Medium 9781475816716

IJER Vol 21-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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5 Articles

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Analyzing and Critiquing the Concepts of Professional Autonomy and Accountability Through the Prisms of Decentralization and Constructivist Theory

ePub

Arthur Shapiro

Andrej Koren

ABSTRACT: This analysis and synthesis explores constructs of professional autonomy and accountability using constructivist theory and practice to examine the organizational dynamics of centralization/decentralization, particularly as applied to educational organizations. Major schools of constructivist thought are explored to shed light on centralization/decentralization dynamics, which then are used to explore constructs of professional autonomy and accountability. Oldroyd’s comparison of the United States and United Kingdom’s heavy focus on “education for results,” or accountability, is compared with Scandinavia’s preference for “education for learning.” The former results in centralization and accountability; the latter emphasizes the local locus of control, thus supporting autonomy.

The overwhelming consensus as the twentieth century closed has been that knowledge is constructed.

—D. C. Phillips, Constructivism in Education (2000, p. viii)

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Perceived Barriers for First-Generation Students: Reforms to Level the Terrain

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Anthony Richard Unverferth Carolyn Talbert-Johnson Treavor Bogard

ABSTRACT: This article examines the pervasive difficulties experienced by first-generation students in their quest to attend postsecondary settings. A change in the profile of the undergraduate student body has changed dramatically with respect to first-generation students’ age, enrollment status, and family conditions. These students are likely to enter college with less academic preparation and have limited access to information about the college experience. Low-income, minority, first-generation students are especially likely to lack specific types of college knowledge, which includes knowing how to finance a college education and complete basic admissions requirements. For these students to be successful, it is imperative to understand the pervasive obstacles they may encounter. The article identifies the challenges that first-generation students experience and their perceptions regarding the postsecondary experience, and it concludes with recommendations for successful academic practices.

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Beyond State Planned School-Based Curriculum Development: One Chinese School’s Story

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Wangbei Ye

ABSTRACT: View through a power perspective, this article critically evaluates tensions involved in China’s school-based curriculum development (SBCD) in middle schools: the state’s concern about control, accountability, and schools’ eagerness to struggle for more decision-making power. This article examines how a Chinese school and its teachers go beyond state-planned SBCD through analysis of power relationships in three stages of SBCD: goal setting, content and pedagogy selection, and implementation. It finds that the school and teachers negotiated with the governments and empowered themselves to gain more influence by taking the lead in collaborations with external groups, making major SBCD decisions, and distributing power democratically among school staff. The main purpose of the article is to highlight the complexity of the power redistribution in SBCD and to draw attention to the need for improved understandings of school power in Chinese context.

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Anchors for Education Reforms

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Kumar Alok

ABSTRACT: Education reforms, considering their significance, deserve better methods than mere “trial and error.” This article conceptualizes a network of six anchors for education reforms: education policy, education system, curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, and teacher education. It establishes the futility to reform anchors in isolation and anticipates the success of broad-based assessment-led reforms that build on this network. Furthermore, it dispels the myth of teacher accountability for ensured quality education.

Education makes the knowledge acquired by the human species available to the individual. It involves a delicate balance between the societal need for acculturation and the individual need for free thought. Its relevance depends on its ability to reflect the needs of the time and place as well as its reach. In this sense, the history of education is also that of its reform.

India’s modern education system was established during the mid-19th century. For well over 150 years, initiatives to reform education in India have been continuing in one form or the other (Mukearji, 1966). A number of reform initiatives have been taken at the levels of government, networks, organizations, and individuals (Pandey, 2000; Pratham Resource Center, 2011; Sunder, 2010). Currently, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, is in the process of envisaging and enforcing radical changes at all levels of education. Making the Class 10 public examination optional, replacing marks with grades in public examinations, and emphasizing continual evaluation over terminal evaluation, several curricular reform measures, proposed regulatory structure reforms, and a number of other initiatives have been taken to put India on the global map. These initiatives have their own share of criticism; however, the overriding imperative of global competitiveness seems to have had its way.

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Perceptions of Creativity by Turkish Student Teachers

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Ayhan Dikici

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to determine whether Turkish student teachers have implicit opinions regarding creativity. For this purpose, whether the student teachers’ genders, backgrounds, and socioeconomic levels created significant differences on the formation of their implicit opinions regarding creativity was examined. First, the What Do You Think of Creativity Scale was translated into the Turkish language. Next, the validity and reliability of the scale were analyzed. The scale was subsequently applied to 1,274 student teachers. At the end of the study, the scale’s health and youth dimensions showed that male student teachers are more strict-minded than female student teachers. Moreover, the study found that student teachers who grew up in rural areas were more strict-minded in the scale’s birth order dimension. In addition, regarding the scale’s race and intelligence dimensions, student teachers associated with high socioeconomic levels were more strict-minded than the student teachers associated with low and middle socioeconomic levels.

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