508 Slices
Medium 9781475815986

Articles

International Journal of Educational Ref Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

ROSALIE GIACCHINO-BAKER

Associate Professor

Dept. of Secondary and Vocational Education

California State University San Bernardino

5500 University Parkway

San Bernardino, CA 92407-2397

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Lan Xang, Land of a Million Elephants, is at yet another crossroads in its history. Two bridges lead out of the capital city of Vientiane across the Mekong River–one to the past and the other to the future. Education could provide the only link between the two.

The first bridge, leading to Don Chan Island, is visual proof of the endurance of traditional values over a colonial legacy. Its solid concrete supports have outlasted the presence of the French who built it as a public service project during the period when they controlled the country, from 1893 to 1949. The wooden planks of the bridge are in disrepair, as is most of the infrastructure of this country that has just recently begun to open its doors after the Pathet Lao take-over of the government in 1975. Gaping holes in the flooring are patched at irregular intervals by concerned individuals when passage becomes difficult or dangerous. The traffic on the bridge, however, doesn’t stop.

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Medium 9781475816761

Is It Time for a U.S. Policy to Ban Corporal Punishment of Schoolchildren?

International Journal of Educational Ref Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Elizabeth Breshears

ABSTRACT: This article examines corporal punishment in U.S. public schools, proposes a national conversation regarding its use, and advocates for a national policy to promote nonviolent discipline methods and prohibit corporal punishment of children in educational settings. The United States remains one of the few postmodern societies without a national policy, and close to a quarter of a million students are corporally punished in public schools annually. The article briefly reviews research regarding the effectiveness of corporal punishment, describes its historical roots and current use by educators, and examines corporal punishment of schoolchildren through a human rights and social justice lens.

The United States is one of the few remaining modern societies without a national policy or legislation on corporal punishment (CP) of children in schools. The purpose of this article is to critically review the status and extent of CP of U.S. public schoolchildren, discuss the need for national discourse regarding the consequences of CP in U.S. educational settings, and call for consideration of a national ban of physical punishment of children in U.S. schools. The article briefly reviews research on effectiveness and outcomes of childhood physical punishment and examines data and current policy regarding use of CP in U.S. schools and internationally. Historical roots of CP as an educational tool are discussed, as are key legal rulings and human rights perspectives of school CP. Last, the article asserts the need for U.S. dialogue on the merits of a ban on school CP and proposes U.S. ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as a vehicle to facilitate this national conversation.

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Medium 9781475816488

Caught Between Fantasy and Reality: Confucian Values and Dilemmas of Education Reform Confronting Hong Kong’s Secondary Teachers

International Journal of Educational Ref Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Frank Wai-Ming Tam, Manhong Lai, and Ka-Ka Lam

In Chinese society, there are two Confucian teachings that have become guiding values for many teachers and have had profound influence on their educational practices for nearly 2,500 years. These values are yin cai shi jiao and you jiao wu lei. The direct translation of yin cai shi jiao is “to carry out teaching based on the material,” and there may be two meanings to this, according to common understanding. One of them is “to teach students in accordance with their aptitudes,” and the other is “to group students into similar abilities so that teachers can teach according to their levels.” The direct translation of you jiao wu lei is “to teach without classification,” and there may also be two meanings to this. One of them is “to treat students indiscriminately, regardless of their racial, ethnic, or social background,” and the other is “to make education available to all.” In the past, because of scarcity of resources and educational opportunities in Hong Kong, the provision of compulsory education to all children and the tracking of students into different categories of schools within the system are seen as being sufficient for the educational needs of the society. Recently, however, there has been increasing pressure from various stakeholders to demand a more rigorous interpretation of the Confucian values. Academics and policymakers tend to perceive equal educational opportunities for all children, as well as catering to individual differences within the classroom, as more appropriate interpretations of yin cai shi jiao and you jiao wu lei for the schooling system of the future.

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Medium 9781475816303

Reflections of Diversity: British Columbia’s Independent Schools as Indicators of Changing Parental Priorities

International Journal of Educational Ref Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Alastair Glegg

In recent years there has been a great deal of publicity given to the increasingly diverse nature of the population of Canada and the potential impact of this on the schools. At the same time, however, privacy concerns and other forms of regulation have made it increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for researchers to obtain accurate figures regarding such indicators of diversity as the ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious backgrounds of students in the public school system.

It is suggested in this article that an analysis of the changing enrollment patterns in British Columbia independent schools can help shed some light on this problem, and illustrate the growing diversity of the overall population. Over the past 20 years there has been a dramatic shift in these patterns: In 1980 approximately two thirds of all independent school students in British Columbia attended Roman Catholic schools, and although the actual number of students at these schools has increased, they now represent only one third of all independent school students. The biggest increase in enrollment has come in the so-called nonaligned independent schools, which include a growing number of religiously and ethnically oriented schools, as well as schools with specific educational philosophies. If we can take the distribution of students in independent schools as being at least to some extent representative of the school age population as a whole, then this study can help provide information to those trying to reconfigure the public schools of the province to serve the needs of an increasingly diverse society.

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Medium 9781475816174

Educational Reform Efforts in Ghana

International Journal of Educational Ref Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

GEORGE J. SEFA DEI

Professor and Head, Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies, Ontario Institute of Studies in Education, University of Toronto, 282 Bloor St. West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S-IV6

Given the current emphasis on a global techno-fix society, there is great potential that technology will explode and exacerbate existing differences between the North and the South. Even as the rhetoric pertaining to reforms heats up, glaring educational inequities (e.g., access, outcomes) persist in African education. Local governments, educators, students, parents and communities yearn for school improvement in order to address a complex array of problems ranging from lack of material and physical support (e.g., textbooks) to low retention rates in schools and irrelevant curricular and instructional practices. Dissatisfied with rote learning and regurgitation, many educators welcome a focus on developing the critical thinking skills that will allow learners to harness individual and collective creativity and resourcefulness. From this perspective, the pursuit of educational reforms should be rooted in some basic questions: How can schools effectively promote education for the good of society? How do schools promote effective learning outcomes among all students? How do schools ensure that education is defined contextually and that it is responsive to the local needs of ordinary peoples? What are the lessons of effective schooling practices in local contexts?

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