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IJER Vol 8-N2

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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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13 Articles

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Universal Values and Particularistic Values in World Educational Systems

ePub

FAY CHUNG

UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa, P.O. Box 1177, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Introduction

The Post Cold War Global Village and Global Market

In an age when it is difficult to escape from the concept as well as the reality of the global village and the global market, it is pertinent to examine whether there are values and cultures that are universally accepted and applied, and whether on the other hand, in a pluralist world, we are bound to have differing and indeed contradictory values and cultures, and that understanding, tolerance, acceptance and integration of values and cultures that are not initially our own, are the key virtues to be cultivated.

The disintegration of the Soviet Union and the subsequent end of the Cold War appear to have resulted, on the one hand, in the dominance of Western thinking, values and culture, and on the other hand, in the strengthening of traditional values as embodied in a number of world religions, in particular Islam, which has become more and more widespread; Hinduism which has managed to become a political force in India; Christianity in the forms of Orthodox Christianity in the former Soviet Union, Roman Catholicism in many developing countries and in the United States, the Apostolic religions in East and Southern Africa, and Protestantism as expressed through the Religious Right in the United States. At the same time, as the danger of a large scale nuclear world war between the two rival ideologies of Communism and Capitalism recedes, the end of the Cold War has seen the eruption of a plethora of small but devastating conflicts, such as those epitomized by Bosnia and Rwanda. How are we to understand these hundreds of small, but nevertheless, devastating conflicts in terms of the clash of values and cultures; of opposing world views? Or, are these conflicts a manifestation of other important issues, such as the rivalry for material resources? Or, is it impossible to separate material needs from spiritual values within a society? And, what is the future picture of the nation-state within the global village?

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The German School System after Reunification: A Descriptive Overview of Recent Trends

ePub

MANFRED WEISS*

Education Economist, German Institute for International Educational Research, Schloss-Strasse 29, D-60486 Frankfurt am Main, and Honorary Professor, College of Education, Erfurt

HORST WEISHAUPT

Professor, Educational Researcher, College of Education, Erfurt, P. 0. Box 307, D-99006 Erfurt

Restructuring the East German School System

In October 1990 Germany was legally reunified. Reunification was accomplished through the re-establishment of five federal states (Laender) in the territory of the fonner Gennan Democratic Republic (GDR), which were then incorporated into the Federal Republic of Gennany (FRG). This was the beginning of unprecedented exertions with no end in sight. Up to now one trillion Gennan Marks have been transferred from West to East Gennany. Its economy is, however, still lagging behind. In 1997, East Gennany’s contribution to the total national product was less than 12%, yet according to the size of its population, it should have been one fifth. Average productivity is about 60%, tax revenue per inhabitant just one third of the West German level. The focus of this article is not on these economic problems of reunification. Suffice it to say that the educational system feels their full force in the fonn of a fiscal austerity situation hitherto unknown in Gennany.

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Reforming Russian Higher Education: Towards More Autonomous Institutions

ePub

OLGA BAIN

Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, 468 Baldy Hall, SUNY at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14260

Introduction

The radical changes of the post-“glasnost” period in Russia were brought about by her own people—well-educated and highly-trained—whose value, however, was not appreciated by the system. Being the product of the Soviet education (because and despite of this fact), they turned first of all to school with an eye to its transformation so as to enable the self-development of creative and responsible personalities. The major goals of the educational reform were conceptualized by the Temporary Research Collective VNIK) “School” and became part and the parcel of the 1992 Law on Education. The underlying principles of the state educational policy, as adopted from the 1992 Law on Education, Article 2, are the following: 1) humanism as actualized in a child-centered approach, commitment to universal values and the free development of personalities and citizens; 2) multiculturalism which pursues both integrity of the federal cultural and educational systems and protection of regional and ethnic cultural traditions; 3) secular character of the state and municipal educational institutions; 4) freedom and pluralism in education (implying choice of methods of teaching and teaching materials for teachers, choice of schools and programs for students and their parents, and overcoming dogmatism in general); 5) democratic principles of governance and autonomy of educational institutions.

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Quality Assurance in Higher Education: The Case of Greece

ePub

PETROS PASHIARDIS*

Associate Professor of Educational Administration, University of Cyprus, P.O. Box 20537, CY 1678 Nicosia, Cyprus

ATHANASIOS KRIEMADIS

Assistant Professor, University of Thessaly, Greece

The Greek Education System: A Brief Overview

The Greek education system, as most education systems around the world, is called upon to anticipate and respond effectively to the problems and opportunities that arise as a result of: the knowledge explosion, the explosion in technological and communication developments, the newly emergent trend for educational and cultural cooperation with other nations and, especially cooperation with other European Union members, the ever-changing and ever-increasing international competition, the concerns and the unemployment of youth, the demand for greater connection between education and the real needs of society and production, the call for environmental education and greater ecolognical concerns, the social problems created by drugs, etc. Nevertheless, the Greek education system continues to be essentially a centralized structure which is incapable of handling the difficulties which arise from the above and other similar issues. The overall responsibility for education rests primarily with the Ministry of Education. Although important decentralization actions have been implemented recently, the system still maintains its basic centralizing attributes.

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Reconceptualizing Educational Leadership for Small States

ePub

FENTEY SCOTT

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Raad, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada P7B 5E1

Introduction

The process of internationalization and globalization, the growth of multinational corporations and free trade agreements have become a reality for small states, but have not yielded the kind or the scale of economic and other benefits small states were hoping for. At the same time the changing social structure of the world has brought some painful consequences including unfulfilled expectations and an added complexity in the management and administration of their educational systems. Many of these countries are struggling with the demands for secondary and post-secondary education; some are trying to provide training for elementary and/or secondary teachers, while others are striving to train management personnel at different levels in their system. Through all this, they have, for the most part, persisted with models of leadership and management not designed to cope with these changed expectations, thereby placing their limited material and human resources and the leadership capacity under stress.

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Educational Reform in Taiwan: A Brighter American Moon?

ePub

HSIN-MING (SAMUEL) HUANG

Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, 468 Baldy Hall, SUNY al Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260

Introduction

For twenty-six years, beginning in 1968 when the government implemented a national program of nine year compulsory citizen education,1 there were no major changes in Taiwan’s educational system or school curriculum. But in 1994 the government held the seventh national educational conference to launch a major educational reform to accompany its ambitious political democratization and economic structural transformation (Overseas Scholars, October 1994). The initiative has lasted four years and there is no sign of it slowing down. Two important trends characterize this reform: the first, “Taiwanization,” is a switch from focusing on Chinese nationalization to emphasizing indigenous understanding (Yang, 1994).2 The second, “Americanization,” in the guise of globalization, is an attempt to imitate and impose the philosophy of contemporary American education on Taiwan. In order to support their objectives, educational policy makers, reformists, and intellectuals in Taiwan have created a positive image of the American educational system, sending an implicit message that nearly every aspect of American education is superior to that of Taiwan’s.

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Power and Place: Metropolitan Resource Struggles in the United States 1980\p=n-\1990

ePub

DOUGLAS R. COCHRANE

AIRlESS!, 50 FStreet NW, Suite 950, Washington, DC 20001

The 1980s was a period of profound social and economic change within the US. We are just starting to evaluate the impact of some of these changes on people and institutions. Many of these changes related directly to the rise of the global economy. The supply and demand of jobs in particular sectors, regions and areas of the country created tensions. Recession fueled fears of permanent job loss and a lessening of the country’s social and economic position.

The role of education as a tool for economic progress was first raised as a challenge with “A Nation At Risk” (1983). At the same time, there was a growing political demand to reduce the federal role in education, fostered by a perceived need to balance the federal budget and an agenda for decentralizing education that included strong advocacy for states’ constitutional rights in relation to education, and increased local control of school districts. This resulted in a reduction in education funding from the Federal government. Coinciding with this, increases in monies to education in the 1980s came largely from state and local governments.

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Practical Curricular Strategies for Educational Reform in Lithuania

ePub

STEPHEN E. WILLIAMS

D ’Youville College, 1 D ’Youville Square, 320 Porter Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14201-1084

It has been nearly a decade since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Subsequently there has been the emergence of a number of new nations from these former Bloc countries. The transition from a totalitarian to a pluralistic form of government has been a demanding one for those former Bloc countries which have chosen this route. There has been an influx of support from a number of industrialized nations to assist in this endeavor. Supports have manifested themselves in the form of money, equipment, staff exchanges, economic and industrial advising, and training. While this assistance has significantly abetted reform at the national level of these emerging nations, many struggle to take their place as a competitive partner in the industrialized global community. Perhaps it is time to reexamine what types of assistance have been most effective to date, in order to rethink what types of assistance can and ought to be offered to these countries in the future.

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The Internationalist

ePub

Peter McLaren and José SolísJordán 

Professor of Education

University of California, Los Angeles

College of Education

Los Angeles, CA 90024-1521

Dr. José Solís Jordán is a Puerto Rican educator unjustly accused by the FBI of conspiracy in the 1992 bombing of a military recruitment center in Chicago, Illinois. There is no evidence, real or circumstantial, against Professor Solis. Solis’ indictment is based solely on the dubious testimony of a government-sponsored witness. Arrested November 6, 1997 at his home in Puerto Rico and detained for over six hours despite repeated demands to speak with his lawyer, Solis has seen his life and that of his family profoundly affected. Yet, as a man of principle, Professor Solis remains resolute in his belief in the universal right of self-determination.

Peter: It’s good to be in Chicago and it is wonderful to see you again and to learn that your revolutionary spirit is still high and your political resolve is still strong—perhaps even stronger—than before the cowardly attempt by the FBI to implicate you in a charge of sedition. There are three things that I would like to know about a little better in order to understand your situation and its context. First, the political climate in Puerto Rico; second, education in Puerto Rico in the context of this climate; and third, your impressions of the context of these two situations as they relate specifically to your case. But let me first ask you, José, how are you doing, companero?

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The Instruction Department

ePub

John M. Jenkins

6211 NW 93 Terrace

Gainesville, FL 32653

Goals 2,000 clearly states that all students will succeed with challenging academic subject matter and in the process leam to use their minds well. The challenge, unlike any others faced by the public schools in recent history, is unequivocal. Schools can no longer be satisfied with averaging standardized test results or trumpeting the creative products of talented students. They must be concerned with what all students accomplish.

Students bring a variety of backgrounds, interests, aptitudes and motivations to the school setting. Typical school organizations frequently preclude any meaningful context in which to discover these differences for use in the instructional system. Several models for personalizing education have evolved over the years to enable practitioners to think differently about school structure. One such model evolved from the NASSP Model Schools Project (1969-74). This model based on the concept of personalized education used four broad activities: diagnosis, prescription, instruction and evaluation (DPIE).

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The Legal Department

ePub

Todd A. DeMitchell

Associate Professor of Education Law & Policy

Coordinator, Administration and Supervision Program

Department of Education

University of New Hampshire

Durham, NH 03824-3595

Public symbolism has profound implications for the citizens of the public body represented by the symbol.

—Robert J. Bein

Stained Flags: Public Symbols and

Equal Protection, 1998, p. 913

Undoubtedly, the Confederate battle flag does not represent the same thing to everyone . . . . There are citizens of all races who view the flag as a symbolic acknowledgment of pride in Southem heritage and the ideals of independence. Likewise, there are citizens of all races who perceive the flag as embodying principles of discrimination, segregation, white supremacy and rebellion.

Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. v.

Glendening, 1997, p. 1103

Derby School District #260 is located in Sedgwick County in the State of Kansas. In the 1990’s, Derby’s population grew and became more diverse. Racial tension increased as the population grew and became more diverse. Derby High School became the focus for most of the incidents consisting mainly of verbal confrontations. The school administrators viewed the confrontations as potentially violent although none of the incidents apparently escalated into fights.

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The Research Department

ePub

James F. McNamara, Carol L. Stuessy,* Maryanne McNamara, * and Karin Quenk*

Professor of Educational Administration and Educational Psychology

College of Education

Texas A&M University

College Station

TX 77843-4226

Science literacy for all students has become an established goal in standards-based movements occurring in most states in the nation. Science-literate individuals possess the knowledge and skills to solve problems, make decisions, and be lifelong leamers as they live, work, and leam in a society driven by and dependent on emerging technologies (Bybee, 1997; National Research Council, 1996).

Goals of science literacy for all students necessitate the development of new models in science education no longer structured to train scientists and acadernically elite. Changes in educational practices must occur at all levels, beginning in kindergarten and continuing through undergraduate education. All students must receive an education in science that provides them with the knowledge and skills recognized as “requisite for students at all levels of society” (National Science Foundation, 1997, p. 4).

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Book Review

ePub

Larry E. Frase

Professor of Educational Administration

Specializing in Organizational Psychology

San Diego State University

San Diego, CA 92182

A Reexamination of Participatory Leadership

Philip C. Schlechty

San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass, Inc., 294 pages

Reviewed by J. Robert Hendricks, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, College of Education, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Inventing Better Schools—An Action Plan for Educational Reform

This book on school reform joins a growing list of books written by educators and laymen offering a “fix” for saving our schools. The author avoids the common didactic approach often assumed by writers of suchbooks by being overly prescriptive. Instead, he emphasizes process offering specific questions to prompt the practitioner’s thinking.

Schlechty states in his preface that his book was written with four purposes: to frame the problems confronting schools; to portray the connection between district offices and community at large as well as what happens between teachers and students in the classroom; to advance propositions and questions that can be used to enhance the capacity of school districts; and offer strategies for redesigning schools.

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