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Transforming Education

Global Perspectives, Experiences and Implications

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Edited By 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 EIGHT: The Effects of Student Teaching Abroad on Professional Development, Character Formation, and Cultural Responsiveness: Binbin Jiang & Robert A. DeVillar

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Binbin Jiang & Robert A. DeVillar

The current challenge to U.S. public school education involves the attainment of three interrelated goals:

1.Close the persistent and substantive achievement gaps across income, racial and ethnic, and other groups (e.g., English language learners, special needs).

2.Raise the nation’s overall educational performance to meet or exceed competitive global levels and, in so doing, contribute to raising the nation’s level of sustained innovation, domestic and global demand and supply, upward mobility, high employment rates, and widespread increased income and benefits.

3.Produce a citizenry with the skills and motivation to serve as active agents in defining the substance and direction of democracy and achieving an equitable balance between private and social well-being within the country.

Terms, whether self-designated or other-designated, that serve to identify groups in the United States such as ethnicity, religion, a home language other than or beyond English, or, infamously, skin color, are generally associated—however inaccurately—with the broader term culture, of which, according to conventional wisdom, there are many variations in the United States. The United States is arguably a self-designated, if reluctant, multicultural, multilingual society where bilingualism as a desired societal value or goal maintains an irrational and ← 169 | 170 → unexamined position as a national threat, as do cultural behaviors that are not perceived to fit the traditional Anglo-American conformity model (Gordon, 1964; DeVillar & Jiang, 2011). Nevertheless, this latter term is but scantly recognized, or perhaps used beyond scholars...

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