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IJER Vol 21-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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4 Articles

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International Exchange as a Transformative Learning Experience: A Case Study

ePub

Sheena Choi

Michael Slaubaugh

Ae-Sook Kim

ABSTRACT: This study examines the role of international exchange programs on the transformative learning of English-speaking students. A student exchange program at a South Korean university is used for this case study. It explores how learning experiences are translated by participants onto their perceptions about the host country. An analysis of a pre- and postsurvey suggests that transformative learning of the students is reflected in two overarching themes: (1) intercultural understanding and (2) global perspectives. Through their participation in the program, students developed a deeper understanding of their own and the host country’s cultures and an enhanced appreciation for broadening their global perspectives. This study concludes that international exchange programs have a fundamental importance in educating students to become global citizens and leaders.

This study examines the role of international experience in the transformative learning of students who participated in an international exchange program. Daly (2011) and Altbach (2008) emphasize that individuals, institutions, and countries have a great deal of motivation to develop intercultural understanding and competencies because of the global economy and knowledge-based production. Corresponding to these needs, universities around the world have devised strategies and programs to help their students be prepared to work effectively in an increasingly globally interconnected economy and society (Daly, 2011).

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The Future of Religious Freedom in Australian Schools

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Paul Babie

Ben Mylius

ABSTRACT: This article explores the place of religion within Australian primary and secondary education. It is divided into three parts. The first examines religion within the Australian legal and constitutional structure. The second considers the accommodation of religion in government (public or state) and nongovernment (private) schools, using the State of South Australia as a representative example. The overarching question addressed in the third part is twofold: (1) Does religion find a place in Australia’s schools, both government and nongovernment? (2) To the extent that it does, are there current legal threats to that place—in other words, to the freedom of religious faith in schools? The final section offers some brief concluding observations about the place of religion in Australian life generally, suggesting that there may still be some judicial support for the place of religion in the public sphere, which may auger well for its future in Australian education.

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Russian Higher Education: Who Can Afford It?

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Tatiana Gounko

ABSTRACT: The article explores the issue of access and equity in the Russian higher education system by examining recent government initiatives. While recently introduced measures such as the Unified State Examination and student loan project are designed to aid students and expand participation, they alone cannot ensure equitable access to higher education in Russia. To address the growing social stratification in education, the government needs to create formal assistance programs to mitigate existing socioeconomic and institutional barriers.

I remember a 1960s Russian film featuring a young woman who wanted to study in the Moscow Conservatory.1 Frosya Burlakova was raised in a working-class family in a remote village in Siberia. She had a dream to become a famous singer. Upon her arrival in Moscow, Frosya discovered that she had missed both the entrance exams and the admission deadline. After a number of tragicomic events, she finally got an audition and was subsequently admitted to the Moscow Conservatory. Although some might argue that this story was a typical piece of 1960s’ Soviet propaganda, researchers (Ballantine, 1993; Cummings, 2003; Zajda, 2003) argued that educational policies during that time were more egalitarian and encouraged people from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds to acquire higher education.

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Reform Movement in Turkey: Changes in Geometry Content in Student Selection and Placement Examinations in Secondary Education

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Lutfi Incikabi

ABSTRACT: This article aims to present the changes in student selection and placement examinations in secondary education by focusing on the geometry content during the postreform period. The methodology, also used by Petway (2000), includes three steps toward the aim of examining the following: technical aspects, content coverage, and examination results. Among the results of the study is that the new examinations covered more geometry content, which is distributed more evenly through the upper elementary grades than the previous ones, and that the new transition system to the secondary schools has placed more emphasis on students’ performance scores and their behavior grades at the each level of upper elementary school than the ones of the prereform period, which were mostly based on the examination results.

Geometry is an essential component of the school curriculum. Therefore, many international studies, such as TIMSS and PISA (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study and Programme for International Student Assessment), as well as national standardized achievement tests, such as the university entrance examination (OSS) and the secondary education student selection and placement examination (OKS), include a large number of geometry problems. In TIMSS 1995, 1999, and 2003, about 15% of the mathematics items involved geometry (Martin & Kelly, 1996; Martin, Mullis, & Chrostowski, 2004; Mullis et al., 2000). About 35% of the mathematics questions on the OKS feature the content area of geometry (SBS, 2009).

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