This paper aims to follow the ideas and trends in postwar American educational reforms while evaluating the recent Obama administration’s educational policies. It also simultaneously reviews “A Blueprint for Reform”, which was officially published by the Obama administration in March 2010 and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that was enacted in December 2015.
The Race to the Top initiative, officially announced by the Obama administration in July 2009, went further than the No Child Left Behind Act in strengthening the federal government’s initiatives in all states and imposing strict sanctions. To understand the Obama administration’s educational policies, this paper reviews not only President Obama but also the Obama administration’s brain trust and the content of support provided to it by business foundations.
Furthermore, this paper also examines the priorities outlined by “A Blueprint for Reform” and notes the removal of Adequate Yearly Progress and sanctions. The ESSA did not authorize the federal government to intervene in schools with declining academic performance and respected state-level autonomy. Nevertheless, this act clearly indicated the continuation of the same test policies, and it was concluded that the academic testing policies of the United States had not undergone any changes.
Efforts to improve learning outcomes are considered important in the post-2015 development agenda. Sub-Saharan Africa (hereafter called Africa) is the area with the highest number of educational problems among the developing countries. Regional academic achievement surveys have indicated significant disparities in academic achievement, especially class differences, among children in these countries. Many studies have suggested that children’s achievement motivation influence their academic achievements. As a result, exploring disparities in achievement motivation is essential for identifying the mechanisms of such disparities. Therefore, the achievement motivation of African children was investigated based on Weiner’s causal attribution theory. The influence of socio-economic status (SES) and parents’ involvement as the family background of causal attributions about academic achievement on five attribution factors affecting pupils’ perceptions of their success or failure in mathematics were assessed by eighth-grade students in Eldoret City, Kenya (N = 245). The results indicated that the causal attributions of academic achievement differed according to the family background, such that pupils with high SES tended to attribute success more often to the family environment and failure to lack of effort, which was expected to promote motivation. Moreover, there were significant differences in the score of four factors assessing the provision of parental involvement, such that pupils with a high level of parental involvement tended to attribute successes more often to effort and the family environment, which was also expected to result in positive motivation. In contrast, pupils with a low levels of parental involvement tended to attribute failures more often to ability and teachers’ instructions, which was expected to cause lower expectancy for future success and hopelessness. These findings support the contention that parental involvement has a positive effect on the causal attributions of academic results. Moreover, these attributions differed according to the provision of parental involvement among pupils with lower SES, such that a high level of parental involvement tended to result in the attribution of success to effort, teachers’ instructions, and family environment; whereas a low level of parental involvement tended to result in the attribution of failure to teachers’ instructions, school environment, and family environment. Even pupils from low social class who received a high level of parental support tended to make attributions that promote achievement behaviour. These results suggest that increasing parent involvement in families with a low socioeconomic background might encourage children's achievement behaviour. The results also indicated the importance of strengthening relationships between schools and parents and engaging in enlightenment activities for promoting the involvement of parents at home. Moreover, it is difficult for lower-class parents to provide learning materials for their children and therefore it is suggested that supporting poor families might also enhance the academic motivation of children.
The main purpose of this study is to review the new issues and factors for education focusing on ethnic minorities in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), which has come up after over 15 years of effort on its Education Development under Education For All (EFA) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to give a view for practice of Education Development activities for post-2015 in the Lao PDR.
The Lao PDR made a great achievement in education sector under the EFA movement and MDGs, whose goals were to be met by 2015. The country, however, failed to achieve most of these goals, and on the top of that, its ethnic minorities, who occupy over 37 percent of Lao population, still face a lot of difficulties in access and quality of formal education.
Nevertheless, there are few papers or studies about educational situation of Lao ethnic minorities. Even though Inui Miki published a study examining that issue in 2004, the data used in her study comes from before the year 2000, which might make it difficult to capture the present condition of Education Development in Lao PDR.
After Lao PDR started the practical movement of the earnest Education Development, this developing country showed such a progress and situational change in education sector from 2000 to 2015. Since then, it is necessary to re-consider the substance of education for ethnic minorities in Lao PDR using latest statistics and papers.
This study clarified three points.
First, educational problems are shifting for ethnic minorities in Lao PDR. As the previous study by Inui (2004), it used to be said that the main educational issues for ethnic minorities in the Lao PDR were curriculum and teaching language. However, thanks to educational developments over the past 15 years, there is little relation between those inschool problems and the ethnical disparity in access for education, which suggests the main difficulties that ethnic minorities are facing in access to school education have been addressed out-of-school.
Second, instead of the in-school issue, the inequities which are outside of school surrounding the ethnic minorities, such as economics, social infrastructure, and customs of each community, can be the obstacles to their formal education.
In the conclusion of this study, it is suggested that a sector-wide approach is essential to solve the educational inequities which the ethnic minorities are facing, since those factors are distributed across various aspects in Laotian society in complex ways.
Sámi are an indigenous people who originally inhabited Sápmi, the traditional Sámi land that cross-borders Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. Today, it is estimated that approximately 40,000–60,000 Sámi live in Norway (roughly 1% of the total Norwegian population); 20,000 live in Sweden; 7,500 in Finland; and 2,000 in Russia (Sollbakk & Varsi, 2014). During the post-war period, Norway’s welfare state steadily expanded, and the 1950s and 60s witnessed economic prosperity and national development. However, as a tradeoff for modernisation, “Sáminess” was considered unfavourable, and the Sámi people were forced to assimilate into Norwegian society. Against the backdrop of this Norwegianization policy, Sámi peoples—particularly the young, educated Sámi—started to engage in political activities. Among these activities, the damming of the Alta-Kautokeino River in the 1970s was a turning point in the Sámi rights movement.
It is noteworthy that the Sámi restored their inherent rights by the end of 1980s and have since been enjoying a relatively high level of self-determination in areas such as education, culture, language and traditional livelihood. In 1988 the Norwegian government amended its constitution, and in October of 1989 it opened the Sámi Parliament of Norway. The year 1989 also marked the establishment of Sámi University College (or Sámi allaskuvla in Sámi) in Kautokeino. It is Europe’s first and only indigenous higher-education institution. The SUC has three departments: linguistics, social science, and Duodji and teacher education. It offers programmes at the bachelor, masters, and doctoral levels, and their unique programmes attract not only Sámi students from Sápmi, but also non-Sámi people from all around the world. However, the total pool of applicants is small, and the university struggles to tackle particular challenges that are unique to them as an indigenous institution.
The purpose of this research paper is twofold: (1) to review current Sámi research and education in Norway’s higher-education sector, and (2) to report characteristics and challenges of the educational programmes provided at Sámi University College (SUC) as
a case study. In the first section, this reseach examines indigenous education programmes and higher education in Norway by referring to Norwegian government reports, statistics, and newspaper articles. The next section focuses on current issues at SUC, including
programmes, student statistics, and other challenges. This research paper should be considered a work-in-progress report. However, considering the limited number of articles on Norway’s higher educaiton available in Japan, it will offer new insights on the
progressive, rights-oriented approach of Sámi education. In that sense, the significance of this research lies in the light it sheds on the relatively unknown areas of indigenous education and higher education institutions in Norway.