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International Journal of Educational Reform

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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International Influences on Private Education in Russia: The Case of St. Petersburg, 1991–1998

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ELENA LISOVSKAYA

College of Education, Department of Education and Professional Development, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-3465

Transition from communism eliminated many social, economic, and ideological constraints to the internationalization of Russian education. Greater openness to the world outside of Russia permitted the influx of foreign funds, human resources, and ideas capable of changing the old and shaping the new educational institutions. At the same time, internal social change, articulation of diverse group interests, and intense search for solutions to domestic problems have made Russian education and society more open to the search of resources and ideas from abroad. International influences may take various forms, ranging from reliance on foreign sponsors or socio-political and pedagogical ideas to exchange programs with foreign educators and teaching students from abroad. These influences may be analyzed in terms of input and output. Input reveals itself in such phenomena as, for instance, an increased presence of foreign students and an implementation of curricula and pedagogies that originated abroad. Output is evident in issuing internationally recognized certificates, increased importance of teaching English and other languages of international business and communication, and preparation for emigration from Russia.

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DANIEL TANNER

Department of Education Theory, Policy and Administration, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903

When Fenwick English learned that I would be leading a People-to-People delegation of North American educators to the Republic of South Africa in late 1996, he invited me to serve as guest editor of an issue on the theme of education reform in South Africa.

The incredible pace and magnitude of the reforms taking place in school and society at the time of our visit seemed overwhelming to us. Only two years before our visit, Nelson Mandela was elected president in the first democratic election in the nation’s history. In the year of our visit:

When our delegation returned home, we realized that any analysis and appraisal of education reform in South Africa required the perspective of time. With the end of Mandela’s presidency in 1999, we were now in a position to garner a perspective of the Mandela era and a prospective for what lies ahead for the New South Africa, the Rainbow Nation. In reality, the Mandela era did not come to an end, but has given the people a legacy of vision, change, and challenge in the building of democratic institutions. Members of our delegation have continued their contacts with colleagues in South Africa and have prepared the articles in this theme issue by drawing on a host of sources beyond the observations, conversations, and myriad experiences at the time of our visit as a delegation.

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Universal Values and Particularistic Values in World Educational Systems

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FAY CHUNG

UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa, P.O. Box 1177, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Introduction

The Post Cold War Global Village and Global Market

In an age when it is difficult to escape from the concept as well as the reality of the global village and the global market, it is pertinent to examine whether there are values and cultures that are universally accepted and applied, and whether on the other hand, in a pluralist world, we are bound to have differing and indeed contradictory values and cultures, and that understanding, tolerance, acceptance and integration of values and cultures that are not initially our own, are the key virtues to be cultivated.

The disintegration of the Soviet Union and the subsequent end of the Cold War appear to have resulted, on the one hand, in the dominance of Western thinking, values and culture, and on the other hand, in the strengthening of traditional values as embodied in a number of world religions, in particular Islam, which has become more and more widespread; Hinduism which has managed to become a political force in India; Christianity in the forms of Orthodox Christianity in the former Soviet Union, Roman Catholicism in many developing countries and in the United States, the Apostolic religions in East and Southern Africa, and Protestantism as expressed through the Religious Right in the United States. At the same time, as the danger of a large scale nuclear world war between the two rival ideologies of Communism and Capitalism recedes, the end of the Cold War has seen the eruption of a plethora of small but devastating conflicts, such as those epitomized by Bosnia and Rwanda. How are we to understand these hundreds of small, but nevertheless, devastating conflicts in terms of the clash of values and cultures; of opposing world views? Or, are these conflicts a manifestation of other important issues, such as the rivalry for material resources? Or, is it impossible to separate material needs from spiritual values within a society? And, what is the future picture of the nation-state within the global village?

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KAREN B. MCLEAN DONALDSON*

N156 Lagomarcino Hall, College of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011

SIPHO SEEPE

Vista University, Sebokeng Campus, Private Bag X050, VANDERBIJLPARK, 1900, South Africa

The cover photograph symbolizes the international networking transpiring with regard to curriculum transformation. During a pilot project to investigate the impact of an antiracist/multicultural curriculum on student learning and development, Iowa State University exchange student teachers (of Donaldson’s) exhibited works by their students from a female heroine assignment. Despite the controversy surrounding Ms. Mandela, the student teachers’ pupils repeatedly chose Winnie Mandela as their heroine and created reports and artwork on her contributions. The student teachers’ observations and pupils’ outlooks are consistent with those shared within the black community and her organization. It is precisely because of being so highly regarded by the disadvantaged communities that her leadership as the President of the African National Congress’ Women’s League remains unchallenged.

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DUNCAN WAITE

Professor, EAPS, Southwest Texas State University, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666

Many in the field of instructional supervision (or whatever you might call it), are questioning supervision’s mission, relevance, and its place in schooling in the new millennium (e.g., Glanz & Behar-Horenstein, 2000). It would not be amiss to say that those in the supervision field are rethinking its identity (Alfonso, 1997; Glanz, 1997; Gordon, 1997; Starratt, 1997). The professional organizations concerned with instructional supervision—The Instructional Supervision Special Interest Group (SIG) of the American Educational Research Association and the Council of Professors of Instructional Supervision (COPIS)—have taken up the challenge of examining the identity of supervision. At its two most recent meetings, the Instructional Supervision SIG invited internationally renowned, prominent scholars to address the group (Hargreaves, 1998; Cochran-Smith, 1999) in an effort to explore developments in related fields for their relevance to supervision. Likewise, members of COPIS have begun discussion of that group’s relation to the field of practice of supervision and how it might stimulate or otherwise facilitate development of a professional organization for practitioners, and its relationship to such an organization, should one come into being. Throughout this time, dialogue and debate among supervision scholars have touched on the role supervision plays in what heretofore had been its major professional organization, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), affiliation with which was once a defining element in the identity of supervision scholars and practitioners (see Krajewski, 1997). Efforts on the part of the leadership of ASCD to consider a name change for that organization—a reexamination of how well the present name fits the present organization—resulted in not a little anxiety for supervision theorists and scholars. It seems, with the coming of a new millennium, many entities, organizations, and individuals are taking stock and beginning to consider alternative futures.

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ADILA PASALIC-KRESO*

Associate Professor, Faculty of Philosophy. Department of Education, University of Sarajevo

CHARLES J. RUSSO

Professor, Department of Educational Administration, College of Education, 300 College Park, Dayton, Ohio 45469-0534

One of the key factors that every country depends on is the education of its young. Individuals who lack a formal education will be incapable of providing for themselves, will completely be lost in the modern world, and will be unable to contribute to the welfare of their countries by being productive citizens. As reflected by U.N. Documents, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959), and Convention on the Rights of Child (1989), and practices throughout the world, education has been recognized as a fundamental human right. In fact, most nations dedicate significant portions of their budgets to education based on the recognition that these funds are an essential investment that will pay dividends in the future.

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SCOTT C. BAUER

Assistant Professor Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations, University of New Orleans, 348 Education Building, New Orleans, LA 70148-2515

The literature on site-based management is widely criticized on several grounds. First, even as researchers assert that site-based management is poorly defined and that there is no single, best approach to implementing the process (Ogawa and White, 1994; Sharpe, 1996), a single model tends to be stressed. This model defines site-based management as devolving authority over issues relating to budget, staffing, and certain aspects of curriculum to the school site, normally to a council made up of the building principal, teachers, other school staff, and parents (Ogawa and White, 1994). Second, there are few systematic studies of the implementation of collaborative decision-making processes. Most of the literature consists of advocacy pieces associated with a district’s implementation of the process, plan descriptions, and anecdotal accounts of “what works” (Malen, Ogawa, and Kranz, 1990b); few studies use formal theory to guide the process of inquiry (Smylie, Lazarus, and Brownlee-Conyers, 1996). The ambiguous nature of the subject, and the fact that sites define “site-based management” differently, make it hard to compare studies. The commission reports advocating adoption of decentralized decision making offer few suggestions as to the steps needed to implement it (Conley and Bacharach, 1987) and the literature on site-based management seldom addresses planning and implementation (Miles and Louis, 1990; Cotton, 1993), focusing instead on reviewing extant programs in terms of their progress in meeting stated goals (Malen, 1993).

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MIMI WOLVERTON*

Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling Psychology, Washington State University, Box 642136, Pullman, WA 99164-2136

WALTER GMELCH

Dean, College of Education, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011

An educated workforce has been the United States’ number one asset in the past and must remain so in the future—in part because knowledge has become a central resource of society (Drucker, 1993; Kanter, 1989). This cannot be done “with policies, programs, and expectations rooted in a traditional system that is rapidly disappearing” (Kanter, 1989, p. 365). The general populace no longer automatically accepts what schools offer as adequate. In fact, today’s citizemy “expects from schools what it expects elsewhere: better service, lower cost, and higher quality of a mix of products that satisfies its senses of what a good education ought to provide” (Zemesky, Massy, and Oedel, 1993, p. 56).

To say that schooling is increasingly becoming a joint venture between schools and the workplace understates the magnitude of recent shifts in public opinion. Educators can no longer continue to do what has always been done in a vain attempt to preserve what has always been. The majority of Americans believe that education is the most important issue facing the country. Only 5 percent believe that external constituents, like business, should not play an active role in determining the future of education (Kanter, 1997). Many advocate a higher level of community responsibility for education (Kanter, 1997; Popcorn, 1992). Drucker goes so far as to say that those involved in schools must believe that “education is the one absolute good” (Drucker, 1993, p. 100). Indeed, everyone must take responsibility for the objectives, contributions, and behaviors of schools (Drucker, 1993, p. 108; Kanter, 1997).

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Effective Island, Effective Schools: Repairing and Restructuring in the Singapore School System

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LESLIE SHARPE

Professor, Policy and Management Studies Division, Nanyang Technological University, National Institute of Education, 469 Bukit Timah Road, Republic of Singapore 259756

S. GOPINATHAN

Dean, School of Education, Nanyang Technological University, National Institute of Education, 469, Timah Road, Republic of Singapore, Singapore 259756

The last few years have seen a radical process of “restructuring” of school systems taking place in many industrialised countries (Beare and Boyd, 1993). A major impetus for this restructuring is undoubtedly economic—that schools have been perceived by governments as not serving the needs of the economy and in some ways actually being responsible for economic decline. Countries such as the U.S. and the UK, where schooling and industry had for many years been clearly separated, and where issues of equity and justice had dominated educational discourse, were, in the late seventies and eighties forced to place economic efficiency at the top of their agendas (Silver, 1994). Moreover, in the U.S., the publication of A Nation at Risk (National Commission on Excel lence in Education, 1983) articulated a causal linkage between economic decline and schooling and provided the ideological justification for education to be taken out of the hands of professional educators. Education had entered the realm of “High Politics” and erstwhile attempts at “repair” were replaced by a fundamental “restructuring” of the internal and external environments of school systems (Guthrie and Koppich, 1993; Murphy, 1991).

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REBECCA SHORE

Westminster High School, 14325 Goldenwest Street, Westminster, CA 92683

Research shows that one of the most important aspects of successful teaching and learning is in the use of the professional teachers in the organization (Darling-Hammond and McLaughlin, 1995; Swanson, 1995; Wohlstetter, 1995). Due partially to the newness of the charter school experiment, we know very little about how charter schools are using teachers in different capacities to enhance learning outcomes and increase professionalism. There is an enormous need to know how teachers are being utilized in charter schools, beyond traditional roles.

The expressed hope of prominent educators, legislators and concerned public members has been that, given the opportunity, educators will avail themselves of the chance to make substantial changes in the structure of their existing education programs through the California charter school provisions (Wells, Hirshberg, and Datnow, 1994). It is the intent of the California charter school legislation, SB 1448, that “new professional opportunities for teachers” be created. Proponents of charter schools claim that these schools offer public school teachers the best route presently available for assuming the role of true professionals (Wohlstetter, Wenning, and Briggs, 1995).

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Should Quality School Education be a Kaizen (Improvement) or an Innovation?

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NICHOLAS SUN-KEUNG PANG

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong, China

In March 1991 in Hong Kong, the Education and Manpower Branch and the Education Department published the School Management Initiative: Setting the Framework for Quality in Hong Kong Schools (SMI) to reform schools on a school-based management model. Its concern is improvement of the quality of education. In November 1996, the Education Commission in Hong Kong published a consultation document, Education Commission Report No. 7: Quality School Education (ECR7). Its major concern is again the quality of school education. If the SMI has already set the framework for quality for Hong Kong schools in the last five years, why do Hong Kong schools need the ECR7? What have been the problems with the SMI? Will there be another policy document stressing that school should be the center for quality improvement in 2001?

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ROGER KAUFMAN

Professor and Director, Office for Needs Assessment and Planning

The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2022

The past, present, and future of education documents the relentless shift

Education’s past could be fairly characterized by good intentions. Improvement has long been the rallying cry, but instead we have gotten innovation without positive consequences. In the last decade we have seen rolling focuses in classrooms and teaching from segregation to desegregation, from the three Rs to the reform in curriculum that emphasized choice over substance, from a sole focus on “in seat” hours to flexible scheduling and team teaching, from diversity concepts to voluntary resegregation, from tests to testing to assessment to portfolios, from behaviorism to cognitivism to Constructivism to pragmatism, from narrow presentation of facts to the widening of our performance improvement horizons, from a splintered focus on individual performers to literally adding value to the entire world. Education has moved from a preoccupational focus on “how” to now also include “what results to achieve” and an additional concern for “why” improved performance at all can and should emerge.

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LAWRENCE D. WEINBERG

Doctoral student in the Administration, Training and Policy Studies in the School of Education at Boston University, 135 Washington Street, Apt. 6, Brighton, MA 02135

CHARLES J. RUSSO*

Professor and Chair, Department of Educational Administration, School of Education, 324 Chaminade Hall, Dayton, OH 45469-0534

ALLAN G. OSBORNE

Assistant Principal at Snug Harbor Community School in Quincy, MA and Visiting Associate Professor at Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, MA 02325

Introduction

Vouchers and other methods of ensuring school choice are not new. In fact, the debate over choice may be as old as the nation itself. Even though public aid to religious schools was originally a nonissue because the state-run schools of the seventeenth century had a religious function, twentieth century interpretations of the First Amendment have drastically changed the relationship between the government and religious education. Although most states have constitutional provisions prohibiting the establishment of religion, the implications for the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the federal Establishment Clause are still great. In other words, even though state constitutions can be more protective against the establishment of religion, if the Supreme Court struck down vouchers or another type of aid to nonpublic schools, then they would be unconstitutional throughout the country. Conversely, if the Court were to uphold a particular program, this would not ensure that they would automatically be legal elsewhere. Thus, whether a voucher program is based on state or federal law is significant to its ability to withstand judicial scrutiny.

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Constructing a New Social Identity: Taiwan’s Curricular Reforms of the Nineties

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CHIN-JU MAO

Department of Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Educational Science, 1025 West Johnson St., Madison, WI 53706-1796

Introduction

Taiwan’s rapid socioeconomic and political development which began in the 1980s has created a new social context in which civil society is reviving amidst challenges to the state’s authority. The women’s movement, aboriginal human-rights movement, political victims human-rights movement, and indigenous cultural movement are reflected in curricular reform. As the medium of cultural construction of social identity, curricular reform represents a struggle over who constructs whose identity and what is constructed. Curricular reform reflecting the eradication of gender stereotypes, ethnic discrimination, and sinocentricism in the contents of the elementary and middle school curricula reflect the process of Taiwanese identity reconstruction.

Following the trajectory of social transformation, Taiwan’s curricular reform focuses on teaching indigenous languages and cultures. These reforms are closely associated with a larger social transformation in which liberalization, democratization, and indigenization are the aims for which Taiwanese society is striving. In contrast to a sinocentric curriculum, the indigenous curriculum emphasizes the land, the history, and the diversity of Taiwan to which people’s past, present, and future are closely connected. The indigenous curriculum assigns a new importance to “the discovery of Taiwan” that was distinctly absent in sinocentric education. At the historical conjunction of this conversion, this article tries to make sense of what is happening in Taiwan’s curricular reform and its relation to the construction of a new social identity.

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HOWARD THOMAS

Lecturer, School of Professional Studies, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology

Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove Campus, Locked Bag No. 2, Red Hill, Queensland, Australia 4059

Father, I was going to fix things up. I was going to help them get things right. Father, forgive me for I have sinned. I have done things that I should not have done, and I have not done things that I should have done. And there is no health in me – and maybe not in Cambodia as a result of my working. And I don’t know whether I have learned enough!

The international education industry is strong and thriving, especially now that institutions of higher education and Western education systems have been forced to recognise the moneymaking potential of taking a “charitable” stance toward education in developing countries. How well are consultants and workers in non-government organisations (NGOs) doing in providing genuine leadership and assistance to these countries?

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RONALD A. LINDAHL

Professor and Chair, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, East Tennessee State University, P.O. Box 70550, Johnson City, TN 37614-0550

As do many others around the globe, Dalin, Rolff, and Kleekamp (1993) contend that “the world changing dramatically; we are in the middle of a major paradigm shift, and add-on changes to the existing schools are inadequate” (p. 2). However, there is natural resistance to change in organizations. Owens (1995) notes that even add-on changes proceed very slowly, taking fifteen years to reach 3 percent of the schools [in the United States], and an additional twenty years before attaining a diffusion range equivalent to the average state (p. 209). Deeper change, or reform, meets even more resistance. As Mohrman et al. (1991) note, “Even setting aside the question of whether the political interests of resisters actually are served by opposition to the change, the depth dimension indicates that in many cases employees will resist the change because it threatens the way of making sense of the world—and thus calls their values and rationality (and thus, in a sense, their sanity) into question” (p. 15). Senge (1990) echoes this, asserting that “Resistance to change is neither capricious nor mysterious. It almost always arises from threats to traditional norms and ways of doing things” (p. 88). The urgency and magnitude of current paradigm shifts seem inescapable. Therefore, to counteract the inherent resistance, new perspectives and understandings of reform are needed.* Because its environment has undergone several major social, cultural, and economic paradigm shifts in the past four decades, Cuba’s educational system offers an interesting case study for reflecting on systemic change.

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STEPHEN L. JACOBSON *

Associate Professor of Educational Administration

Graduate School of Education

State University of New York at Buffalo

471 Baldy Hall

Buffalo, NY 14260

Introduction

For at least the past two decades, education has been the subject of increased public scrutiny and debate. Conventional wisdom about the appropriate role of education within the economic, political, and social fabric of society is being questioned and challenged. Strongly held, but potentially competing, public values such as equity and excellence, efficiency and choice, have been contested in the policy recommendations of wave after wave of school reform. Attempting to reconcile rapidly changing policy perspectives with the “sacred norms” of school practice has become the bane of educational leaders, particularly principals, because it is at the schoolhouse that the “rubber” of public policy meets the “road” of educational practice. Principals are being asked (or, more often, told) to “reform” and/or “restructure” their schools.

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Peter McLaren

Professor of Education

University of California, Los Angeles

College of Education

Los Angeles, CA 90024-1521

Dolores Delgado Bernal holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum Theory and Teaching Studies from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. She recently completed her dissertation as a Fellow at UC Davis’ Chicana/Latina Research Center. Her research and teaching focuses on Chicana activism, school resistance, and bilingual cross cultural development in teacher education.

Daniel G. Solorzano is an Associate Professor in Social Sciences and Comparative Education at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Using a critical race theory framework, his research and teaching focuses on the experiences of Chicana and Chicano students, especially those in higher education.

Peter: I am very interested in the way you [Dolores and Danny] have both reconceptualized theoretical constructs in your work. The theoretical issues you raise appear to have much relevance not only for the education of Latinas/os in Los Angeles, but also for educators around the country who are interested in working with working class communities in the larger struggle for social justice. Dolores, how do you frame the challenge of using the language of the academy to interpret lived experiences of working class communities?

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