In this paper, I aimed to understand why an ongoing student-centered pedagogical reform implemented in Cambodian primary schools has failed to bring substantial changes in teaching and learning, by revealing a “logic” that governs teaching and learning practices. With the data collected through 1-year fieldwork in Prey Veng Province, Cambodia, I tackled the following research questions: (1) what is a logic that shapes the form and meaning of pedagogical practices as they are today, and (2) how has such logic been re-constructed (or maintained) after the implementation of student-centered pedagogical reform?
First, in order to unveil the logic that underlies teaching and learning practices in Cambodia, I analyzed three cases, namely, monthly cluster teacher meeting (Case #1), mathematics class taught in grade 3 (Case #2), and Khmer literacy class taught in grade 1 (Case #3). As a result, the following characteristics were identified. First, teaching and learning were organized based on tasks. Secondly, procedures to complete such tasks were divided into small steps and learners were supposed to memorize and master these procedures (techniques). And finally, teaching and learning were designed based on techniques so that all learners, regardless of their levels of understanding, could at least follow steps. Although existing research associates these characteristics with low levels of teacher knowledge and their unwillingness to change practices, it turned out that these characteristics were seen in classes taught by a teacher who has knowledge and eagerness to practice student-centered pedagogies. The centrality of techniques, therefore, has a root not just in the traits of teachers but also in the broader social, political, and cultural logic that governs teaching and learning practices.
I then moved on to locate this idea of technique in Cambodian historical, political, and cultural context by borrowing the Khmer word “paccekteeh” (technique or technical in English), which appeared most often during the fieldwork. Paccekteeh in teaching and learning has its origin in pre-colonial era, when Buddhist pagodas played a role as educational institutions. At that time, due to limited access to books, teaching and learning were mostly conducted orally. Therefore, it was important to divide the big ideas of Buddhism into small chunks and teach students one chunk after another, in order to make it accessible for students to learn. However, at the same time, such practice, i.e. teaching small chunks, also limited the possibility to understand the whole picture, and enclosed the body of Buddhist knowledge into pagoda. Therefore, paccekteeh was directly linked to the logic used to control knowledge and power. This logic of paccekteeh survived French colonial period and even during Khmer Rouge and the following civil war, and still governs teaching and learning practices even in current classrooms.
The above discussion is followed by an analysis of the ongoing student-centered pedagogical reform, called Effective Teaching and Learning (ETL). ETL was originally intended to replace “traditional” teaching and learning practices characterized with rote learning and memorization (which is based on the logic of paccekteeh) with more “modern” and democratic practices in which learners actively take part in teaching and learning and teachers play a role of professionals rather than technical experts. However, a close analysis of ETL materials reveals that ETL itself is caught by the logic of paccekteeh. It means, when this ETL reform policy was translated into materials to be distributed to teachers throughout the country, the whole idea of ETL and its student-centered philosophies were somehow divided into small pieces and presented as very scripted tasks as many as 26. Although such tasks might help teachers (View PDF for the rest of the abstract.)
China is now facing a period of social transition characterized by rapid urbanization and growing income inequality. With this social change as background, provincial-level policies concerning private education have been implemented since 2003, under the law of the People's Republic of China on the Promotion of Privately-run Schools. In this socio-political environment, the size of private compulsory education has expanded rapidly during the 2000s. The purpose of this study is to clarify the determinants of the size of private elementary and private lower secondary schools by using China’s provincial panel data. The strongly balanced panel data set includes 30 provinces from 2003 to 2011.
Two fresh approaches are carried out in this paper. First, in addition to GDP per capita, income per capita and education spending per student, which have been examined individually in previous studies, the effects of the supply factors of “funding for private school” and “social donation”, “the average income of education industry”, “excess demand associated with government expenditure on education”, “urban-rural income gap” and “urbanization” (the ratio of urban population) as symbols of China's social transformation are examined in this paper. Moreover, as a dummy variable, the effects of the policy concerning private education at provincial-level, which are required to be formulated in accordance with the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Promotion of Privately-run Schools, is also examined. Second, as multi-collinearity tests show that collinearity occurs among the variables of GDP per capita, income per capita and education spending per student in a multiple regression, these three variables are individually examined with the above-mentioned variables as control variables, leading to three estimation models for both private elementary and lower secondary schools. Hausman’s specification test is used to choose between fixed-effects and random-effects models. The result shows that the fixed-effects model is more efficient than the random-effects model in all estimations. The estimation model that controls the income per capita shows the highest explanatory power.
The results of estimation, with the income per capita being controlled, indicate that the rise of income and the urban-rural income gap result in the expansion of private compulsory education, which are both highly significant at the 1% level. This reflects the fact that there is a strong demand for the private compulsory education from affluent members of the population. The ratio of urban population shows an effect at the 1% significance level with regard to private lower secondary schools, but to private elementary schools.
Government expenditure on education has an inhibitory effect on the size of the private compulsory education, supporting the hypothesis that a trade-off relationship exists between government expenditure and the size of private compulsory education in China. As expected, the average income of the education industry also has a negative effect on the size of private compulsory education (at the 1% significance level). The rise in the average income of the education industry has raised costs, including those of teacher salaries in operating private schools.
Funding for private schools, which has been considered as a supply factor of profitable entrepreneurship, shows a positive correlation at the 10% significance level with regard to private lower secondary schools and a negative correlation at the 5% significance level to private elementary schools, therefore it is hard to say that this factor has any effect on the expansion of private compulsory education.
Social donations have also been expected as a supply factor with an effect on the size of private compulsory education in China. However, contrary to this (View PDF for the rest of the abstract.)
India has introduced the federal system since independence from the UK, because of the diversity among its various regions. India has also experienced a rapid expansion of its higher education system. The number of students was about 4.9 million in 1990-1991, but this increased to about 23 million in 2013-2014. Previous works revealed relationships between the central government and the local governments in higher education of India as being confrontational. Meanwhile, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has regulated that prospective teachers take a test to earn qualifications to be assistant professor. The UGC administers the test, called the “National Eligibility Test (NET)”. Some state governments also hold similar tests, called “State Eligibility Test (SET)”. NET has been held for more than 25 years, and the total number of the candidates was about 1 million in 2013. This study examines the relationship between the central government and the local governments in higher education of India, by focusing on the qualification system for positions within the academic profession.
Indian higher education administers a wide variety of qualification tests. National level tests are held by the UGC and the Council of Industry Science Research (CSIR). The UGC holds tests for the humanities and social sciences. CSIR holds a test for science and technology. Some state governments also hold state level eligibility test. This paper focuses on NET by UGC, so NET means UGC-NET.
The central government has assumed leadership in administering UGC-NET, because the test is based on powers “co-ordination and determination of standards” in the national constitution of India. UGC can define “the qualifications that should ordinarily be required of any person to be appointed to the teaching staff of the University” based on its authoritative powers. Since the central government is able to make the local governments obey rules of the test, it proves that the central government has both initiative and final authority. It is important that items of the test are “soft”, not “hard”. If UGC becomes involved in a part of “hard”, especially at universities, UGC is likely to conflict with local government powers as provided in the constitution. However the UGC has not only administered the NET, but also permitted local governments to do SET using local languages and subjects related to these languages, because of the diversity of languages. UGC accredits both state identified agencies and determines student performance. The candidates are eligible for taking the tests if they have secured at least 55% grade in their Masters Degree. The tests consist of three papers. All the three papers consist of only objective type questions. Paper 1 is general in nature, intended to assess the teaching/research aptitude of the candidate. Paper 2 consists of basic questions from the subject selected by each candidate. Paper 3 consists of advanced questions from the subject as selected by the candidate. The pass rate of the tests in 2013-14 was around 4-5%. In other words, the central government prepares mechanisms not only to accommodate their diversity, but also unify them. Moreover, UGC has permitted SET to have local subjects related to their languages and then added their subjects to NET. For example, the agency of North East State Eligibility Test (NE-SET) has adopted Bodo as a subject of the SET since 2003. Bodo is spoken in Assam, and is a minority language in India. UGC also adopted Bodo as a subject of NET since 2010. The Bodo community hailed the recognition of its language and culture. One reason was that the adaption would boost the preservation and promotion of its people. The other reason was that candidates of Bodo in NET might obtain a Junior Research Fellowship of UGC and therefore boost the research of the Bodo, (View PDF for the rest of the abstract.)
In contemporary society—which can be thought of as a knowledge-based society, an advanced-information society, and a globalized society—abilities developed at school can no longer simply be grouped under the single term “academic ability.” Each country proposes and discusses new concepts in ability, such as “21st-century skills” and “key competency,” in order to develop human resources that have the requisite competence to deal with a continuously changing society.
Under these circumstances, national language education plays an extremely important role in developing the ability to think and create. Because developing the ability to select and transmit information is closely related to the ability to communicate, it has become an urgent issue to formulate a new approach to media for developing new abilities in national language education. In this respect, Germany has lately accumulated a great deal of results related to media education in the framework of national language education and has established educational standards in pursuit of competency.
In this research, I analyzed articles on the approach to media in German studies stipulated in the “Uniform examination requirements in the abitur examination” (1979, 1989, 2002)—(Einheitliche Prüfungsanforderungen in der Abiturprüfung—hereafter referred to as EPA), and “Standards of German language education for the qualification to enter university" (2012) (Bildungsstandards im Fach Deutsch für Allgemeine Hochschulreife; hereafter referred to as BISTA (AHR)). I also analyzed two resolutions reached in meetings held under the initiative of the Minister of Education (Kultusministerkonferenz): “Media pedagogy at school" (1995) (Medienpädagogik in der Schule), and “Media education at school” (2012) (Medienbildung in der Schule.) I subsequently analyzed how these two resolutions are related to EPA and BISTA (AHR). Based on the ability sought at the time when EPA was formulated, I clarified the process of transformation into the new ability that aspires to achieve the competency sought by BISTA (AHR).
EPA was established in 1979 against the background that the number of people who had acquired abitur had increased since the mid-1960s, and that improving the learning ability of college students and the academic achievements of abitur holders had become an urgent issue. What is required in EPA (1979) is to improve students’ reading comprehension and communication ability as preparatory education for further learning. In the hermeneutic cognitive process, the ability to read and understand not only literature and practical books but also appropriate media materials is required. At the same time, questions on media can be found in written examinations, and students are required to analyze and discuss media critically.
There is little difference between the EPA as revised in 1989 and that published in 1979, and the same questions are in the written examination. Accordingly, the ability of German studies required in the edition revised in 1989 is virtually the same that was required in the 1979 edition.
Taking the results of surveys on international academic ability conducted by TIMSS in 1997 and one conducted by PISA in 2001 into consideration, the content of EPA was entirely renewed. “Fähigkeit” and “Qualifikation” were used to mean, respectively, “ability” and “aptitude” prior to the renewal, but “Kompetenz” (competency) was used in place of both terms in the revised edition published in 2002 after the disappointing results in PISA. Here, students are asked to develop diverse types of competency including the ability to read, express, build personality, actively participate in cultural activities, and expand and deepen their world knowledge. At the same time, an approach to media was emphasized, and questions on media were created in the oral examination. (View PDF for the rest of the abstract.)
This paper clarifies what changes are occurring in the qualifications and examinations system in the UK by examining the International Baccalaureate (IB). It especially focuses on the case in England, which has recognised the IB and has been accepting IB students into universities since the development of the IB in 1968.
To accomplish this task, this paper looks at differences between the way competencies are taught in the IB and GCE-A Level, the traditional academic qualification in the UK. IB consists of 6 subject groups (including social and natural sciences) and 3 core studies known as the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and “Creativity, Action and Service” (CAS). The purpose of these core studies is to build capacity not just within the academic subjects but also outside these subjects and ability of students to apply knowledge gained from the 6 subjects. On the other hand, A Level does not offer any core studies, because there is a traditional notion that core studies will somehow lower the golden standard of A Level.
In 2006, Tony Blair, then Prime Minister announced that he wanted to open at least one IB school in each local authority and fund schools who wish to offer the IB programme with 2.5 million pounds. This boosted the number of IB schools in the UK, especially in the public sector. Another reason for the increase of the IB schools was the fact that A Level was suffering from criticisms of grade inflation and declining standards.
As the number of IB increased throughout the UK, the need to maintain the quality of qualifications and the qualifications in the market arose. Therefore, the government decided to set up an institution known as The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulations (Ofqual) which officially authorized IB organisations. By gaining this official authorisation, IB are now officially recognised as having UK qualifications, giving more choice for UK students to choose their university entrance qualifications. This also resulted as an increase in university applicants holding the IB within and outside of the country. An NGO, the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS) set up a standard (called UCAS Tariff) to recognise IB students by maintaining equivalence with other qualifications.
Meanwhile, at the university level, and especially among selective universities, some institutions have set up their original recognition standard and refused to use the UCAS Tariff. This means that there is a dual standard within countries with regards to recognising IB qualifications. The problem with this dual standard is that the UCAS Tariff recognises the core studies of the IB, except it does not give any points to the CAS element. Also, the standards set by the universities do not recognise the CAS, which means it only compares the subject grades between IB and A Levels. It can therefore be said that this dual standard results in problems with recognising the whole aspect of the IB holder’s competence and skills.
There are also problems in maintaining IB schools. Once a school becomes an IB school, they must pay an annual fee to the IB organisation to maintain their IB school status. Following the change of power in 2010, the Conservative Party in England cut the public sector budget, and as a result many state schools had to drop the IB and the number of IB schools in the country has seen a great decrease.
A new alternative movement in the UK has the number of qualifications containing the word “baccalaureate” increasing. Some examples would be the AQA Baccalaureate, the Sixth Form Baccalaureate, the Welsh Baccalaureate, the Scottish Baccalaureate, the Advanced Baccalaureate (ABacc), and the Technical Baccalaureate. A Baccalaureate in the UK is seen as an education model that offers a wide choice of subjects both in social and natural sciences (View PDF for the rest of the abstract.)
The ‘Tomorrow’s Schools’ reform in New Zealand since the late 1980’s has been known as a typical realisation of a new public management (NPM) model. How and why was the reform carried out in a manner that was extremely thorough and loyal to the NPM model, and what philosophical and political currents shaped the reform?
This paper articulates five political currents that set the stage for the reform: democratic formulation by the Left, new institutional economics, managerialism, the New Right, and Tino Rangatiratanga. The paper also explores the political situation surrounding the Kura Kaupapa Māori that became state schools under the ‘Tomorrow’s Schools’ reform. It investigates how the Kura Kauappa Māori gained the status of state schools despite impediments.
The political position evident in the Educational Development Conference of 1974 and ‘The Curriculum Review’ of 1984 have been termed liberal progressive, participatory democracy, or democratic populism. The Review was published under the Fourth Labour Government based on extensive public consultations. Its anti-racist, anti-sexist message emphasising the partnership of students, teachers, families, and the community was widely accepted by the Left camp and educationalists.
‘Government Management’, released in 1987 by the Treasury, reflected the new institutional economics that incorporated public choice, transaction cost, and agency theory. Although it valued the community involvement promoted by ‘The Review’, it argued for the partnership through the market order claiming that it would otherwise only promote the interests of the middle class or those of the institutions. The Picot Report, the blueprint for the reform, was the product of a compromise, as has been interpreted, between the Left and new institutional economics, both of which validated the partnership. However, the coming into power of the National Party in 1990 changed the balance.
Managerialism, based on the belief that improved management resolves economic and social malaise, manifested itself in ‘Today’s Schools’ under the National government in 1990, led by the initiative of the Treasury and the State Services Commission. The report argued for clearer definitions that the Board of Trustees would take on the role of governance and the principal of management. The report, emphasising the managerial model rather than a cooperative decision-making one, marked the introduction of the NPM model constituted of new institutional economics and managerialism.
The New Right thinking was apparent in ‘New Zealand Schools’, a report by Sexton, an educational advisor for the Thatcher government, who was entrusted by the Business Roundtable to write the report. The report sharpened the contentions of institutional economics and managerialism, contained arguments common to those by Friedman and Hayek, and confronted the leftist idea of democratic control by the citizens. Moreover, although ‘Government Management’ and ‘Today’s Schools’ both appreciated the Treaty of Waitangi and apprehended the state’s role in reviving the cultural heritage of the Māori, Sexton dismissed its importance.
Equity interests in ‘Government Management’ and ‘Today’s Schools’ indicate the influence of Tino Rangatiratanga or the Māori self-determination movement at the time of the reform. Gaining impetus in the 1970s, total Māori immersion preschools, Kōhanga Reo, were created and soon attended by almost half the Māori preschool children in New Zealand.
This was followed by the opening of Kura Kaupapa Māori, the total immersion schools, and the attainment of legal recognition under the Tomorrow’s Schools reform as state schools. Although the movement, as the movement leader reflects, took advantage of the change to gain the status of state schools, it can be considered that for the contender of institutional (View PDF for the rest of the abstract.)