Medium 9781475816587

IJER Vol 18-N3

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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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5 Articles

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Establishing Internationally Competent Leaders for the Future: Promoting an Agenda for Social Justice, Equity, and Intercultural Sensitivity

ePub

Carolyn Talbert-Johnson

ABSTRACT: To be successful in a global economy, U.S. candidates must possess international knowledge, intercultural communication skills, and global perspectives to effectively teach diverse student populations. Unfortunately, teacher education programs have not prepared candidates to be internationally competent leaders for the future. Schools of education with international exchange programs are in a unique position to engage candidates in firsthand exploration of cultural and diversity understandings. In this article, I identify pervasive problems with preparation programs and suggest the need for a multicultural, global perspective with a social justice agenda. I conclude the article with justification for new initiatives to ensure that inclusive practices are promoted.

To be successful in a global economy and interconnected world, it is imperative that U.S. candidates possess international knowledge, intercultural communications skills, and global perspectives (Institute of International Education, 2007). These skills are required for candidates in this increasingly diverse society. Just as students become more aware of diversity issues, they must also become globally competent. It is interesting to note that the challenges of teaching globalization issues to U.S. education students are quite similar to the challenges of any teaching that aims to change how students see the world around them. The desire for institutions of higher learning is the development of competent graduates who are prepared to work in a global society. It is disconcerting to note that studies have shown that candidates graduate from their colleges and universities with little or no global awareness or sensitivity. Jurgens and Robbins-O’Connell (2008) report that Americans tend to have limited international experiences and may therefore have limited international perspectives. This affects an individual’s willingness to view others from diverse cultures with an open-minded lens, and it impedes one’s ability to become culturally competent. These individuals tend to be embedded in their own subcultural groups in spite of the diversity that is evident in the world.

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The Changing Way of Leading

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Sandra Sytsma

ABSTRACT: This conceptual article explores the changing way of leading. It proposes that in contrast to the primarily outer actions that characterize educational change, the inner and outer dimensions of leaders are necessary to change what constitutes leading, thereby making it more appropriate to our times. The unfolding of leading actions and the enfolding making of meaning are seen as being immanent and together productive of a creative field of change for self and others. The article is intended as a provocateur for leaders to reflect on their leading, and it is dedicated to leaders in schools who have lost their way but courageously engaged the inner dimension of meaning making to shape a changing and growth-enhancing way of leading.

Leading has its etymological origins in guiding and enabling a journey (Online Etymology Dictionary, 2007). It was only toward the middle of the 2nd century AD that leading came to be associated with the directive activity of being first and at the front. Now well into the 3rd century, it is time to move beyond this conception to reconsider a meaning of leading for this age of change.

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The Weaknesses and Shortcomings of the Junior High School in Israel: Some Insights Into Grade Configurations of Educational Systems

ePub

Izhar Oplatka and Dorit Tubin

ABSTRACT: The current study aimed to explore the weaknesses of the junior high school system in Israel, a country whose first junior high schools (Grades 7–9) were established in the early 1970s and whose educational system differs from the systems of Europe and North America in terms of structure, ideology, and control. Based on semistructured interviews with role incumbents in the junior high school system, the study found major difficulties in areas such as student behavior, student achievements, personal attention, interschool transition, resources, clear policy, and so forth. Implications for the planning of grade configurations worldwide are suggested.

About a century ago, the first junior high schools were established in the United States to provide, among other things, a transitional period from the elementary school to the high school and to respond more effectively to the unique needs of adolescents (Herman, 2004). It was the kind of fundamental reform whose aim was to transform and permanently alter those very same institutional structures (Cuban, 1992). Since then, a variety of schools designed for middle-grade students has expanded to other parts of the world, including England (Hargreaves, 1986), Sweden (Midthassel, 2004), and Israel (Schmida, 1987).

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The Development of Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies Curriculum in Hong Kong: Perspectives and Problems

ePub

Joe Tin-Yau Lo and Sum-Cho Po

ABSTRACT: The introduction of liberal studies is a new curriculum reform initiative in Hong Kong starting in 2009. It is a kind of formal interdisciplinary curriculum built on decades of experiences garnered from the implementation of various integrated subjects with similar nature. Through the method of documentary analysis that brings all official policy papers, curriculum guides/documents, stakeholders’ feedback, and prior research into critical scrutiny, this article aims to analyze the phylogeny of formal interdisciplinary curriculum in Hong Kong from historical, sociological, ideological, and curricular perspectives, with a view to delineating the changes and continuities in the development of interdisciplinary curriculum and identifying the problems and possibilities for its implementation.

In line with the recommendation of the Education Commission in 2000, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is going to change its secondary school system from a 3 + 4 model (3 years junior secondary and 4 years senior secondary) to a 3 + 3 model (from S1 to S6) with the implementation of the new senior secondary curriculum in 2009. The Education and Manpower Bureau’s report (2005) stipulated that liberal studies would be made a core subject along with English language, Chinese language, and mathematics for senior secondary pupils. In addition, pupils may take two to three other elective subjects in the new Diploma of Education Examination, which will replace the two existing public examinations: Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination at S5 and Hong Kong Advanced Level Exam at S7.

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The Promises and Challenges of Implementing Humanistic Pedagogy in the Curriculum of Hong Kong Kindergartens

ePub

Grace Lau

ABSTRACT: This article reports on two case studies of teachers’ managing the challenges associated with gaining acceptance for child-centeredness curriculum practices in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. These teachers intended to respond to the newly published Guide to the Preprimary Curriculum (Education and Manpower Branch, 2006) by adopting a more humanistic pedagogical approach in their teaching and learning practices. The research revealed a gap between what the teachers expected as promises associated with the teaching practices and the actual challenges they faced while implementing the humanistic curriculum. Implications of these findings, both the challenges and the promises, are discussed to provide references for practitioners in the field, namely by explaining what worked for the teachers and what did not when readjusting their ideal school-based curriculums. The reactions of the practitioners to educational reform in England and Sweden are discussed as cross-reference to the findings of the research.

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