Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Education Reform Related Abstracts

7 Initiative Programme to Reform Education in Thailand

Authors: Piyapat Chitpirom, Teerakiat Jareonsettasin, Chintida Vichitsophaphan


The Foundation of Virtuous Youth was established and supported by the Crown Property Bureau, with the intention to instill goodness in Thai youth. The Centre for Educational Psychology is one of the three units under the foundation. We aim to develop programmes that can be used to improve the quality of education in schools. Translation of the King’s message in keeping with the modern research from various sources, our team create 6 programmes: (1) Teacher-Student Relationship (2) Growth Mindset (3) Socratic Teaching (4) Peer Tutoring (5) Parental Involvement (6) Inclusion. After nine months of implementing the programmes in the schools, we found that there were more cooperation between student-student, teacher-student, teacher-parent, and student-parent and the school regained trust from the community. Our ideas were accepted well by the government as our director was promoted to be the Vice Minister of Education in order to implement our programmes into national education system. We consider that the key of our success is that we do practical things. We are still continuing, improving, and learning from our work with hope that the quality of Thai education will improve in near future.

Keywords: Educational Psychology, Effective Teaching, Education Reform, teacher-student relationship

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6 Digital System Design for Strategic Improvement Planning in Education: A Socio-Technical and Iterative Design Approach

Authors: Neeley Current, Fatih Demir, Kenneth Haggerty, Blake Naughton, Isa Jahnke


Educational systems seek reform using data-intensive continuous improvement processes known as strategic improvement plans (SIPs). Schools turn to digital systems to monitor, analyze and report SIPs. One technical challenge of these digital systems focuses on integrating a highly diverse set of data sources. Another challenge is to create a learnable sociotechnical system to help administrators, principals and teachers add, manipulate and interpret data. This study explores to what extent one particular system is usable and useful for strategic planning activities and whether intended users see the benefit of the system achieve the goal of improving workflow related to strategic planning in schools. In a three-phase study, researchers used sociotechnical design methods to understand the current workflow, technology use, and processes of teachers and principals surrounding their strategic improvement planning. Additionally, design review and task analysis usability methods were used to evaluate task completion, usability, and user satisfaction of the system. The resulting socio-technical models illustrate the existing work processes and indicate how and at which places in the workflow the newly developed system could have an impact. The results point to the potential of the system but also indicate that it was initially too complicated for use. However, the diverse users see the potential benefits, especially to overcome the diverse set of data sources, and that the system could fill a gap for schools in planning and conducting strategic improvement plans.

Keywords: Software Development, Education Reform, Usability, continuous improvement process, strategic improvement planning, sociotechnical design

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5 The Impact of Teachers’ Beliefs and Perceptions about Formative Assessment in the University ESL Class Assistant Lecturer: Barzan Hadi Hama Karim University of Halabja

Authors: Barzan Hadi Hama Karim


The topic of formative assessment and its implementation in Iraqi Kurdistan have not attracted the attention of researchers and educators. Teachers’ beliefs about formative assessment as well as their assessment roles have remained unexplored. This paper reports on the research results of our survey which is conducted in 20014 to examine issues relating to formative assessment in the university ESL classroom settings. The paper portrays the findings of a qualitative study on the formative assessment role and beliefs of a group of teachers of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in the departments of English Languages in Iraqi Kurdistan universities. Participants of the study are 25 Kurdish EFL teachers from different departments of English languages. Close-ended and open-ended questionnaire is used to collect teacher’s beliefs and perceptions about the importance of formative assessment to improve the process of teaching and learning English language. The result of the study shows that teachers do not play a significant role in the assessment process because of top-down managerial approaches and educational system. The results prove that the teachers’ assessment beliefs and their key role in assessment should not be neglected. Our research papers pursued the following questions: What is the nature of formative assessment in a second language classroom setting? Do the teacher’s assessment practices reflect what she thinks about formative assessment? What are the teachers’ perceptions regarding the benefits of formative assessment for teaching and learning English language at the university level?

Keywords: Assessment, Education Reform, ESL, Formative Assessment, teachers’ beliefs and perceptions

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4 A Review of Lortie’s Schoolteacher

Authors: Tsai-Hsiu Lin


Dan C. Lortie’s Schoolteacher: A sociological study is one of the best works on the sociology of teaching since W. Waller’s classic study. It is a book worthy of review. Following the tradition of symbolic interactionists, Lortie demonstrated the qualities who studied the occupation of teaching. Using several methods to gather effective data, Lortie has portrayed the ethos of the teaching profession. Therefore, the work is an important book on the teaching profession and teacher culture. Though outstanding, Lortie’s work is also flawed in that his perspectives and methodology were adopted largely from symbolic interactionism. First, Lortie in his work analyzed many points regarding teacher culture; for example, he was interested in exploring “sentiment,” “cathexis,” and “ethos.” Thus, he was more a psychologist than a sociologist. Second, symbolic interactionism led him to discern the teacher culture from a micro view, thereby missing the structural aspects. For example, he did not fully discuss the issue of gender and he ignored the issue of race. Finally, following the qualitative sociological tradition, Lortie employed many qualitative methods to gather data but only foucused on obtaining and presenting interview data. Moreover, he used measurement methods that were too simplistic for analyzing quantitative data fully.

Keywords: Education Reform, teaching profession, teacher culture, Lortie’s Schoolteacher

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3 The 2017 Shanghai Model Breaking Stalemate in Chinese Education Reform: A Discussion of China’s Scheduled Experiment in Access to Higher Education Between 2017 and 2020

Authors: Ping Chou, Xiaoyan Zhou


Domestically and internationally, the Chinese education has long been criticized for being test-oriented, and in spite of efforts made by the Chinese government, it remains hard to find a solution. This paper intends to look at the situation in a comparatively objective manner and discuss the significance of the Shanghai Model as a newly-scheduled experiment for education reform. As a breakthrough, in addition to comprehensive inner-quality evaluation, a small but important step is to be taken in shifting focus of attention back to students by giving them more freedom in selecting certain courses for aptitude tests for college admission. As the first author of the paper has studied and taught both in Chinese and American colleges and universities, comparisons are made when the situation becomes relevant. The official solution for test-oriented education is to make students well-rounded but the writers of this paper believe that it is even more important to make the system well-rounded so it can accept a spectrum of diverse individuals with different potential.

Keywords: Education Reform, college admission, Shanghai model, test-oriented education

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2 Implementing Critical Friends Groups in Schools

Authors: S. Odabasi Cimer, A. Cimer


Recently, the poor quality of education, low achieving students, low international exam performances and little or no effect of the education reforms on the teaching in the classrooms are the main problems of education discussed in Turkey. Research showed that the quality of an education system can not exceed the quality of its teachers and teaching. Therefore, in-service training (INSET) courses are important to improve teacher quality, thereby, the quality of education. However, according to the research conducted on the evaluation of the INSET courses in Turkey, they are not effective in improving the quality of teaching in the classroom. The main reason for this result is because INSET courses are conducted and delivered in limited time and presented theoretically, which does not meet the needs of teachers and as a result, the knowledge and skills taught are not used in the classrooms. Recently, developed countries have been using Critical Friends Groups (CFGs) successfully for the purpose of school-based training of teachers. CFGs are the learning groups which contain 6-10 teachers aimed at fostering their capacities to undertake instructional and personal improvement and schoolwide reform. CFGs have been recognized as a critical feature in school reform, improving teaching practice and improving student achievement. In addition, in the USA, teachers have named CFGs one of the most powerful professional development activities in which they have ever participated. Whereas, in Turkey, the concept is new. This study aimed to investigate the implications of application, evaluation, and promotion of CFGs which has the potential to contribute to teacher development and student learning in schools in Turkey. For this purpose, the study employed a qualitative approach and case study methodology to implement the model in high schools. The research was conducted in two schools and 13 teachers working in these schools participated. The study lasted two years and the data were collected through various data collection tools including interviews, meeting transcripts, questionnaires, portfolios, and diaries. The results of the study showed that CFGs contributed professional development of teachers and their students’ learning. It also contributed to a culture of collaborative work in schools. A number of barriers and challenges which prevent effective implementation were also determined.

Keywords: Teacher Education, Education Reform, science learning, critical friends group

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1 Teacher Agency in Media Literacy: A Qualitative Study of Bolivian Teachers and Their Room to Manoeuvre

Authors: Daniela Lamaison Sepulveda


Critical media literacy teaches people to think analytically about the information they receive through the media. It is heavily influenced by Paulo Freire’s critical pedagogy and the necessity of becoming conscious of one’s reality in order to transform it. This qualitative research examines the case of Bolivia, which experienced dramatic political change after the first indigenous president, Evo Morales, was elected in 2006. In 2010, the government passed an education reform — the Avelino Siñani Elizardo Pérez (ASEP) —that draws heavily on decolonial thought and the Freirean notion of critical consciousness. The extent to which these theories were implemented in practice is evaluated in context of a media literacy project, run by an NGO, that trains secondary school teachers from public schools across Bolivia through yearly workshops ranging from producing media to identifying fake news. This context is examined against the backdrop of the highly contested general elections in October 2019. While there is plenty of literature that outlines the benefits of teaching media literacy in the classroom and different ways to apply it, little research has been done analysing implementation at an institutional level and how to best enable teachers who are motivated to teach the subject. Through semi-structured interviews, document analysis and naturalistic observations, this study aims to identify the struggles faced by teachers who are dedicated to teaching critical media literacy in their classrooms and how they navigate educational spaces while being subject to a demanding national curriculum that supposedly also seeks to promote critical thinking. The interplay between the aspirations of teachers and NGOs in contrast to the top-down discourse and policy of governmental institutions provides for a very enlightening case. By exploring these institutional, cultural, sociopolitical and economic barriers the teachers face, this research attempts to contribute to the debate in media literacy theories concerned with implementing the practice in schools.

Keywords: Education Reform, Media literacy, Critical Pedagogy, Misinformation, Bolivia, teacher agency

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