Members of the International Bureau of Education recently participated in the 3rd International Workshop on Curriculum Innovation and Reform: Changing Assessment to Improve Learning Outcomes, organised by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop). The International Workshop drew on lessons from current work conducted by Cedefop and other research and international organisations on the implications of approaches to the design and implementation of curriculum and assessment policies and practices.
I have attached links to some of the event presentations which I found particularly interesting.
Inclusive education is a growing concern that informs and challenges educational reform processes around the world. Inclusive education stands on the recognition that education is a human right that supports a broader view and more comprehensive strategy of Education for All. It is essential to move forward from conceptual and theoretical debates towards adopting practical, comprehensive guidance materials which focus on schools, classrooms, and the interactions between teachers and learners. A principal environment for inclusion is at the school level. As social institutions, schools closely interact with cultural and societal practices and play a crucial role in engaging society towards inclusion.
While significant progress has been made toward inclusive education systems, there is still much to accomplish to ensure that all pupils and students are learning effectively. Little information emerged out of the national reports presented at the 48th session of the International Conference on Education about the daily practices in school and how schools can become more inclusive. Schools should have access to successful examples and inspiring lessons from good practices and gain a better understanding of how barriers to learning have been addressed elsewhere. Policymakers also need this important information to establish priorities for reforming education systems.
The Gulf Arab States Educational Research Center (GASERC) and the IBE jointly launched an 18-month project that aims to develop a resource pack entitled “Inclusive Schools”.
The main objectives to consider in producing the resource pack are:
- to promote awareness of inclusive schools among specialists and practitioners;
- to enhance the capacities of curriculum developers in the field of curriculum design, content selection and organization, diversification of teaching and learning resources to meet different needs of students; and
- to develop school-level assessment from the perspective and goals of inclusive education in the Arab states.
The project will identify and disseminate lessons from outstanding practices in different regions to provide policymakers, schools, teachers, and other stakeholders with concrete evidence and relevant examples of inclusive education.
The resource pack would consist of an inclusive education policy framework, an analysis of international developments in relation to inclusive education, and guides for the development of inclusive schools and classrooms. The policy framework is currently being developed; the analysis of international developments and practices will be completed around summer 2012, and the guides are expected to be ready by December 2012 – early 2013. All of the materials will then be presented at a seminar of representatives from each of the seven countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen).
The Evidence Informed Policy and Practice in Education in Europe (EIPPEE) is a two-year project which aims to increase the use of evidence to inform decision-making in education policy and practices across Europe. The network also provides a series of free online and face-to-face courses to help people working in education to explore and evaluate practices, using findings from research. For more information and to view the EIPPEE’s first newsletter, please visit their website at http://eippee.com/cms/.
The Worldwide Education Revolution over the past 150 years has thoroughly transformed human society. The relentless inclusion of ever more people into formal and non-formal schooling – from early childhood education to advanced university training and beyond – is a social revolution with cultural, material, and political consequences for human life around the globe. Some claim that the education revolution has fostered major improvements in the quality of social and individual life, while others are critical and highlight disappointing outcomes and persistent shortcomings of contemporary educational systems. Arguably the education revolution has created a schooled society to an unprecedented degree, and widespread education in postindustrial society has created central cultural ideas about new types of knowledge, new kinds of experts, new definitions of personal success and failure, new conceptions of the workplace and jobs, new ways to make profitable firms and to structure formal organisations, new definitions of intelligence and human talent, new styles of parenting, widespread political mobilization, new dimensions of mass religion, and more. Understanding the past, present, and future of the education revolution is a central challenge to the comparative study of education. What has been the legacy of the education revolution? What are its current challenges and promises for the future? How do the transformative and democratic effects of education interact with the social forces of inertia and inequality that still pervade the system of education in both developed and developing countries? What can comparative and international scholarship uniquely add to debate about the emerging schooled society?
The Comparative International Education Society is hosting their annual conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico from 22 to 27 April 2012. This year’s theme is The Worldwide Education Revolution, which focuses on questions including what has been the legacy of the education revolution, what are its current challenges and promises for the future, and how do the transformative and democratic effects of education interact with the social forces of inertia and inequality, still pervading education systems in both developed and developing countries?
For registration and more information, please see http://www.cies2012.psu.edu/index.html
As the third and final week of the annual e-forum draws to a close, members of the Community of Practice on Curriculum Development are discussing the following questions:
1. What are the potential learning outcomes of a curriculum that addresses socio-cultural diversity? What kinds of knowledge, skills and core competencies should be assessed?
2. What kinds of assessment tools could be used? What should be the criteria used for assessment?
3. How can assessment support the learning process and improve the well-being of all students?
I’ll be writing a post next week to draw the concluding issues together.
I have just completed my registration for the UNESCO-IBE annual forum; this year it will address Socio-Cultural Diversity through the Curriculum. The event takes place over three weeks (21 November – 9 December) and each week, delegates are asked to focus on a specific question – which is open for debate and discussion. This is a great opportunity to explore strategies and pedagogy in curriculum design with experts from around the world.
- Week 1 – What diversity aspects should be included in the curriculum?
- Week 2 – How could teachers develop a curriculum that addresses socio-cultural diversity?
- Week 3 – How should student’s learning be assessed in light of their diverse needs?
Given that Scottish education is currently going through the process of curricular reform, I will be writing one or two papers based on these questions – from my perspective in Scotland. Although some issues will be locally based, some aspects will apply to boththe regional and international landscape.
I’ll post updates on my blog as it happens…
The 2011 edition of the Global Education Digest, published by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), presents a wide range of indicators on the extent to which girls and boys are enrolling in and completing secondary education. To enrich policy debates, the report also examines the human and financial resources that go into this level of education.
The International Bureau of Education (IBE) contributed to this edition of the Digest supporting the verification of information on the duration of compulsory education (about 110 country cases checked). The IBE also contributed to the proposed new definition of compulsory education for the UIS Education Surveys, ISCED (International Standard Classification of Education) questionnaire and related glossary that will be used in 2012. The purpose of this initiative has been to identify inconsistencies across existing databases, enhance the quality and reliability of information provided through different sources, and improve data collection.
Building on this fruitful collaboration, at the beginning of 2012 IBE and UIS will launch a Global Survey on Instructional Time. This survey is expected to result in a standardised global database and improve the extent to which reliable data on instructional time is available for policy development, educational reform and research.
In the year 2000, 147 heads of State and Government, and 189 nations pledged to halve extreme poverty by the year 2015.
Education is a major catalyst for human development and it is one of the articulating factors which links all the Millenium Development Goals.
There are 8 reasons why education is important in realsing the ambition of ending world poverty.
- More people would grow and develop
- More people would learn and know
- More people would be equal and just
- More children would survive and live
- More mothers would be healthier
- More people would be able to combat illness
- More people would think of the future
- More people would work together