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IJER Vol 2-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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JEANNE BRADY

College of Education

The Pennsylvania State University

Chambers Building

University Park, PA 16802

You must have a positive alternative, a vision of a better future that can motivate people to sacrifice their time and energy towards its realization.1

Traditional educational theory views schools primarily in terms that borrow from the jargon of the natural sciences; that is, within this mythic discourse, schools are seen basically as places that objectively transmit the best and most worthwhile knowledge equally to all students who enter their halls. In this perspective, schools are the stepping stone for achieving the American dream, bastions of promise and possibility for those students who exhibit the right attitudes, values and effort. In this rosy and cleansed view of schooling, issues relating to power, knowledge and domination drop out of existence. Social issues are reduced to personal attributes; institutional failure is displaced by the dislocating languages of either Western humanism or behavioral psychology; issues that illuminate how class, gender, race, and ethnicity function as part of the discourse of schooling are either ignored or subverted through the language of empiricism and efficiency. At the same time, the discourse of objectivism serves to hide the Eurocentricism, nativism, and racism that often inform the content and context of curricula in American schools.

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Henry A. Giroux

During the last twelve years, the educational system in the United States has been the object of a massive reform movement. Led mainly by conservatives, the meaning and purpose of schooling at all levels of education have been refashioned around the principles of the marketplace, the imperatives of national unity, and the logic of rampant individualism. Ideologically, this meant abstracting schools from the language of democracy and equity while simultaneously organizing educational reform around the discourse of choice, reprivatization, cultural uniformity, and individual competition. Consistent with a broader attack on all notions of democratic public life, schools became one of the prime battle grounds for removing the languages of ethics, history, and community from public discourse. Within this approach, schools became the quintessential institutions of bureaucratic individualism. Under the incentive of school choice, market relations asserted themselves with a vengeance on public schools and higher education. Devastated by the recession, diminished local tax bases, and drastic cutbacks in federal expenditures, school systems around the country were forced to increase the size of classes, decrease teaching staffs, and use fewer resources.

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