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IJER Vol 17-N2

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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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Kevin P. Brady

This special issue of the International Journal of Educational Reform takes a detailed look at various transnational legal perspectives concerning student discipline.

In the issue’s first article, Kevin P. Brady makes a detailed examination of the legal ambiguity associated with disciplining students in the United States for cyberbullying. He argues that the current lack of clear legal guidelines relating to student cyberspace-based speech and expression issues at the U.S. Supreme Court level has resulted in a handful of inconsistent lower court decisions. Moreover, this legal ambiguity has heightened owing to varying state legislative reactions to the student cyberbullying problem in U.S. schools across the country.

In this issue’s second article, Tie Fatt Hee presents a legal overview of the prevailing laws of student discipline found in Malaysia. A review of Hee’s article clearly illustrates the legal importance of the Malaysian Ministry of Education’s legal guidelines covering school behavior and discipline issues— specifically, the Education (School Discipline) Regulations of 1959. Despite complex and growing disciplinary problems faced by Malaysian schools, school administrators have consistently relied on the Ministry of Education’s guidelines and instructions, as contained in its professional circulars. Although the author hints that an overreliance on the broad and somewhatvague Malaysian Ministry of Education’s legal disciplinary guidelines is somewhat problematic in this modern age, he highlights the fact that Malaysian school principals are afforded fairly flexible discretion to determine the standard of behavior that is acceptable in schools based on a school’s unique culture and environment. Moreover, Malaysian students are given fairly high levels of procedural due process, which is discussed through a combination of landmark Malaysian case law on student discipline and references to components of the Ministry of Education’s legal disciplinary guidelines.

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Additional Articles

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Neil Taylor

Tema Maiwaikatakata

Emele Biukoto

Wili Suluma

Richard K. Coll

ABSTRACT: Improved science education is seen as an important goal for many developing countries. The role of elementary science is of particular importance, given that research has shown a high correlation between economic growth and the time spent on elementary science education. However, the teaching of science in many developing countries is dominated by a highly traditional didactic approach that many researchers believe fails to develop the understanding of scientific concepts in learners. The project discussed in this article formed part of much wider reforms aimed at improving science education in Fiji. We report on efforts to improve teacher education in elementary science in Fiji, using an innovative teaching approach consisting of pedagogy based on a constructivist-informed view of learning. The study indicated that a constructivist-based teaching approach could be effective in supporting science learning and enhancing students’ enjoyment of this subject. The findings may have implications for other science-based teacher education projects undertaken in the context of developing countries, especially when considering that this initiative will articulate with changes to the system of assessment in elementary schools.

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