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Transforming Education

Global Perspectives, Experiences and Implications

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Robert A. DeVillar, Binbin Jiang and Jim Cummins

This research-based volume presents a substantive, panoramic view of ways in which Australia and countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America engage in educational programs and practices to transform the learning processes and outcomes of their students. It reveals and analyzes national and global trajectories in key areas of educational development, and enhances readers’ understanding of the nature and complexity of educational transformation in a global context. The book’s comprehensive analysis of factors associated with transforming education within globally representative geographical, cultural, and political contexts contributes to critical scholarship; its discussion of individual country findings and cross-country patterns has significant implications for educational practitioners and leaders. The volume has direct practical relevance for educational practitioners and leaders, policymakers, and researchers, as nations remain in dire need of effective ways and means to transform their respective educational systems to (1) more ably realize educational equity, (2) make learning relevant to an increasingly diverse overall student populace, (3) ensure individual and general prosperity, and (4) promote substantive global collaboration in developing the new economy.
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CHAPTER SIX: The Perceptions of Teachers in Sierra Leone’s Secondary Education Reform: Yee Han (Peter) Joong & Kathryn Noel

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Yee Han (Peter) Joong & Kathryn Noel

In the 1990s, large-scale educational reform orchestrated by provincial, state, or national governments emerged around the world (Fullan, 2000). Whitty, Power, and Halpin (1998) studied reforms in Australia, England, New Zealand, Sweden, and the United States. Each country had its unique history and context, but all of the governments introduced policies that sought to reformulate the relationship among government, schools, and parents and to develop closer links among objectives, programs, teaching, and student evaluation. Reform in education often demands changes in practice that challenge classroom teachers. These changes can trigger resistance, debate, or passivity in teachers. Teachers do not resist change; they simply resist the transitions required to change, because transitioning requires letting go of tried-and-true lesson plans, activities, and assessment modes in order to move into a new reality (Sowell, 2005). In reform efforts, teachers often report feeling overwhelmed and under-supported (Helsby, 1999; Lasky & Sutherland, 2000; Soucek & Pannu, 1996; Taylor, 1997). In our previous research on reforms in Canada and China, we concluded that teachers were overworked and lacked in-service training, resources, and support to implement the reforms as conceived (Ryan & Joong, 2005; Joong, Ying, Lin, & Pan, 2006, 2009; Joong & Ryan, 2009). Changes in curriculum and the resultant transitioning require teachers to alter the “specific blueprint for learning that is derived from the desired results—that is, content and performance standards” (Wiggins & McTighe, 2006, p. 6). Changes also require time for learning and im...

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