Medium 9781475816617

IJER Vol 19-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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4 Articles

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Designing a Culturally Appropriate Format of Formative Peer Assessment for Asian Students: The Case of Vietnamese Students

ePub

Pham Thi Hong Thanh

Robyn Gillies

ABSTRACT: Peer assessment has recently been widely recommended in Vietnamese classrooms. However, there are argumentative opinions about this assessment because it has many conflicts with the learning culture of Vietnamese students. To date, there has not been any study addressing this issue. The present study investigated how Vietnamese students participate in peer assessment and how peer assessment should be designed to interest local students. In sum, 145 second-year students participated in a one-semester study. The results show that the students refused to participate in intragroup peer assessment because they were not confident in exchanging feedback directly and face-to-face. By contrast, intergroup peer assessment interested the students more because they could avoid direct conflicts with their friends and were guaranteed to save face by their group mates.

Peer assessment is a process whereby groups of individuals rate their peers (Falchikov, 1995) and students are encouraged to exchange feedback during the learning process (Wen, Tsai, & Chang, 2006). Peer assessment has been frequently used as an alternative evaluation method. Many studies have indicated that students obtain various benefits when participating in peer assessment. For instance, Gillies and Ashman (1998) and Webb, Troper, and Fall (1995) claimed that when students are involved in face-to-face interaction with one another, implicit mutual understandings develop on the basis of their prior knowledge and the shared understandings that they develop during their reciprocal interactions; it is these experiences that lead to the joint construction of new understandings and knowledge. Moreover, Black, Harrison, Lee, Marshall, and Wiliam (2004) claimed that when students have opportunities to be involved in the assessment process, not only do they learn what they must achieve, but they also learn to monitor their own learning more closely, leading to the enhancement of their cognition and metacognitive thinking.

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Right to Basic Education and State Responsibility

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Kishore Singh

ABSTRACT: The right to education is an internationally recognized right. As part of the global movement for Education for All in the past two decades, the right to basic education has emerged in international law, and it carries international obligations—political and legal—on account of collective commitments by the international community for its realization. In monitoring the implementation of the right to education, emphasis is now laid on the right to basic education both in UNESCO and in the work of the United Nations human rights treaty bodies. The operational definition of basic education, elaborated by UNESCO in 2007, is a useful tool in this respect.

The state responsibility for the right to basic education implies the need for promoting normative action, aimed at strengthening its foundations in national legal systems. The key areas of action include providing free primary education as a core obligation; universalizing access to basic education by giving priority to categories of persons suffering from exclusion or discrimination, including positive measures in favor of children from poor households; removing disparities and bringing about de facto equality of opportunity in education; and enhancing public investment in basic education, as based on a legal and policy framework.

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Ukrainian Teacher Candidates Develop Dispositions of Socially Meaningful Activity

ePub

Tetyana Koshmanova

Tetyana Ravchyna

ABSTRACT: This study addresses how the method of peer mediation can be utilized by teacher educators in developing students’ attitudes to care for those who are in need, how to actively participate in socially meaningful activity without any expectation of reward, and how to contribute to the democratic development of a post-conflict country via active individual participation of teacher candidates. While developing teacher candidates’ dispositions of socially meaningful activity, researchers realized the premises of cultural–historical theory of activity by developing a supportive learning environment and changing the social role of the instructor who becomes a facilitator of teacher candidates learning.

Integrative processes that characterize European teacher education in the 21st century are influenced by globalization—specifically, the Bologna Process. This globalization is rapidly leading to deep changes in the essence of teacher education in Eastern Europe. Reforms can be effective, provided that society clearly envisions their goals. In the Ukraine, the process of moving toward democracy and envisioning its goals is difficult and controversial (Koshmanova, 2006a).

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Teachers’ Experience of Secondary Education Reform in Hong Kong

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Pattie Yuk Yee Luk-Fong

Marie Brennan

ABSTRACT: This article examines teachers’ experience in relation to the massive top-down but ever-changing education reform initiatives in Hong Kong, where “East meets West” in cultures and identities. A life-narrative approach was used to probe the daily experience of 24 secondary school teachers of different ages, genders, and marital statuses to examine how they translate and implement educational reforms. Excerpts from secondary school teachers’ narratives show that teachers were experiencing a lot of new forms of glocal practices—that is, mixing of both global and local practices (Robertson, 1995)—as new discourses met with Confucian traditions and existing practices in Hong Kong. New discourses included pupil centeredness, learning to learn, lifewide learning in curriculum reforms, and assessment for learning and school-based assessment in assessment reforms; Confucian traditions included teacher-centered pedagogy, emphasis on academic achievement, and high-stakes examinations. Although deeply concerned about difficulties in teaching, many teachers love teaching and working with students. Analysis of their stories revealed that teachers’ experiences were complex and multifaceted; teachers saw tensions and opportunities in the reforms and serious challenges to their roles. Implications for policy makers, researchers, and teachers are discussed.

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