Medium 9781475816631

IJER Vol 19-N4

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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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Research on Children’s Concepts of God and Spirituality and Its Implications on Educational Inequality in Early Childhood Educational Reform in Hong Kong

ePub

Grace Lau

ABSTRACT: In his 2006–2007 policy address, the chief executive of Hong Kong committed HK$2 billion to enhancing holistic early childhood education through the instigation of a school voucher scheme. The new paradigm of a child-centered curriculum is considered necessary to keep pace with international quality educational developments. The paradigm of spirituality education for young children, which enshrines interconnectedness (Taggart, 2001), is in essence the holistic education that is advocated in child-centered ideology. Religious education, in contrast, is underpinned by teacher-centered ideology and has the aim of transmitting traditional religious values to the younger generation. The article reports on six case studies on three faith schools that suggest that elements of spirituality are embedded in the newly advocated curriculum. The preliminary data collected, however, also suggest that there is a misunderstanding on the part of stakeholders in their view of the conceptualization of spirituality education as being nearly synonymous with religious education. Given these findings, I hope to arouse the public at large to the potential educational inequalities existed alongside the educational reform policy: first, to the parents when exercising their rights under the school voucher scheme; second, to faith schools being distracted from their school mission by a misconception that spirituality education and religious education are nearly synonymous.

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Rhetoric, Distortions, and Responsibility: Illusion and Reality in Education Reform

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Maria Korotkova
Conrad Wesley Snyder Jr.

ABSTRACT: The process of education reform takes place in a highly politicized environment. Language plays an important part in the characterization of the reform, and the words used connect the reform to higher ideals, usually extensive to the local environment but signifying some opportunity for progress. The language is frequently decoupled from the reform and can distort the perceived policy and activity environment to create a qualitative advantage while the mechanisms of change play through their agendas. When ambiguity exists in the characterizations of the reform, there are risks that the apparent progress will result in confused hierarchies of authority. That is, the ambiguities enable strange loops to flourish without attention by management in addressing the complexities in reform. The result is the regression of the reform, re-forming to a previous state as if reform was necessary again.

Globalism has changed the face of education and its reform and particularly effected change in meanings and understandings across societies and cultures. A “school” is a place where the canons, precepts, and body of opinion and practice of a society are sanctioned by the authority of particular classes or specific authorities within that society. It should reflect the local intentions and aspirations of formal educational processes within the culture, but in fact, it is a codification for more general conceptions of what education should be no matter what the immediate context or concerns. What constitutes a school in Zugdidi, Georgia, is the same as in Maun, Botswana, and Iowa City, Iowa. Globalism has standardized the language of education and has accordingly influenced the values and expectations of parents and teachers across diverse cultural terrains. The normative basis becomes global and standardized in general rather than local and bounded by the immediate environmental context (Meyer, 1970, 1972, 1977).

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Practices of Successful School Leaders

ePub

Dave Dolph
Stephen Grant

ABSTRACT: This qualitative research article examines successful school leadership at the level of school superintendent. The article offers practical suggestions to help practicing leaders in education.

Leadership is a discipline that has been studied to improve organizational effectiveness and efficiency. Owing to the attention and emphasis that education has been subject to in recent decades, the study of successful school leadership presents an area worth examining (Smith & Piele, 1997). Therefore, the research underpinning this article examined leadership behaviors of superintendents in school districts in Ohio who were judged to be successful by virtue of consistently positive student test results on state testing protocols.

Regardless of whether school organizations are in the United States or other countries, leadership is an essential factor that helps determine success or failure. Smith and Piele (1997) noted that effective leadership in school organizations has a positive impact on student learning. Without high-quality leadership, school organizations may flounder until they become obsolete, extinct, or irrelevant—terms that critics often use when discussing public schools in the United States and elsewhere.

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Adapting a Portion of the Patterns of Adaptive Learning Scales for Research in Turkish Schools

ePub

Nuray Parlak-Yilmaz
Nükhet Çıkrıkçı-Demirtaşli

ABSTRACT: As research on achievement goals has increased, so has the number of ways to measure goal orientation. In this article, we focus on the Patterns of Adaptive Learning Scales. A translated and adapted version of a subsection known as the Teacher Scales: Perceptions of the School Goal Structure for Students is examined in terms of factorial validity, internal consistency reliability, and distributional characteristics among Turkish teachers. The results show that the Turkish version of the subsection exhibits a construct similar to that of the original; internal consistency reliability was also sufficient. In this context, the adapted version of the Teacher Scales can be used as a valid and reliable instrument in related fields in Turkey.

The poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The world makes way for the man [sic] who knows where he is going.” As this implies, determination and persistence will lead an individual to success. This expression emphasizes the importance of motivation, a subject that has been studied extensively by educators and psychologists. Attitudes, motivation, and other affective characteristics are important factors in effective learning, in addition to cognitive characteristics. Today, it is widely accepted in all fields—especially, education—that motivation is a crucial factor directing the future of society (Arias, 2004; Kaplan & Maehr, 2007).

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