2,416 research outputs found

    Does e-learning policy drive change in Higher Education?: A case study relating models of organisational change to e-learning implementation

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    Due to the heightened competition introduced by the potential global market and the need for structural changes within organisations delivering e-content, e-learning policy is beginning to take on a more significant role within the context of educational policy per se. For this reason, it is becoming increasingly important to establish what effect such policies have and how they are achieved. This paper addresses this question, illustrating five ways in which change is understood (Fordist, evolutionary, ecological, community of practice and discourse-oriented) and then using this range of perspectives to explore how e-learning policy drives change (both organisational and pedagogic) within a selected higher education institution. The implications of this case are then discussed, and both methodological and pragmatic conclusions are drawn, considering the relative insights offered by the models and ways in which change around e-learning might be supported or promoted

    Learning to Teach Argumentation: Research and development in the science classroom

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    The research reported in this study focuses on an investigation into the teaching of argumentation in secondary science classrooms. Over a one-year period, a group of 12 teachers from schools in the greater London area attended a series of workshops to develop materials and strategies to support the teaching of argumentation in scientific contexts. Data were collected at the beginning and end of the year by audio and video recording lessons where the teachers attempted to implement argumentation. To assess the quality of argumentation, analytical tools derived from Toulmin's argument pattern (TAP) were developed and applied to classroom transcripts. Analysis shows there was development in teachers' use of argumentation across the year. Results indicate that the pattern of use of argumentation is teacher-specific, as is the nature of change. To inform future professional development programmes, transcripts of five teachers, three showing a significant change and two no change, were analysed in more detail to identify features of teachers' oral contributions that facilitated and supported argumentation. The analysis showed that all teachers attempted to encourage a variety of processes involved in argumentation and that the teachers whose lessons included the highest quality of argumentation (TAP analysis) also encouraged higher order processes in their teaching. The analysis of teachers' facilitation of argumentation has helped to guide the development of in-service materials and to identify the barriers to learning in the professional development of less experienced teachers

    Permeating the social justice ideals of equality and equity within the context of Early Years: challenges for leadership in multi-cultural and mono-cultural primary schools

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    The ideology and commitment of social justice principles is central to Early Years practice, however, the term social justice in education is complex and remains contested. This paper explores the ideology of social justice through links between equality and equity and how it is embedded within Early Years, and what remain the potential challenges for leadership. Interviews in English multi-cultural and mono-cultural primary schools were conducted. Findings showed that the ideology of social justice, equality and equity was interpreted differently. Multi-cultural schools appear to use a greater variety of activities to embed social justice principles that involved their diverse communities more to enrich the curriculum. In mono-cultural schools leadership had to be more creative in promoting equality and equity given the smaller proportion of their diverse pupil and staff population. Tentative conclusions suggest that the vision for permeating equality and equity in Early Years, at best, is at early stages

    The Legacy of ERA, Privatization and the Policy Ratchet

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    This article explores the ways in which the neo-liberal impetus toward the privatization of state schooling signalled in the Education Reform Act 1988 (ERA) has become embedded in the English school system. Four main points are made. First, that ERA itself was of huge strategic rather than substantive importance as far as privatization is concerned. Second, by tracing the lineage of privatization from ERA onwards a 'ratchet' effect of small and incremental policy moves can be identified, which have disseminated, embedded and naturalized privatization within public sector provision. Third, that while privatization has been taken up and taken much further by New Labour than it had been by the Conservatives there are differences between the two sets of governments in the role of privatization in education policy and the role of the state. Fourth, the participation of private providers in the planning and delivery of state services has put the private sector at the very heart of policy. At points the article draws upon interviews conducted with private sector providers. © 2008 Sage Publications

    Facilitating open access to information: a community approach to open education and open textbooks

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    Access to information as a necessary precondition for human flourishing is recognized explicitly in the UNESCO Strategic Development Goals, and mirrored by the work of universities globally to reduce barriers to information, especially research outputs. Growing international attention has turned to learning and teaching resources, particularly textbooks as a key barrier to fully engaging with, and participating in, higher education. The affordances of open texts provide an alternative to commercially published and often exclusionary access practices; and empower educators and students in co-creation and open sharing of information and knowledge. This paper examines the design of an ongoing institutional grants program predicated on a facilitated community learning approach for academic staff seeking to adopt, or adapt open textbooks into the curriculum as one mechanism to increase access to information. The participants’ experiences and personal learning were captured through a series of semi-structured interviews that inform the iterative design of the ongoing grants program that could be transferred to other institutions seeking to support educational change

    The Change Laboratory in Higher Education:research-intervention using activity theory

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    In this chapter we discuss the Change Laboratory as an intervention-research methodology in higher education. We trace its theoretical origins in dialectical-materialism and activity theory, consider the recommendations made by its main proponents, and discuss its use in a range of higher education settings. We suggest that the Change Laboratory offers considerable potential for higher education research, though tensions between Change Laboratory design recommendations and typical higher education contexts require consideration

    Dynamic optimal taxation with human capital.

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    This paper revisits the dynamic optimal taxation results of Jones, Manuelli, and Rossi (1993, 1997). They use a growth model with human capital and find that optimal taxes on both capital income and labor income converge to zero in steady state. For one of the models under consideration, I show that the representative household's problem does not have an interior solution. This raises concerns since these corners are inconsistent with aggregate data. Interiority is restored if preferences are modified so that human capital augments the value of leisure time. With this change, the optimal tax problem is analyzed and, reassuringly, the Jones, Manuelli, and Rossi results are confirmed: neither capital income nor labor income should be taxed in steady state

    Studying changes in the practice of two teachers developing assessment for learning

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    This paper describes changes in the practice of two teachers, observed over an eighteen month period, who were participating in a study intended to support teachers in developing their use of assessment in support of learning. The design of the intervention allowed each teacher to choose for themselves which aspects of their practice to develop. Analysis of lesson observations, journal entries and interviews indicate that both teachers were keen to change their practice, but were concerned about the disruption to their established routines, and in particular about the potential for loss of control of their classes. Both teachers did effect significant changes in their classrooms, but these tended to be developments of existing preferred ways of working, rather than radical innovations. In conclusion, it is suggested that to be most effective, teacher professional development needs to be structured strongly enough to afford teacher growth, but flexible enough to allow different teachers to take their practice in different ways

    Inclusive School Community: Why is it so Complex?

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    This paper addresses the question: why is it so hard for school communities to respond to diversity in learners, staff and parents in inclusive ways? The authors draw on theory and recent professional experience in Queensland, Australia, to offer four guiding principles that address traditional assumptions about learning that result in inequality of opportunity and outcomes for students. The authors suggest these principles to support the development of a more inclusive school community: (1) develop a learning community incorporating a critical friend; (2) value and collaborate with parents and the broader community; (3) engage students as citizens in school review and develop¬ment; and (4) support teachers’ critical engagement with inclusive ideals and practices. The authors describe how the principles can work in concert in a school community
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