This article reviews the history of large-scale education reform and makes the case that large-scale or whole system reform policies and strategies are becoming increasingly evident. The review briefly addresses the pre 1997 period concluding that while the pressure for reform was mounting that there were very few examples of deliberate or successful strategies being developed. In the second period—1997 to 2002—for the first time we witness some specific cases of whole system reform in which progress in student achievement was evident. England and Finland are cited as two cases in point. In 2003–2009 we began to observe an expansion of the number of systems engaged in what I call tri-level reform—school/ district/government. As Finland, Singapore, Alberta, Canada, Hong Kong, and South Korea continued to demonstrate strong performance in literacy, math and science, Ontario joined the ranks with a systematic tri-level strategy which virtually immediately yielded results and continues to do so in 2009. The nature of these large-scale reform strategies is identified in this article. It can be noted that very little productive whole system reform was going on in the United States. Aside from pockets of success at the level of a few districts since 2000, and despite the presence of a ‘policy without a strategy’ in the form of No Child Left Behind the US failed to make any progress in increasing student achievement. In the final section of the paper I consider the early steps of the Obama
administration in light of the ‘theory of action’ of whole system reform identified in this article and predict that there we will see a great expansion and deepening of large-scale reform strategies in the immediate future, not only in the U.S. but across the world.
This report seeks to explain why men of low socio-economic position in their mid-years are excessively vulnerable to death by suicide and provides recommendations to reduce these unnecessary deaths.
The report goes beyond the existing body of suicide research and the statistics, to try and understand life for this group of men, and why they may come to feel without purpose, meaning or value.
The key message from the report is that suicide needs to be addressed as a health and gender inequality – an avoidable difference in health and length of life that results from being poor and disadvantaged; and an issue that affects men more because of the way society expects them to behave. It is time to extend suicide prevention beyond its focus on individual mental health problems, to understand the social and cultural context which contributes to people feeling they wish to die.
The present system of academic credentials awarded by Ontario’s colleges was established nearly a half century ago. It is thus appropriate to consider how well some of those credential titles fit in the global lexicon of academic credentials as it has evolved over the last half century and whether they are still appropriate today.
Presently the term for the credential that is awarded by colleges in Ontario upon completion of a program of two years’ duration is diploma. In 1995, noted community college scholar John Dennison of the University of British Columbia observed that “there is not a clear appreciation of what a diploma means”, and this “results in an undervaluation of the diploma from a CAAT” (Dennison, 1995, p. 13).
Background: In the last decade, the effects of teachers on student performance (typically manifested as state-wide standardized
tests) have been re-examined using statistical models that are known as value-added models. These statistical models aim to compute the unique contribution of the teachers in promoting student achievement gains from grade to grade, net of student
background and prior ability. Value-added models are widely used nowadays and they are used by some states to rank teachers. These models are used to measure teacher performance or effectiveness (via student achievement gains), with the ultimate objective of rewarding or penalizing teachers. Such practices have resulted in a large amount of controversy in the education community about the role of value-added models in the process of making important decisions about teachers such as salary increases, promotion, or termination of employment.
Aboriginal peoples in Canada face multiple and systemic barriers to attaining and succeeding in post-secondary education. A long history of discrimination, including the legacy of residential schools, and chronic government underfunding of Aboriginal
education has contributed to low high school completion rates, a widening gap in post- secondary attainment, and the lowest labour market outcomes of any group in Canada.
In this retrospective account of their scholarly work over the past 45 years, Alexander and Helen Astin show how the struggle to achieve greater equity in American higher education is intimately connected to issues of character development, leadership, civic responsibility, and spirituality. While shedding some light on a variety of questions having to do with fairness and equity, this research has not succeeded in removing the structural barriers to progress among underrepresented groups. Accordingly, the authors advocate that colleges and universities focus greater attention on developing student values and other personal qualities that will produce a new generation of citizens who are committed to creating a more just and equitable
Let's put the worries about our new curriculum into perspective. We live in an increasingly challenging, complex, inter-connected and unpredictable world beset by a range of seemingly insoluble problems.
This is the view of Thomas Homer-Dixon (pictured), an expert in peace and conflict studies, who believes these problems arise from "tectonic stresses". He identifies five: population stress, energy stress, environmental stress, climate stress and economic stress (the ever-widening gap between rich and poor people).
For most educators, writing a philosophy of teaching statement is a daunting task. Sure they can motivate the most lackadaisical of students, juggle a seemingly endless list of responsibilities, make theory and applications of gas chromatography come alive for students, all the while finding time to offer a few words of encouragement to a homesick freshman. But articulating their teaching philosophy? It’s enough to give even English professors a case of writer’s block.
Traditionally part of the teaching portfolio in the tenure review process, an increasing number of higher education institutions are now requiring a philosophy of teaching statement from job applicants as well. For beginning instructors, putting their philosophy
into words is particularly challenging. For one thing they aren’t even sure they have a philosophy yet. Then there’s the added pressure of writing one that’s good enough to help them land their first teaching job.
This Faculty Focus special report is designed to take the mystery out of writing teaching philosophy statements, and includes both examples and how-to articles written by educators from various disciplines and at various stages of their professional careers. Some of the articles you will find in the report include:
• How to Write a Philosophy of Teaching and Learning Statement
• A Teaching Philosophy Built on Knowledge, Critical Thinking and Curiosity
• My Teaching Philosophy: A Dynamic Interaction Between Pedagogy and Personality
• Writing the “Syllabus Version” of Your Philosophy of Teaching
• My Philosophy of Teaching: Make Learning Fun
As contributor Adam Chapnick writes, “There is no style that suits everyone, but there is almost certainly one that will make you more comfortable. And while there is no measurable way to know when you have got it ‘right,’ in my experience, you will know it when you see it!”
In 2011, HEQCO issued a call for research projects related to technology-enhanced instruction. Part of a broader effort to identify and evaluate innovative practices in teaching and learning, HEQCO’s purpose in commissioning these projects was both to inform best practices at the classroom, institution and policy levels, as well as to encourage institutions and faculty members to assess the effectiveness of what they were doing in the classroom.
Now that the technology studies have concluded and that most have been published, this report draws some broader conclusions from their methods and findings. First, it reflects on how certain key terms related to technology-enhanced instruction, such as ‘blended’ and ‘hybrid’, have fluid and contextual definitions that can create confusion by disrupting terms of reference that are assumed to be common. Then, it identifies common pitfalls in the implementation of technology in the
classroom to consider how new tools might be introduced and integrated more effectively. Finally, it highlights methodological lessons about the challenges of blending research and practice in the classroom.
In the knowledge-based economy (KBE), a strong education system should produce a citizenry that is equipped with the tools for success: skills, competencies, and knowledge. The role of higher education in the development of the KBE is crucial because institutions are the "creators of, and venues for, cultural and social activity” (OECD, 2007: 39). Around the world, governments are aiming to provide higher education equitably and en masse while ensuring it is both of high quality and of relevance to the labour market. This is a challenge that Ontario, too, faces as it prepares its strategies to enhance the knowledge and skills of its citizens.
When and how are today’s prospective undergraduate students entering the recruitment funnel and moving through it? This report provides funnel conversion and yield rate benchmarks for particular student groups and particular entry points, such as in-state vs. out-of-state FTIC (first-time-in-college) students, campus visitors, transfer students, and other groups. By comparing these external benchmarks to their own internal benchmarks, campus enrollment teams can more accurately forecast the conversion and yield rates to expect at each stage of the college decision process.
Colleges and institutes contribute to the research and innovation cycle in Canada through applied research. More specifically, they directly contribute to applied research through enhanced research infrastructure, involvement of faculty and students, and
the creation of partnerships with the business, industry and social innovation sectors. Colleges and institutes receive the
majority of their funding from the Government of Canada.
Can we step out of our bubble for a moment? I hope so, because unless we do we will not see that we are losing the battle.
What battle is that? Just the one for the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens, within the nation and without. Just the contest between the forces of rationality and those of darkness and ignorance. Just the eternal struggle to make ideas, and not force, relevant to the plight of those oppressed by ignorance and bad rhetoric. Just that.
If you have not seen the mainstream media lately, if you prefer more filtered sources of experience or retreats into sanity, maybe this is not obvious. However, a glimpse into the abyss of larger public discourse is enough to make the point vivid. Academic research, once celebrated as the vanguard of the best that was thought and expressed, is on the run. Enrolments are down. Public denunciations are routine, running a gamut from casual dismissal (“useless” degrees and the
like) to open hostility (“incubators of social justice warriors,” “ideological fog-machines,” etc. etc.).
Ask anyone what it means to be a leader, and you'll likely hear something unique every time. That's because everyone has his or her own idea of what leadership is, but not every boss leads a team the same way. Some people think leadership means guiding others to complete a particular task, while others believe it means motivating the members of your team to be their best selves. But while the definitions may vary, the general sentiments remain the same: Leaders are people who know how to achieve goals and inspire people along the way.
Background/Context: Very little empirical research has been conducted on the issue of educator sexual misconduct (ESM) in secondary settings. The few reports available typically treat a larger social issue, such as sexual harassment or child abuse; therefore, data on ESM specifically must be extrapolated. When such data are obtained, the focus has been on rates of incidence rather than the nature of the problem. Feminist scholars have theorized embodiment in education and debated whether and to what extent an eroticized pedagogy is desirable, but scant attention has been paid to how and why erotic pedagogy can go awry.
As they begin taking classes, most incoming adult learners express a strong desire to complete a degree, but many also harbor concerns and attitudes that reduce their motivation and put them at risk for attrition. This report explores a wide range of these noncognitive, motivational attributes that influence completion. The study is based on a national sample of 5,000 first-year adult learners who filled out a 74-item, college completion risk survey in 2014 or 2015 at 50 colleges and universities across the United States.
In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and crew are so intimidated by the Wizard's enigmatic personality that they struggle to talk with him on equal footing. Fear and frustration overwhelm them as they blindly accept a suicide mission to slay the Witch of the West. In return, they each receive a treasured prize: a heart, a brain, courage, and a way home. Ironically, they already have these gifts -- which they only discover after unveiling the man behind the curtain posing as the grumpy wizard.
Differentiated instruction (DI) casts a spell on educators as to how it meets all students' needs. The skillset required to differentiate seems mystical to some and incomprehensible to others in this environment of state standards and high-stakes tests. Where does one find the time? The reality is that every teacher already has the tools to differentiate in powerful ways for all learners. I address some of these elements, such as assessment fog, in other Edutopia posts.
What sources and resources do college students utilize to assist them in the transfer process? What factors influence students’ transfer decisions? What information do students possess about transfer and of what quality is the transfer information students receive? This investigation interviews students of two-year College of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT) and Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning (ITAL) programs in the province of Ontario, Canada who identify intentions to transfer to university within their first semester in college. Grounding all analysis in Spence (1973), Akerlof (1970) and Stiglitz’s (1990) work on asymmetric information, adverse selection and signaling, this study examines students’ knowledge of transfer and their attainment of that knowledge. Policy recommendations for the further development of transfer assistance mechanisms and timing of implementation are provided.
Keywords: transfer credit; seamless education; asymmetric information; signalling.
Teach on Purpose! Responsive Teaching for Student Success, written by Leslie David Burns and Stergios G. Botzakis, is an impassioned argument for the importance of using responsive teaching within today's and tomorrow’s K–12 schools. The authors and their guest teacher-authors provide a straightforward rationale that explains why teaching purposefully and responsively is not just an option, but fundamental to teaching well. They collectively do this in a way that is relevant, practical, timely, and sometimes even humorous.
Six years ago, Sallie Mae started a conversation with American families, asking them important questions about how they meet the cost of higher education and how they view the value of that investment.
The How America Pays for College study, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, shows that American families are settling into a post-recession reality with regards to how they pay for college. Since 2010, families have reduced how much they spend on college, with parents’ contributions in particular seeing a significant decline.
The use of grants and scholarships, now the largest contributor, and student borrowing have increased to make up for some of this deficit. In 2013, the use of college savings plans has also increased to its highest level ever.