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Article

Mun C. Tsang

In the 1980s, the Chinese government undertook a major structuralreform in education by which upper secondary education was convertedfrom predominantly general education…

Abstract

In the 1980s, the Chinese government undertook a major structural reform in education by which upper secondary education was converted from predominantly general education to an equal mix of general education and vocational/technical education. A critical examination is provided of the rationale for and implementation strategies of the reform, framed in a broader context of the development of secondary education in the past four decades. It points out that, although the reform was justified in largely economic terms, there is actually little empirical support for the economic assumptions; the development of vocational/technical education is prompted more by a desire to reduce the social demand for higher education and to use education as a social stratification device. The reform reflects changing perspectives of the Chinese leadership on the role of education in national development; and it can be seen as the outcome of the most recent episode of continuing social and political conflicts in the Chinese state that began in the 1950s.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Book part

Christian Imdorf, Kristinn Hegna, Verena Eberhard and Pierre Doray

How do institutional settings and their embedded policy principles affect gender-typed enrolment in educational programmes? Based on gender-sensitive theories on career…

Abstract

How do institutional settings and their embedded policy principles affect gender-typed enrolment in educational programmes? Based on gender-sensitive theories on career choice, we hypothesised that gender segregation in education is higher with a wider range of offers of vocational programmes. By analysing youth survey and panel data, we tested this assumption for Germany, Norway and Canada, three countries whose educational systems represent a different mix of academic, vocational and universalistic education principles. We found that vocational programmes are considerably more gender-segregated than are academic (e.g. university) programmes. Men, more so than women, can avoid gender-typed programmes by passing on to a university education. This in turn means that as long as their secondary school achievement does not allow for a higher education career, they have a higher likelihood of being allocated to male-typed programmes in the vocational education and training (VET) system. In addition, social background and the age at which students have to choose educational offers impact on the transition to gendered educational programmes. Overall, gender segregation in education is highest in Germany and the lowest in Canada. We interpret the differences between these countries with respect to the constellations of educational principles and policies in the respective countries.

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Gender Segregation in Vocational Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-347-1

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Book part

Sara R Curran, Chang Y Chung, Wendy Cadge and Anchalee Varangrat

Within individual countries, the paths towards increasing educational attainment are not always linear and individuals are not equally affected. Differences between boys…

Abstract

Within individual countries, the paths towards increasing educational attainment are not always linear and individuals are not equally affected. Differences between boys’ and girls’ educational attainments are a common expression of this inequality as boys are more often favored for continued schooling. We examine the importance of birth cohort, sibship size, migration, and school accessibility for explaining both the gender gap and its narrowing in secondary schooling in one district in Northeast Thailand between 1984 and 1994. Birth cohort is a significant explanation for the narrowing of the gender gap. Migration, sibship size, and remote village location are important explanations for limited secondary education opportunities, especially for girls.

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Inequality Across Societies: Familes, Schools and Persisting Stratification
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-061-6

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Book part

Martin D. Munk

The purpose of this chapter is to reveal explanations for completing upper secondary education. Focus is on the mechanisms that drive attainment of upper secondary

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to reveal explanations for completing upper secondary education. Focus is on the mechanisms that drive attainment of upper secondary education. I analyze the relative contributions of different factors measured by the relative increases in the log likelihood function. I also investigate the importance of characteristics other than the traditional variables, such as fathers’ and mothers’ occupations, their education, and household income, often applied in studies of educational attainment. I used a recent 1984 cohort database with information about educational completion and an informative set of measurements on noncognitive capacities, parental cultural capital, cultural capital, reading score, several school-related variables, and a rich set of family background variables. Attainment of upper secondary education was analyzed by a multinomial logit model, showing that characteristics other than the traditional variables all have significant importance. The analysis clearly depicted that the social position and educational levels of both parents remain important in determining whether the child embarks on completing an upper secondary education. Additionally, noncognitive dispositions show to be very important in explaining educational attainment, even when controlling for family background and refined cultural capital variables. Therefore, society should direct more efforts towards establishing children's cognitive and noncognitive skills and their ability to focus on schoolwork along with building their beliefs. Parents should be involved in a more content-sensitive sense when raising their children.

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Book part

Armend Tahirsylaj, Kristina Brezicha and Sakiko Ikoma

This chapter explores the difference in two orientations – didaktik and curriculum – and examines how these differing stances relate to teachers’ instructional practice…

Abstract

This chapter explores the difference in two orientations – didaktik and curriculum – and examines how these differing stances relate to teachers’ instructional practice, engagement with professional development opportunities, and lesson design. A didaktik orientation influences much of the Nordic and Germanic countries, while a curriculum orientation is widespread in Commonwealth of Nations and the United States. This chapter explores the differences between these two theories of learning and teaching. More than just different theories of teaching and learning, we argue these theories shape how we see the world (i.e., objectified vs. subjectified) and manifest themselves in distinctive understandings of schools’ purpose, the type of learning engaged therein, and how people learn. Consequently, these orientations affect the teacher’s role, the qualifications necessary to teach, as well as other aspects of teacher quality such as instructional methods, and types of professional development.

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Promoting and Sustaining a Quality Teacher Workforce
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-016-2

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Article

Leiv Opstad

The purpose of this paper is to determine whether the type of mathematics skills developed at secondary school an effect on students’ later success in business studies. At…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine whether the type of mathematics skills developed at secondary school an effect on students’ later success in business studies. At many business schools in Norway, more students are applying than there are places available. The ranking of applications depends on the grade point average (GPA) level, irrespective of the level or type of mathematics studied at secondary school, where the students are free to choose practically orientated or theoretical mathematics.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative analysis (regression model) was applied using data for undergraduate students enrolled in business studies over a three–year period (2012–2014).

Findings

Students with a non-theoretical background in mathematics obtain systematically lower grades on many courses, especially in core business school subjects. Ranking applicants to business studies courses based on their GPA scores irrespective of their level of mathematics may lead to the admission of less able students.

Research limitations/implications

There is little information available concerning why students choose different paths in mathematics at upper secondary school, but the decision students make has an influence on their grades in business courses.

Originality/value

By requiring more knowledge of theoretical mathematics, students’ performance at business school will improve. Changing the admission criteria could improve the quality of graduates and reduce the dropout rate.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Article

Huyen Thi Ngo, Alison Jane Pickard and Geoff Walton

This paper aims to focus on investigating information literacy (IL) capabilities and IL self-assessment of Vietnam’s upper secondary students.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on investigating information literacy (IL) capabilities and IL self-assessment of Vietnam’s upper secondary students.

Design/methodology/approach

The investigation was conducted in two upper secondary schools in the country using a multiple-choice questionnaire. The questionnaire was based on the IL competency-level assessment toolkit of high schools in the USA, the tool for real-time assessment of IL, to measure students’ IL in terms of developing search strategies, evaluating information sources, using information ethically and using English to engage with information effectively.

Findings

The findings reveal that students’ IL has not been well equipped. There is a real need to work toward improving the IL capability of Vietnam’s upper secondary students. The findings also reveal gender differences in IL capabilities.

Research limitations/implications

The research used a closed-response questionnaire, which is considered appropriate to engage with Vietnamese high-school students, to explore students’ lower-level IL skills and their self-assessment rather than higher-level thinking competencies.

Practical implications

This research may help Vietnam’s educators understand high-school students’ IL competency and raise their awareness of the importance of IL to encourage the implementation of an IL programme.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the existing knowledge by adding substantially to current understanding of IL level of Vietnamese upper secondary students – a context which has not been explored to date. It also indicates gender inequality in IL capabilities.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. 68 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

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Article

J. Ola Lindberg and Susanne Sahlin

The aim of this paper is to report how Swedish upper secondary schools involved in a European Union‐financed collaborative project intertwined aspects of subject…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to report how Swedish upper secondary schools involved in a European Union‐financed collaborative project intertwined aspects of subject integration and international collaboration with the use of ICT.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology used is a case study in which aspects of subject integration and international collaborative ambitions are intertwined with the use of ICT. Data consist of interviews with participants, texts concerning the project, the participating school, and the Swedish upper secondary schools system.

Findings

Teachers and students have worked towards the objectives in the project and in the national curricula, and the case shows how difficult and how many barriers there are to overcome. Even though the curricula seem difficult to coordinate, students appear to have learnt more about the European perspective, as well as about themselves, through the approach. The teacher describes student motivation as high – authenticity and real people to collaborate with support the students' experience of a holistic education, which applies to real life. The teacher tried to change the role towards providing students with structure and advice, monitoring their progress, and assessing their accomplishments, but reported to be struggling with the teacher role.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates originality and value by providing important insight into the use of ICT in upper secondary schools for the purpose of collaboration and at the same time working towards joint curricular themes.

Details

Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-0741

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Article

Peng Liu

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of transformational school leadership on teachers’ commitment to change and the effects of organizational and teachers…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of transformational school leadership on teachers’ commitment to change and the effects of organizational and teachers’ factors on teachers’ perception of transformational school leadership in the Chinese urban upper secondary school context.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper mainly uses quantitative methods to explore the relationships between different constructs. The author asks: to what extent can transformational school leadership practices in the urban upper secondary schools of a particular Chinese city explain the variation in teachers’ commitment to change during curriculum reform? What are the effects of organizational and teachers’ factors on teachers’ perceptions of transformational school leadership?

Findings

The results of multiple regression analysis showed that the effect of transformational school leadership was moderate when transformational school leadership and teachers’ commitment to change were treated as single variables. Four dimensions of transformational leadership practice together explained the moderate effects on four dimensions of teachers’ commitment to change, among which the effect of managing the instructional program was the most prominent. The results of multiple regression analysis also revealed that variables like culture, strategy, environment, and teachers’ age had significant relationships with teachers’ perceptions of transformational school leadership. Culture, environment, strategy, structure, and teachers’ factors such as age and grade taught had moderate effects on different dimensions of teachers’ perceptions of transformational school leadership.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to explore the effects of transformational school leadership on teachers’ commitment to change in the Chinese urban upper secondary school context. The findings contribute to educational management in China and similar contexts, and this study advances knowledge and furthers the understandings of the transferability of theories to different contexts.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 53 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article

Magnus Svensson and Bengt Klefsjö

The purpose of this paper is to describe a self‐assessment project, the steps taken and the tools used, and above all, focus on the evaluation made after the decision to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a self‐assessment project, the steps taken and the tools used, and above all, focus on the evaluation made after the decision to discontinue, learning and acquiring knowledge about self‐assessment as a methodology in educational organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to investigate the experiences of the project, interviews were conducted with the Upper Secondary Education Officer and with ten School Principals and a questionnaire was administered to gather opinions among the other staff members. The analysis mainly consisted of searching for potential patterns among the respondents' answers studying their own words by use of three different criteria.

Findings

It is important how an organization enters a self‐assessment project, or even any quality project. Many people do not seem to have thought very much about what is considered to be quality in the environment in which they operate, and even less have a shared view within the organization. Too often organizations tend to start working with self‐assessment without sufficiently thinking of “why” and “how” to accomplish the project. The work is performed without preparing all those who are to participate in the project and without discussing the core values that constitute the work. If the organization has not reached the necessary maturity level it is probably a waste of resources to start a comprehensive self‐assessment project.

Orginality/value

As a synthesis form the analysis, a model for how an organization should start self‐assessment is presented, as well as a number of guiding points. Also, the new tool “Lärostegen” is described.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Keywords

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