IJER Vol 22-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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School Reform: Community, Corporatism, and the Social Good

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Richard R. Verdugo

ABSTRACT: Paradigms are important. Since the early part of the 20th century, a corporatist paradigm has influenced education policy and structure. A corporatist view is based on two assumptions: Schools are like businesses; therefore, sound business practices will improve schools. Another paradigm that has received only minimal attention in formulating education policy in the United States is a community paradigm, which envisions education as a comprehensive endeavor and the integration of students into the larger social system as the paramount goal. Both paradigms have views about the social good, and in my article, I attempt to outline each paradigm, its assumptions, and its potential impact on schooling in the United States.

Paradigms are important. The business paradigm emerged as a ubiquitous influence on many social institutions shortly after World War II. A small group of European immigrant intellectuals, mostly Austrian, faced off with an English-born scholar, and their battle, so to speak, would have long-lasting effects on U.S. domestic policy. The five immigrant intellectuals were Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Joseph Schumpeter, Karl Popper, and Peter Drucker. The views of these five scholars would hold U.S. domestic policy in its grip for years to come.

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Teaching About the Holocaust: Major Educational Predicaments, Proposals for Reform, and Change—An International Perspective

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Zehavit Gross

ABSTRACT: The aim of this article is to analyze the findings of a research project on how the Holocaust is taught around the world. The project analyzes central issues and educational events that occur while teaching the Holocaust “behind the classroom door,” in public schools in different countries. Researchers from 10 nations participated in the project: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Estonia, Scotland, Australia, the United States, Canada, and Israel. One of the major findings of this research was that although the official establishment is very interested in teaching the subject of the Holocaust, teachers can find it hard to teach because of resistance by their students, who occasionally react in class with cynical, racist, anti-Semitic, and antidemocratic remarks. In all the countries, researchers indicate three principal ways of handling the question of the Holocaust: education, teacher training, and research.

The aim of this article is to analyze the findings of a UNESCO research project on how the Holocaust is taught around the world (see International Bureau of Education, 2010). The project analyzes central issues and educational events that occur while teaching the Holocaust “behind the classroom door,” in public schools in different countries. Researchers from 10 nations participated in the project: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Estonia, Scotland, Australia, the United States, Canada, and Israel.

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Language and Culture Restrictions and Discrimination in K–12 Private Schools: An Australian Perspective

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Joy Cumming
Ralph Mawdsley

ABSTRACT: In a companion article, we considered legal issues in language and culture in private schooling in two U.S. contexts: Silva v. St. Anne Catholic School and Doe v. Kamehameha Schools. In this article, we consider the facts and findings of these two cases under the human rights and antidiscrimination legal frameworks of Australia to consider whether the same or different outcomes would emerge. Australia and the United States are multicultural countries with indigenous populations and have similar legal frameworks. However, the analysis shows that a different framework for considering the rights of individuals could lead to different judicial outcomes. The discussion highlights the way that fundamental differences influence the way that societal values are reflected in education.

In a companion article (Mawdsley & Cumming, 2013) we considered legal issues in language and culture in private schooling in two U.S. contexts: Silva v. St. Anne Catholic School (2009), where a school English-only language policy prevents students from Hispanic backgrounds speaking Hispanic at school, justified for maintenance of school order, and Doe v. Kamehameha Schools (2010), where admission policy restricts students’ cultural background to promote educational outcomes and preserve Hawaiian culture and language. In Silva, legal issues included compliance with U.S. federal antidiscrimination legislation, as the school was in receipt of federal funding. The federal district court found that the plaintiffs had failed to produce evidence that the English-only policy was discriminatory under Title VI (§ 2000d) or § 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (42 U.S.C.), because they had experienced no adverse action. As Kamehameha is a private school with wealthy endowment and does not receive federal funds, much federal legislation does not necessarily apply. However § 1981 compliance is required. The original federal court found that admission policy did not violate § 1981, as it constituted a valid race-conscious remedial affirmative action program (Kamehameha, pp. 1166–1167).

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Principals’ Perceptions of Professional Development in High- and Low-Performing High-Poverty Schools

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Sheila Moore
Frances Kochan

ABSTRACT: This is the second part of a two-part study examining issues related to professional development in high-poverty schools. The findings from the initial study indicated that principals in high-poverty, high-performing schools perceived higher levels of implementation of quality professional development standards in their schools than did principals of high-poverty, low-performing schools. This study was conducted to determine whether these principals faced similar or dissimilar barriers in implementing high-quality professional development standards and whether they had similar factors in place to facilitate the use of such standards. While the barriers appeared to be quite similar, there were wide differences in the facilitative factors present in the two types of schools. Principals in high-performing schools appeared to be aware of and able to use facilitative factors to foster high-quality professional development practices, while principals in low-performing schools are not. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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Teachers’ Micropolitics and School Change in Vietnam

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Chi Binh Bui

ABSTRACT: The study describes and analyzes teachers’ micropolitics to serve two purposes: to understand how teachers make sense with the way change is led and to interpret if the way they make sense can influence the change process. This empirical study revealed the following: Teachers felt that their professional development was affected because of change tasks; the way they made sense as such would predictably determine the change process; teachers’ micropolitics was always played out in inseparable interaction with leadership; and the forms of teachers’ micropolitics and teachers’ seniority were surprisingly correlational.

This article first revisits two important concepts: the professional self and the subjective educational theory concerning micropolitics, which often occurs in various forms during school change implementation. These conceptual instruments are two components in teachers’ interpretative (cognitive) framework. Instrumentalizing them in practice is necessary for school leaders to spot teachers’ micropolitics and lead change. The article then presents the methodological underpinnings that guided my study—from study design to research question formulation, data collection, data analysis, and interpretation. Some basics of the study context are also mentioned to enhance the rich description of the data collected. What follows is an analysis of the results and discussion. I argue that, predicated on the analysis, educational research in micropolitics must be done in its interaction with leadership to adequately reflect educational realities. At the end of the article, I mentioned study limitations and recommend some issues for further research.

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