEY WORDS: curriculum-based external examinations, Lebanon, Brevet, transition to higher education, transition to employment

Curriculum-based external examinations are a feature of many of the world’s school education systems. Internationally recognized among these examinations are the French Baccalauréat and the English A-levels, and their numerous clones throughout the francophone and anglophone worlds. Conventionally, both the French and the English systems have had such examinations at the end of the elementary cycle, at the juncture between lower secondary and upper secondary school, and at the culmination of high school. The traditional function of these examinations has been to filter and channel students. They also have quality assurance and standards monitoring functions (Abu-Alhija, 2007; Bishop, 1997, 1998, 1999; Vlaardingerbroek & Taylor, 2009). However, given the increasing participation rates at post-elementary level, loss of job opportunities for unskilled youths, raising of minimum school-leaving ages, and growing demand for tertiary education, a process of what Vlaardingerbroek and Taylor (2009) have called “bottom-up erosion” (p. 339) often sees the demise or weakening of first the end-of-elementary examination, and then the middle-secondary examination system.

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