Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: Schooling; School Reform; Educational Theory; Student-Centred Learning; Student Testing.

Levin, B. (2001). Reforming education: From origins to outcomes. London: Routledge 2001.


This book includes a study of large-scale education reform in five different settings: England, New Zealand, the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Manitoba and the US state of Minnesota. The book considers a variety of reforms covering: school choice; charter schools; increased testing of students; stricter curriculum guidelines; and local school management. Drawing from theoretical and empirical work in education, political theory, organizational theory and public administration, a clearly developed conceptual framework of analyzing reform programs is presented. The author reviews the political origins of the reforms, the process of adoption into law, the implementation processes used to support the reforms and the impact of the reforms on students, schools and communities.
KEY WORDS: Education and State; Cross-Cultural Studies; Educational Change; Formal Education; Schooling.

Livingstone, D. W., & Stowe, S. (2001). Class and university education: Inter-generational patterns in Canada. NALL Working Paper No. 36. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT. Available at: www.nall.ca.


Young people from lower class origins continue to face major barriers to university education in Canada. This paper documents both substantial inter-generational class mobility and continuing inequalities in formal educational attainments by class origins. While Canada now has the world's highest educational attainments in its youth cohorts and has experienced rapid growth in adult education participation as well, those from professional/managerial families remain more than three times as likely to attain a degree as those from working class origins. There is also mounting evidence that escalating financial costs are again increasing the relative class inequalities in university education. These large and increasing class inequalities are compared with the much more equitable and extensive participation in informal learning found in a recent national survey, as well as the underemployment of working class people in the Canadian job structure. In light of these educational and economic inequalities, needs-based student subsidies and democratic workplace reforms are seen as major means to address persistent systemic discrimination against the learning capacities and aspirations for university education of those from lower class origins.
KEY WORDS: Access to Education; College Students; Equal Education; Foreign Countries; Higher Education; Low Income Groups; Minority Groups; Social Class; Socioeconomic Status; Formal Education; Schooling.

Livingstone, D. W., & Stowe, S. (2007). Class, race, space, and unequal educational outcomes in the United States: Beyond dichotomies. In J. Kincheloe & S. Steinberg (Eds.), Cutting class: Socioeconomic status and education (pp. 97-119). Blue Ridge Summit, PA: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.


In this chapter, the authors assess the current relationship among social class, place of residence, and education success in the United States. The study focuses on school completion rates by family class origins and residential area, as well as race and gender, with emphasis on the relatively low completion rates of those from lower-class origins and inner city or rural areas.
KEY WORDS: Class; Graduation; Disadvantage; Educational Outcomes.

Marks, G. (2006). Are between- and within-school differences in student performance largely due to socio-economic background? Evidence from 30 countries. Educational Research, 48(1), 21-40.


This article posits that educational differentiation (the allocation of students to different types of school or different locations within schools) is a common feature of contemporary education systems. In most countries, student outcomes vary considerably, both by school and academic location within schools. The research aims to study the extent that between- and within-school differences in student performance can be attributed to students' socio-economic background and their home resources. Using OECD's 2000 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), the study uses a 30 country sample of 15-year-old students' performance in reading, mathematics and science. Multiple regression analysis indicates that in most countries the intra-class correlations and the effects of academic location declined only marginally. This was particularly evident in countries with large between-school differences such as the tracked systems of continental Europe. The author concludes that differences in student performance between and within schools cannot be accounted for by socio-economic background. The study lends some support to the official rational for tracking and other forms of educational differentiation and that the allocation of students to different school types and academic locations within schools is largely based on student ability.
KEY WORDS: Tracking; Between-school Differences; Academic Achievement; Cross-National Studies; Socio-economic Background; Schools.

McLean, S. (2008). Extending resources, fostering progress, or meeting needs? University extension and continuing education in western Canada. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 29(1), 91-103.


Providing a concise, historical overview of university extension and continuing education in western Canada, the author argues that the major universities in western Canada made three basic claims regarding the purposes of their extension and continuing education units over the course of the twentieth century. Prior to 1940, universities claimed that continuing education extended the resources of the university for the benefit of those not enrolled as full-time students. In the 1940s and 1950s, universities claimed that social and economic progress was fostered by offering such units. Since the 1960s, universities have claimed that such units exist to meet the lifelong learning needs of individuals. This article argues ideological and political-economic developments have driven these shifts in rhetoric, particularly the rise of wage labour as the primary means of making a living in the region.
KEY WORDS: Continuing Education; Adult Education; Part-time Students; Lifelong Learning; Wage Labour; University.

Neuman, S., & Celano, D. (2006). The knowledge gap: Implications of leveling the playing field for low-income and middle-income children. Reading Research Quarterly, 41(2), 176-201.


This study examines children's uses of literacy resources in public libraries that have been redesigned to improve accessibility. Funding allowed the public library system of Philadelphia to upgrade the technology in local libraries, with the aim to improve the lives of disadvantaged children and their families by closing the achievement gap. Using a variety of ethnographic methodologies, four studies examined children's uses of library resources in low-income and middle-income areas of the city at three points: prior to renovations and technology, right after, and one year later. Results indicated that despite heavy library use across low-income and middle-income preschoolers, elementary, and teens, quality differentials in the way resources were used appeared at all age levels, prior to, immediately after, and stronger still following technology renovations. These studies suggest equal resources to economically unequal groups did not level the playing field. Instead, it appeared to widen the knowledge gap between low-income and middle-income children.
KEY WORDS: Achievement Gap; Libraries; Literacy; Class; Pedagogy.

OECD. (2001). Knowledge and skills for life. First results from OECD programme for international student assessment (PISA) 2000. Paris: OECD.


This report assesses how far students near the end of compulsory schooling (15-year-olds) have acquired some of the knowledge and skills that are essential for full participation in society. It presents data on student performance in reading, mathematical and scientific literacy, suggests factors that influence the development of these skills at home and at school, and explores the implications for policy development. The report presents considerable variation in levels of knowledge and skills between students, schools and countries. The degree to which the socio-economic background of students and schools affects student performance varies. Some countries have managed to lessen the influence of social background and some have done that while achieving a high overall mean performance.
KEY WORDS: Knowledge and Skills; Student Performance; Reading; Mathematics; Policy Development; Formal Education; Schooling.

Ortiz, F. I., & Gonzales, R. (2000). Latino high school students' pursuit of higher education. Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, 25(1), 67-107.


This case study shows how joint organizational efforts and individual initiative counteracted social structures inhibiting Latino students' pursuit of higher education. A high school principal, university president, institutional units responsible for student preparation and access to college, students, and their parents created social relationships, activities, and structures to raise Latino students' eligibility for University of California admission.
KEY WORDS: Access to Education; Administrator Role; Case Studies; College Bound Students; College Preparation; College School Cooperation; Counselor Role; Educational Cooperation; Equal Education; Higher Education; Hispanic American Students; Institutional Role; Parent Role; Parent School Relationship; Secondary Education; Social Theories; Teacher Role; Institutional Racism; Latinos; University of California; Formal Education; Schooling.

Planty, M., Provasnik, S., Hussar, W., Snyder, T., Kena, G., Hampden-Thompson, G., et al. (2007). Condition of education, 2007. (No. NCES 2007-064). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

The report identifies important developments and trends, presenting 48 indicators on the status and condition of education and a special analysis on high school course enrollment. The 2007 edition includes 48 indicators in five main areas: (1) participation in education; (2) learner outcomes; (3) student effort and educational progress; (4) the contexts of elementary and secondary education; and (5) the contexts of postsecondary education.
KEY WORDS: Education; Schooling; Public Education; United States; Indicators; Learner Outcomes.

Rauschenbach, T. (2003). Educational dilemma. [Un]Intended side effects of formal education. Diskurs, 13(2), 50-58.


The PISA results form the background for tracking down individual stages of the educational reform project. The author examines an educational dilemma in modern German society. In his opinion, educational reform is rooted in the fact that the public perspective has been narrowed down to school as the only place of learning & to lessons as the only mode of learning. The author pleads for changing this perspective in the current debate, & to see educational processes as the result of the diachronic & synchronic interplay of different places & modes of learning throughout the life courses of children & adolescents. In this way, several places & modes of education & learning - family, school, peers, child care, youth services, media, etc - will be on an equal footing. The paper then gives examples of different places of learning & educational processes. The author argues for a broader concept of education that comprises more than just school. With a view to imparting key competencies & educational objectives, it should also include learning & educational resources outside school.
KEY WORDS: Federal Republic of Germany; Educational Reform; Learning; Socialization; Life Cycle; Education; Educational Systems; Formal Education; Schooling.

Rennie, F., & Mason, R. (2004). The connection: Learning for the connected generation. Greenwich: Information Age.


This volume makes the case that the changes brought about by the connectivity of the Internet have so transformed the nature of post secondary learning that we need to view it differently. Both the content and the processes of learning have been profoundly altered because of the accessibility of information and the multi-way interactivity provided by the Internet. The authors call this new phenomenon the Connecticon—which encompasses the new opportunities created by the infrastructure, the content, the multiple connection devices of the Web, as well as by the hyper-interactivity of the connected generation for whom attention is the new currency. It is the aim of this book to identify and document the connecticon—its nature, its impact and its implications. We will do this in the broad domain of learning, though a similar study could be carried out in commercial, social or political fields.
KEY WORDS: Internet; New Economy; Learning; Formal Education; Schooling.

Rychen, D. S., & Salganik, L. H. (Eds.). (2001). Defining and selecting key competencies. Göttingen: Hogrefe & Huber.


Forward: Literacy is measured throughout Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, and the world and we are still far from assessing a set of key competencies. Project Definition and Selection of Competencies: Theoretical and Conceptual Foundations (DeSeCo), under the auspices of the OECD, is led by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office in collaboration with the US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. The goal is to conduct research that will foster the needed framework for defining and selecting key competencies. Published contributions here represent the result of the scholarly work conducted during the 1st phase of the DeSeCo project. This book sounds out perspectives from different academic principles and areas of policy and practice.
KEY WORDS: Cognitive Ability; Competence; Self Management; Theoretical Interpretation; Literacy; Formal Education; Schooling.

Sahlberg, P. (2001). From non-formal education to lifelong learning: Bridging schools with youth activity. Lifelong Learning in Europe, 6(1), 48-54.


New, more comprehensive forms of cooperation are needed between schools and sources of nonformal education in the community. Institutions should work together to promote a new culture of learning and enhanced learning environments.
KEY WORDS: Community Organizations; Educational Cooperation; Educational Environment; Lifelong Learning; Nonformal Education; School Community Relationship; Student Organizations; Formal Education; Schooling.

Somech, A. (2007). Schools as team-based organizations: A structure-process-outcomes approach. Group Dynamics-Theory Research and Practice, 11(4), 305-320.


The article describes a study addressing the issue of teams in schools and their impact on school effectiveness. The research suggests an input-process-outcome model for predicting school effectiveness, where input includes frequency of meetings and functional heterogeneity, process includes interaction processes of exchanging information, learning, motivating, and negotiating, and outcome includes team performance and innovation. 224 school teams--including team coordinators, team members, and school principals--were surveyed. The results indicate that, regarding team innovation, frequency of meetings and functional heterogeneity were positively associated with the four interaction processes, which in turn fostered team innovation. However, regarding team performance, only frequency of meetings was positively associated with the interaction process of exchanging information, which in turn enhanced team performance. The article argues that the findings draw important theoretical and practical conclusions as to the best ways to structure schools and to improve their interaction processes for the enhancement of team performance and team innovation.
KEY WORDS: Teamwork; Educational Reform; Professional Development; Capacity Building; School Effectiveness.

Taylor, A. (2002). In/forming education policy. Journal of Education Policy, 17(1), 49-70.


Discusses vocational education by analyzing "Framework for Enhancing Business Involvement," a 1996 policy report from Alberta, Canada. Provide in-depth analysis of report by examining policy context in which framework developed, the policy process, and the implementation process. Briefly discusses broader implications of report for other nations.
KEY WORDS: Education Work Relationship; Elementary Secondary Education; Foreign Countries; Human Capital; Policy Analysis; Vocational Education; Work and Learning; Formal Education; Schooling.

Weiner, E. J. (2003). Neoliberal ideology, state curriculum standards, and the manufacturing of educational needs: Notes on the transformation of state power and ideological state apparatuses in the age of globalization. Educational Foundations, 17(4), 21-57.


The author examines some key questions about the future of public education. Specifically, the writer looks at the role of state and federal power and the hegemonic effect of ideological state apparatuses in an era of neoliberal globalization. He examines neoliberal ideology and explores how it manufactures particular needs to serve specific interests at the local and federal level. The writer examines two New Jersey curriculum standards.
KEY WORDS: Globalization; Work and Learning; Business and Education; United States of America; Curriculum.

Wheelahan, L. (2000). Bridging the divide: Developing the institutional structures that most effectively deliver cross-sectoral education and training. Melbourne: National Centre for Vocational Education Research.


Issues in developing the institutional structures to deliver cross-sectoral education and training were examined in a study of five Australian single-sector higher education institutions with various institutional arrangements with the vocational education and training (VET) sector and five dual-sector universities. Data were collected from the following sources: (1) a broad literature review; (2) reviews of commissioned reports on Australia's VET and technical and further education (TAFE) sectors; and (3) 31 interviews conducted during visits to the 10 case study sites. The study focused on the following items: the structures and mechanisms of service that are most effective; the advantages and disadvantages of different mechanisms; criteria for identifying cross-sectoral practice; and policy changes that would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of dual-sector provision. The following were among the recommendations emerging from the study: (1) develop a nationally coherent policy on lifelong learning; (2) fund tertiary education by one level of government; (3) institute comparable reporting requirements among the two sectors; and (4) establish a single award for higher education and TAFE teaching staff.
KEY WORDS: Accountability; Accreditation (Institutions); Adult Learning; Articulation (Education); Case Studies; Competency Based Education; Cooperative Planning; Coordination; Cost Effectiveness; Credits; Curriculum Development; Delivery Systems; Policy Formation; Postsecondary Education; Program Administration; Program Content; Student Certification; Systems Approach; Teacher Certification; Technical Institutes; Theory Practice Relationship; Transfer Policy; Transfer Programs; Transfer Rates (College); Trend Analysis; Universities; Vocational Education; Formal Education; Schooling.

Young, J., & Harris, A. (2000). Comparing school improvement programmes in England and Canada. School Leadership & Management, 20(1), 31-32.


The Improving the Quality for All project in England and the Manitoba School Improvement Program in Canada have demonstrated considerable success in working with schools. This article traces both programs' development, analyzes their different approaches, and reveals commonalities. Both programs encourage teacher collaboration and foster professional learning communities.
KEY WORDS: Change Strategies; Educational Improvement; Elementary Secondary Education; Foreign Countries; Professional Development; Program Descriptions; Program Development; Teacher Collaboration; Formal Education; Schooling.




Section 3.3 Adult, Further, Continuing, Non-formal
Education and Formal Training


Ahl, H. (2006). Motivation in adult education: A problem solver or a euphemism for direction and control? International Journal of Lifelong Education, 25(4), 385-405.
Lifelong learning is now considered as the solution to the pressing problems of increased levels of unemployment, not least among unskilled workers. Many theories concerning motivation and adult education maintain that people are inherently motivated to learn, and conclude that motivation problems result from various dispositional, situational and structural barriers. This article challenges such theories, maintaining that motivation should not be regarded as something residing within the individual: rather, it is a construct of those who see it lacking in others. A critical reading of the literature shows how motivation theory stigmatizes people deemed `unmotivated' in that the theories ascribe motivation problems to the individual, while assuming the basis upon which the problem is formulated for granted, and making those who formulate the problem invisible. Instead of a problem solver, motivation becomes a euphemism for direction and control. This article suggests that motivation should be conceptualized as relational instead of residing within the individual.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Continuing Education; Motivation; Self-Directed Learning; Barriers to Learning.

Aitchison, J. (2004). Lifelong learning in South Africa: Dreams and delusions. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 23(6), 517-544.


The new South Africa has formally embraced the concept of 'lifelong learning' in its education and training policies. But what is the concept of 'lifelong learning' that has informed these policies and what progress has there been in implementing them? Have these new policies brought significant changes to education and training for adults?
KEY WORDS: Foreign Countries; Lifelong Learning; Adult Education; Educational Policy; Policy Analysis.

Alvarez-Mendiola, G. (2006). Lifelong learning policies in Mexico: Context, challenges and comparisons. Compare, 36(3), 379-399.


The article identifies Mexico as a country where a high degree of inequality exists, regarding both income and education. Setting a foundation for a 'knowledge-based economy' and lifelong learning are more difficult in Mexico than nearby countries. Given its poor school system and the large part of the adult population who are without any basic educational qualifications, the author believes the country catch-up quickly with other nations, especially the two NAFTA partners in the North, the US and Canada. Education reform policies in Mexico tend to be half-hearted and largely uncoordinated, and the public resources for education remain insufficient.
KEY WORDS: Lifelong Learning; Educational Policy; Adult Education; Knowledge-Based Economy; NAFTA; Mexico.

Arnott, A. (2003). Learning from the past: Implications for effective VET delivery of adult education services in the Northern Territory. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 43(1), 43-72.


Reviews the history of adult education in Australia's Northern Territory, 1974-1989, and compares it to the current state. Finds that adult education resources were greater 15 years ago. Current training funding and delivery lacks context, community control, and local, especially indigenous, input.
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