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IJER Vol 7-N4

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The mission of the International Journal of Educational Reform (IJER) is to keep readers up-to-date with worldwide developments in education reform by providing scholarly information and practical analysis from recognized international authorities. As the only peer-reviewed scholarly publication that combines authors’ voices without regard for the political affiliations perspectives, or research methodologies, IJER provides readers with a balanced view of all sides of the political and educational mainstream. To this end, IJER includes, but is not limited to, inquiry based and opinion pieces on developments in such areas as policy, administration, curriculum, instruction, law, and research.
IJER should thus be of interest to professional educators with decision-making roles and policymakers at all levels turn since it provides a broad-based conversation between and among policymakers, practitioners, and academicians about reform goals, objectives, and methods for success throughout the world.
Readers can call on IJER to learn from an international group of reform implementers by discovering what they can do that has actually worked. IJER can also help readers to understand the pitfalls of current reforms in order to avoid making similar mistakes. Finally, it is the mission of IJER to help readers to learn about key issues in school reform from movers and shakers who help to study and shape the power base directing educational reform in the U.S. and the world.

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RONALD A. LINDAHL

Professor and Chair, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, East Tennessee State University, P.O. Box 70550, Johnson City, TN 37614-0550

As do many others around the globe, Dalin, Rolff, and Kleekamp (1993) contend that “the world changing dramatically; we are in the middle of a major paradigm shift, and add-on changes to the existing schools are inadequate” (p. 2). However, there is natural resistance to change in organizations. Owens (1995) notes that even add-on changes proceed very slowly, taking fifteen years to reach 3 percent of the schools [in the United States], and an additional twenty years before attaining a diffusion range equivalent to the average state (p. 209). Deeper change, or reform, meets even more resistance. As Mohrman et al. (1991) note, “Even setting aside the question of whether the political interests of resisters actually are served by opposition to the change, the depth dimension indicates that in many cases employees will resist the change because it threatens the way of making sense of the world—and thus calls their values and rationality (and thus, in a sense, their sanity) into question” (p. 15). Senge (1990) echoes this, asserting that “Resistance to change is neither capricious nor mysterious. It almost always arises from threats to traditional norms and ways of doing things” (p. 88). The urgency and magnitude of current paradigm shifts seem inescapable. Therefore, to counteract the inherent resistance, new perspectives and understandings of reform are needed.* Because its environment has undergone several major social, cultural, and economic paradigm shifts in the past four decades, Cuba’s educational system offers an interesting case study for reflecting on systemic change.

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Peter McLaren and Gene Provenzo *

Professor of Education

University of California, Los Angeles

College of Education

Los Angeles, CA 90024-1521

Eugene F. Provenzo, Jr. is a Professor in the Social and Cultural Foundations of Education at the University of Miami. He is the author of over thirty­five books covering a wide range of educational and cultural topics. While in graduate school, although focusing primarily on historical and philosophical training, he received extensive background in ethnography and field­based research, as well as archival preservation and exhibit work. His career as a researcher has been interdisciplinary in nature. Throughout his work, his primary focus has been on education as a social and cultural phenomenon. Collaboration is an integral part of his work. He sees himself as someone who learns through the process of research and writing. Undertaking various research projects with people in related fields of inquiry has played a critical role in his post-graduate education. For him to work effectively as a teacher, he feels that it is essential for him to combine his teaching with research, reflection, and writing. In October 1991 he won the university-wide undergraduate teaching award at the University of Miami. Gene’s work is widely reviewed in traditional academic and popular sources. In the last five years, he has been interviewed on National Public Radio, ABC World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News, Good Morning America, BBC radio, Britain’s Central Television and Britain’s Channels 2 and 4, as well as Australia’s LateLine. In December of 1993 he testified before the United States Senate joint hearing of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Juvenile Justice and the Government Affairs Subcommittee on Regulation and Government Information on the issue of violence in video games and television. He believes strongly in the idea of university professors being not only scholars, but excellent teachers and public and “transformative intellectuals.”

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Book Review

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Larry E. Frase

Professor of Educational Administration

Specializing in Organizational Psychology

San Diego State University

San Diego, CA 92182

Fenwick W. English, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne, IN

Robert L. Larson, Professor of Education, College of Education and Social Services, The University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

Reviewed by Nancy Kotowski, Assistant Superintendent, Monterey County Office of Education, Salinas, CA

In Curriculum Management for Educational and Social Organizations, Fenwick English and Robert Larson hone-in on what people actually do in organizations. They define curriculum as the work plan(s) of organizations. English and Larson point out that all organizations have a curriculum in one form or another—from a loose collection of paper defining roles, responsibilities, and tasks to a full delineation of the expectations of work around what is to be done and the outcomes that are expected. They argue that what is needed for an organization to be effective is a comprehensive framework for shaping work in terms of clear organizational focus and control which actually directs everyone’s work toward achieving the overarching goals.

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