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IJER Vol 13-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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8 Articles

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Treating Violence in the School Through Traditional Martial Arts

ePub

Israel Kim

In a comprehensive survey of the literature title “Coping With Violence in the School System,” Benbenisti, Astor, and Marachi (2003) map out the programs being deployed throughout the school system today. Those programs listed are “peace builders,” “second step,” “Richmond’s youth against violence,” “student’s project for peace,” “community service plan,” “strategies for the prevention of youth violence,” “FAST-track families and school,” and “brainpower and YLYG” in Cleveland, Ohio.

None of the above programs for preventing school violence uses martial arts techniques as preventive measures. The particular martial art we will examine is GoJu (meaning literally hard and soft). It is not a fad that comes and goes but rather a well-based program grounded in the traditional Chinese philosophy called “Dao.” The intent of this study is to introduce the GoJu martial arts to the Israeli school system as a primary and especially secondary prevention of school violence.

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Globalization or Marketization? The Dilemma of International Schools in South Korea

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Sheena Choi

In fundamental ways, the forces of globalization challenge the previous approaches and theories of national development. In the minds of some observers, globalization is an exaggerated form of global capitalism; in the view of others, it is a wake-up call to look for alternative forms to the new social and cultural arrangements that are being spontaneously generated by globalization. (Stromquist & Monkman, 2000b, p. viii)

As the epigraph suggests, globalization engenders many different and even contradictory phenomena: opportunity for some and challenge for others. Added to this complexity is the foreshortened proximity of the world, spatially and psychologically, through technological development that enables the influx of goods, population, and information across national borders. The issue of international schools is driven by the challenges that globalization presents. To provide accommodation for spatially (and sometimes socially) mobile populations, there is a growing demand for international schools. Many countries have developed ad hoc international schools within their territories to accommodate such populations.

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Teachers’ Value Orientation Toward Parental Involvement in School-Based Management in Hong Kong

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Shun-wing Ng

Involving parents in school management is one of the recommendations in the framework of school-based management (SBM) in Hong Kong. Thus, to set the platform for home-school cooperation in school management, there is a need to develop partnership between parents and school in the current education reform movement in Hong Kong. The innovation was first introduced in the policy document “The School Management Initiative (SMI),” which was regarded as the blueprint of SBM in 1991, in which the tenth recommendation is described as follows:

Recommendation 10: School management frameworks should allow for participation in decision making, according to formal procedures, by all concerned parties including: all teaching staff; the Principal; the SMC; and (to an appropriate degree) parents and students. (Education and Manpower Bureau and Education Department, 1991, p. 37)

Notably, very specific instructions for getting parents involved in the school management were spelled out. However, the teaching professionals objected to the recommendation of inviting parents as school managers. They argued whether it was an appropriate time to let parents become school governors and tended to view parents as unwelcome intruders (Chan, Ho, Tsang, & Wong, 1993; Ng, 1999). After 6 years of debate and practice including parents at different levels of school education, such as participating in parent seminars and PTAs, volunteering in school operations, being members of consultative committees, and so forth, the initiative became mandatory in the policy document—Education Commission Report No. 7—in 1997 where all schools in Hong Kong are required to implement SBM in 2000 and onward and where parents who are recognized as one of the stakeholders of children’s education are legitimately granted the role of school governor. In this regard, the consultation on the composition of the School Council in each school was launched in 2000 (Advisory Committee on SBM, 2000). There were debates and compromises made between parent organizations and school organizations. Eventually, it was proposed in the Education (Amendment) Bill 2002 that two parent representatives be included as the “parent manager” and the “alternate parent manager” in the School Council.

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Getting Good Results From Survey Research: Part III

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James F. McNamara

This article is the third contribution to a research methods series dedicated to getting good results from survey research. In this series, good results is a stenographic term used to define surveys that yield accurate and meaningful information that decision makers can use with confidence when conducting program evaluation and policy assessment studies.

From a research perspective, a survey earns a decision maker’s confidence when it achieves “high marks” for population validity (provides a representative sample), measurement validity (provides a well-designed questionnaire), and conclusion validity (yields an accurate data analysis and report preparation strategy). More detailed information on these validity requirements was presented in the initial article in this series (McNamara, 2004a).

The second article in this series was used to recommend a basic reference library that practitioners could use to understand all that is involved in the design, implementation, and evaluation of a survey. This reference library (McNamara, 2004b) was constructed to address these six knowledge domains: (1) theory of survey research, (2) practice of survey research, (3) sampling plans, (4) questionnaire design, (5) data analysis and report preparation, and (6) evaluation of published surveys.

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Mentoring of Student Teachers and Its Impact on Pupils and Schools

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Halil Isik

Initial teacher training was a new concept in the beginning of the 19th century (Gardner, 1994) and has undergone a tremendous amount of change since then, and into the 1990s (Bonnet, 1996; Feiman-Nemser, 1996, 1997; Furlong et al., 1996; Hallinan & Khmelkov, 2001; Hansen & Simonsen, 2001; Holmes Group, 1990; Thompson & Ross, 2000). Currently, the common element of this change process is to invoke more practical training in schools (Bullough et al., 2002; Evans & Abbott, 1997; Hannan, 1995; Hargreaves & Fullan, 2000; Holmes Group, 1990; Jones, 2001).

The purpose of this study is to determine the impact of the mentoring activities within schools. This study is delimited by the impact of mentoring activities in schools in the areas of instruction and learning, student behaviors and discipline, time management in the classrooms, and the psychological well-being of teachers and student teachers.

In 1997, the National Committee on Teacher Education (NCTE) was established and supported by the World Bank to study teacher training programs in Turkey. Members of the committee included individuals from various organizations such as teacher training colleges, YÖK (Higher Education Council), and MEB (Ministry of National Education). Responsibilities of the committee were:

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Predictors of Academic Achievement for Elementary Teacher Education Students in Turkey

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Sener Büyüköztürk

Studies examining the important predictors of academic achievement of elementary teacher education students help us understand the predictors of student achievement. These studies (House, 2000b; Ting & Bryant, 2001; Zheng, Saunders, Shelley, & Whalen, 2002) focus on the relationship between academic achievement and a number of cognitive as well as noncognitive variables. Cognitive variables include high school achievement, standard aptitude tests, and university admission examinations. Noncognitive variables, often called psychosocial variables, include psychological, cultural, and social characteristics (Ting, 1997).

Walsh and Betz (1995) claim that aptitude tests are important predictors of future academic achievement. Brody (1997) found a positive relationship between the results of aptitude tests and students’ future academic achievement. In Turkey, in order to enroll in undergraduate programs, students are required to take a centralized exam, the University Entrance Exam (UEE), which measures general academic aptitude and mental reasoning. The assumption here is that the UEE places students into programs where they can be successful (Aşkar, 1985; Kuzgun, 2000). Thornell and Mccoy (1985) argue that tests with the objective of selecting and placing students have to be important predictors of future academic achievement. There is a body of literature (Boyden, 1973; House, 1998, 2000a, 2000b; Özdoğan, 1988; Ting, 1997, 2000; Ting & Bryant, 2001; Tinto, 1993; Yıldırım, 1972; Zheng et al., 2002) that indicates measuring student academic ability before admition to a university using standardized test scores such as Scholastic Achievement Tests (SAT) and the American College Teaching (ACT) in United States and the UEE in Turkey are important predictors of student achievement. On the other hand, there are studies (Begik, 1997; Hall & Marchant, 2000) that found no significant correlation between standardized scores from the Student Selection Examination and academic achievement in college.

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Establishing Authentic Lithuanian Culture and Values in Post-Soviet Educational Policy and Practice

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Stephen E. Williams

Philip Gray

This article considers the role of culture in establishing a program of educational reform in Lithuania, a former Soviet Bloc state. Specifically, through a comparative analysis of survey information from an international cross-section of individuals involved with educational reform programs in Lithuania at the local, regional, and national levels, the article examines the role, importance, and problems associated with infusing a reformed educational program that is representative of Lithuanian culture. The survey respondents included representatives from the Lithuanian teacher corps, at the elementary, secondary, and university levels, Lithuanian educational administrators, as well as educators from the United States and Canada who have been involved with educational reform programs in Lithuania for the past 10 years.

Although there has been considerable progress in developing a reformed system of education at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels in Lithuania since its emergence as an independent nation-state, it is still a work in progress and one with some obstacles yet to be overcome. One of the issues to be settled is how and to what degree the newly reformed educational system in the country will reflect a genuinely Lithuanian culture. The scope and complexity of the problem is indeed significant. To understand it fully one needs to be reminded that except for a brief internecine period between World War I and World War II Lithuania has not been an independent nation for several hundred years. It has been alternately administrated by Poland, Germany, and Russia to name a few. For the purposes of this article, culture is intended to describe the ethnic, social, linguistic, religious, political, and artistic traditions of the country. Given the long-term occupation and settlement of Lithuania by non-Lithuanian sources, it is easy to understand how identifying and resurrecting a genuine cultural sensibility in the educational reform initiatives might be problematic. Identifying a genuine Lithuania cultural tradition was made more difficult given the sweeping attempts of the Soviets during their occupation to eradicate Lithuanian culture. So successful was the Soviet program of cultural eradication that reestablishing genuine cultural traditions was perceived by many to be among the most formidable and important task facing the Lithuanian people. It has been pointed out that even “in Spain, Portugal, or Greece . . . right wing dictatorships never imposed the same kind of devastation that the communist imposed” (Schoplin, 1992, p. 647).

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Ten Sins Challenging Education in the Contemporary Global Era: A Philosophical Essay

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Ilghiz M. Sinagatullin

As the new century begins, not all things are organized properly in human culture. Forgetting about their most important goal in this life, to be good citizens of their own countries and the world and to serve for the well-being of humanity, a considerable number of people are lured by materialistic and technological luxuries, easy ways of acquiring wealth and fame, intoxicating liquids and substances, and bodily pleasures. These and other curves have a negative impact on all domains of life, with education as an exclusively vulnerable entity suffering most. The study focuses on some of the salient deviations of humanity, impeding the progressive development of education—a major priority and stronghold of human civilization. Prior to discussing the main issues, I will briefly characterize the contemporary globalization era. These days, whether we cherish it or not, we tend to and have to correlate almost all serious domains of life—and education is one such entity—not only with domestic matters, but also with global changes. By doing so, the notion of globalization and related questions immediately emerge in our minds.

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