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IJER Vol 24-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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Education Reforms in France

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Education Reforms in France

Elisabeth Regnault

Henri Vieille-Grosjean

ABSTRACT: The objective of this article is to determine the incidences of immigration and globalization on the French educational values and reforms. To explore these two dimensions, it is necessary to give a historical perspective through the reforms since 1958 to the present and to specify the French educational values through a content analysis of the Extracurricular Educational Activities Act (1984), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), and the two secularism charters (1883 and 2013). The study finds that the education reforms reveal a continuous back-and-forth movement between principles of openness and closeness to new audiences with immigrants and to liberal school policy with PISA and PIRLS results in the context of globalization. The article concludes with major implications: France, with the diversity of religions, reaffirmed the secularism principle in 2013 and got an attitude of closeness. France, with its long history of public service, also has an attitude of openness with liberal reforms issued from international evaluations.

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The Success of Educational Tradition in Postmodern Times: The Case of Finland

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The Success of Educational Tradition in Postmodern Times: The Case of Finland

María José García Ruiz

Javier Vergara Ciordia

ABSTRACT: The diverse national and international educational policies strive to engage in innovative and reformist educational programs that provide social actors evidence of the compromise of current agendas to comply with the challenges of postmodern societies. Although the conservative character of the pedagogies in countries of great educational success, such as Finland and South Korea, has caused a “scandal” among international observers due to its scarce innovation (Simola, 2005), it has nevertheless clearly demonstrated the goodness and wisdom involved in a great deal of elements pertaining to the educational tradition. Countries must hold an exquisite balance between tradition and reform.

Globalization and postmodernism are driving current education reform in the West. Globalization is market driven, while postmodernism addresses context and culture. The two are seemingly at odds with each other, but both have a decidedly important effect on Western educational policy. In this article, we examine how globalization and postmodernism have affected education reform in Finland. We begin by defining and tracing the roots of both concepts.

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An Analysis of Teacher Education Policies in China

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An Analysis of Teacher Education Policies in China

Aihua Hu

Richard R. Verdugo

ABSTRACT: Education is a value-laden mechanism serving various national purposes. While politics were the most prominent factors driving Chinese education reform in the past, recent history indicates that additional factors also play a significant role. In our article, we examine teacher education and how educational policies have affected it in contemporary China. We begin by providing a historical description of teacher education in China; then, we use a shortened version of critical analysis of educational policies related to teacher education—particularly, the most recent education policy of not charging fees to students who are enrolled in teacher education programs. Our findings reveal the following: (1) Reforms about teacher education are driven by political and economic needs rather than the development of teacher education programs or the needs of the Chinese public; (2) there is still much to be done to improve the quality of teacher education and education equity in China; and (3) bottom-up initiatives are needed to actually improve teacher education in China.

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Student Test Performance and National Economies: Examining a Neoliberal Conjecture

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Student Test Performance and National Economies: Examining a Neoliberal Conjecture

Richard R. Verdugo

ABSTRACT: PISA results make national decision makers very nervous and for good reason: There is the perceived assumption that student performance on the PISA and other international exams are tied directly to a nation’s future economic status. Essentially, the notion is that the greater the students’ test scores, the more secure a nation’s economic future. But such concerns ignore the three main functions of educational systems: the socialization of youth so that they understand their culture, nation’s history, and normative culture; the political socialization of youth so that they become competent citizens; and the provision of skills to youth so that they can participate in the labor market. So there is reason to infer that education is tied to the economy. There are two conjectures being made here: The first is that student performance is related to a nation’s economy. That is, the better the economy, the better the student performances. A second conjecture is that student performance will lead to better economies or greater economic growth. The first conjecture seems to view education as being endogenous to economic growth or at least associated with it. The second conjecture, however, views education as being exogenous to economic growth, and it measures the change in economic growth over time to some given level of education among a cohort. In my analysis, I find that education is not related to economic growth after other structural factors are taken into account.

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