Medium 9781475816600

IJER Vol 19-N1

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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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4 Articles

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Comprehensive Special Education Programming for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder in the United States

ePub

Timothy E. Morse

ABSTRACT: As the identification of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to increase unabated, there exists a need to provide school personnel with information they can use for the purpose of designing and implementing appropriate comprehensive programs for these students. Accordingly, this article identifies and discusses comprehensive special education programming issues that school personnel in the United States must address on behalf of students with ASD—namely, student identification and program planning procedures as put forth in federal legislation and titled the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act of 2004, teacher training, core elements of effective school programs for students with ASD, and the evidence-based practice movement. That public schools in the United States allow universal access to its children, the country’s comprehensive service delivery approach is worthy of consideration by others throughout the world who have a stake in developing school-based services for students with ASD.

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New Kid on the Block: English-Medium Instruction in Chinese Schools

ePub

Guangwei Hu

ABSTRACT: Although experimentation with English as an instructional medium for majority-language students in mainland China started at only the turn of the 21st century, this form of language provision has made significant inroads in the school system within several years. Despite being exalted by the mainstream educational discourse as a highly commendable reform initiative and a cornerstone of quality education, the spread of English-medium instruction has given rise to many thorny issues that deserve serious attention. This article presents an overview of the English-provision initiative. After a historical review, the article describes the impact of the initiative on the school system, outlines the main types of English-medium instruction that have been adopted, and examines major constraints on this type of language provision.

The last 2 decades have seen much policy attention to the linkage between the quality of education and mainland China’s further development in economic, scientific, political, and sociocultural domains (Chinese Communist Party Central Committee & State Council, 1993, 1999; Ministry of Education, 1998). Various top-down and bottom-up initiatives have been promoted and implemented at an ever-quickening pace to reform precollegiate education and achieve the goal of quality education (G. W. Hu, 2005a). One recent initiative—introduced in the name of educational reform and quality education—is the use of English as an instructional medium in teaching school subjects. This type of language provision is widely known in mainland China (hereafter, China) as Chinese–English bilingual education/instruction. The so-called bilingual education is provided for majority-language students, and it differs from what is traditionally regarded as bilingual education in China—namely, the education of ethnic minorities in their native languages and Chinese, the dominant majority language (Feng, 2005; X. Ye, 2003; W. J. Zhang, 2002; H. B. Zheng, 2004). It also differs from most forms of bilingual provision as typically denoted by the term in international contexts (Baker, 2006).

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Addressing Low U.S. Student Achievement in Mathematics and Science Through Changes in Professional Development and Teaching and Learning

ePub

Anna Maria Tabernik

Paul R. Williams

ABSTRACT: “When compared with high-achieving countries around the world, the U.S. appears to be significantly behind in providing certain kinds of professional learning opportunities” (Wei, Darling-Hammond, Andree, Richardson, & Orphanos, 2009, p. 39). The present study was designed to investigate the relationship between sustained, targeted professional development in mathematics and student performance in the United States and in the high-achieving countries listed in the Third International Mathematics and Science Study. The research for this study involved teachers and students in a consortium of school districts in the state of Ohio, formed to meet the challenge of closing the achievement gap in mathematics and science for students in the United States. The findings indicate that professional development can be seen as a significant contributing factor in the learning cycle and that sustained, targeted professional development has a positive effect on student achievement.

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Why Teachers Leave Teaching: The Case of Pretertiary Institutions in Ghana

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Clement K. Agezo

ABSTRACT: In Ghana, many professional teachers have been leaving teaching to seek employment in jobs that they think hold promise of better pay and prestige. This article critically examines the key factors that compel teachers to leave the teaching profession for other jobs. Thirty professionally trained teachers who had taught at pretertiary institutions for a minimum of 5 years before abandoning teaching participated in the study. The snowball sampling technique was used in selecting the respondents, whereas the interview technique was used to gather data. The study revealed that poor remuneration and loss of status and prestige among other reasons compel teachers to abandon the teaching profession. One recommendation, among others, is raise salary levels to a level more competitive with those of other jobs to help retain the best and brightest teachers in the Ghana Education Service.

Although sufficient numbers of teachers graduate from teacher preparation programs each year in Ghana, teacher shortages continue to exist because graduates do not enter teaching or a significant number of those who do enter leave within 3 to 5 years. Researchers have indicated that teachers in many countries of this group (e.g., Ghana, Gambia, Kenya, India, Pakistan) engage in teaching, not because of internal motives (selfinterest, commitment to develop young people), but rather external incentives and, chiefly, a lack of other occupational opportunities in their area (Barrs, 2005; Hedges, 2002; Jessop & Penny, 1998). Teaching in India is a pragmatic choice based on a perceived or actual lack of any alternative, mainly in rural areas where underemployment rates are relatively high (Dyer, 1996). Coultas and Lewin (2002) cited a preservice teacher from a developing country who clearly stated that “he would rather have gone to university than to teacher training college” (p. 252). Hedges (2002) noted that those who became teachers owing to lack of other opportunities were likely to have a lower level of commitment to teaching than those who gave other reasons.

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