FORUM
ISSN 0963-8253


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Volume 51 Number 1 2009

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CONTENTS [click on author's name for abstract and full text]

 

International Perspectives and the Problems Facing English Education

Clyde Chitty. Editorial, A Checklist Society, pages 3‑4 doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.1.3 VIEW FULL TEXT
Andy Green. Education, Inequality and Erosion of Social Cohesion, pages 5‑8
Annamari Ylonen. The Reinvention of the Comprehensive School System in Finland: how do market-oriented reforms impact upon equity and equality of opportunity?, pages 9‑24
Betty J. Liebovich & Susan Matoba Adler. Teaching Advocacy in Early Years Initial Teacher Education Programmes, pages 25‑34
Peter Carpenter. Failure in Education, pages 35‑39
Patrick Yarker. Just a Few Giggles? Teachers and the Howler, pages 41‑47
Derek Gillard. Us and Them: a history of pupil grouping policies in England’s schools, pages 49‑72
Clyde Chitty. The Privatisation of Education, pages 73‑83
Mike Baker. Crunch Time for the Diplomas: will they survive?, pages 85‑91
Bernard Barker. What Next in School Reform?, pages 93‑99
Malcolm Thorburn. Physical Education, the Policy Entrepreneur and Comprehensive Schooling: can they exist in harmony?, pages 101‑105

The CASE Statement on Faith Schools, page 107 doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.1.107 VIEW FULL TEXT

BOOK REVIEW doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.1.109 VIEW FULL TEXT
Learning What Matters to Children: an alphabet of what learners do (Diane Rich, Mary Jane Drummond & Cathy Myer), reviewed by Jenifer Smith, pages 109‑111


 

Education, Inequality and Erosion of Social Cohesion

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.1.5

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Income inequality has been rising in Britain for two decades and wealth is also more unequally distributed now than when New Labour first came to power. Various factors have contributed to this, including education which, according to the PISA 2006 data, has more unequal outcomes in the UK than in all but 2 of the 29 tested countries. Comparative analysis of the PISA data suggests that countries with the most comprehensive education systems, such as the Nordics, have the most equal outcomes, whereas school choice and diversity in the UK may well be contributing towards high educational inequality.

 

The Reinvention of the Comprehensive School System in Finland: how do market-oriented reforms impact upon equity and equality of opportunity?

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.1.9

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This article examines the changing nature of comprehensive schooling in Finland since the 1990s and focuses on analysing the impact of the changes on equity and equality of opportunity. Comparisons are made between the development of ‘school markets’ in the south of the country and the situation in the north of the country where the case study municipality is situated. The developments in this municipality are found to be in contrast to the situation in the south of the country, particularly in the capital Helsinki, where competitive education markets have been encouraged to develop, creating more diversity and more competition between schools for students. This suggests that the various local areas can have their own policy priorities with contrasting policy aims, reflecting, in part, financial considerations and constraints which can have very different outcomes for equality of opportunity.

 

Teaching Advocacy in Early Years Initial Teacher Education Programmes

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.1.25

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Teacher education programmes in the United States and in England with early childhood certification usually include courses with topics such as early childhood theory and curriculum, child development, model programs, and history of early childhood education but less often include courses with content focused specifically on advocacy. This article interrogates the possibility of developing courses on advocacy for pre-service teachers to build a knowledge base on advocacy for parents, families and children and to develop competency in inter-personal, cross-cultural communication. Drawing on data from Liebovich’s study on beliefs about advocacy of early childhood education students in the United States, the authors share pre-service teachers’ narratives about advocacy, discuss the process of moving from advocacy awareness to empowerment, and propose content for a university level course on advocacy in England and the United States. Using a feminist theoretical perspective, this study critiques teacher education programs and how student identity as advocates is rarely nurtured. The authors demonstrate how pre-service teachers reflect about the role teacher’s play working with, informing, and empowering families to truly become collaborative partners in the education of their children.

 

Failure in Education

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.1.35

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In this article, it is argued that Kurt Hahn felt that it was important for children to experience ‘failure’ at times and to learn how to cope with it. If this is no longer desirable in the classroom, it ought to be possible to encourage children to be adventurous and ‘take risks’ in a wide range of Outward Bound activities.

 

Just a Few Giggles? Teachers and the Howler

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.1.41

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In this article the author considers some aspects of the egregious error or ‘howler’. What effects does the ‘howler’ have as a social practice? What questions are raised when a teacher shares beyond his or her own school a student’s mistake for the amusement of others?

 

Us and Them: a history of pupil grouping policies in England’s schools

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.1.49

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The selection of children in England’s schools for different types of education can be seen operating at three levels: between schools, within schools and within classes. This article deals mainly with the second – the allocation of pupils to classes – but it also refers to selection for secondary education and to the grouping of pupils within classes because decisions at all three levels are interlinked. It describes the ways in which pupils have been allocated to teaching groups since the 1860s, noting relevant sections of government reports and white papers, the arguments made by educationists, and the findings of research projects.

 

The Privatisation of Education

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.1.73

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This article looks at one of the dominant themes of English education over the past twenty years. It examines the various ways in which privatisation has affected schools and schooling since the early 1980s. It may no longer be possible to indulge in a blanket defence of the public sector; but we do at least have to recognise that privatisation in general and the spread of Academies in particular pose a very real threat to the values and principles underpinning ‘a national system, locally administered’.

 

Crunch Time for the Diplomas: will they survive?

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.1.85

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This article looks at the introduction of the diplomas as part of the 14‑19 reforms in England. It questions whether they can survive the low initial take-up from students, the lack of interest from key parts of the schools sector, and the confusing messages about what sort of qualification they are meant to be. It also asks whether the diplomas will be undermined by a misguided search for ‘parity of esteem’.

 

What Next in School Reform?

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.1.93

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This article reviews the current state of education reform in the United Kingdom and uses the BBC film The Choir to explore alternative ways of improving the quality of learning and teaching in schools.

 

Physical Education, the Policy Entrepreneur and Comprehensive Schooling: can they exist in harmony?

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.1.101

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This article analyses the ways in which policy entrepreneurs have recently influenced physical education (PE) policy and practice in England and Scotland and discusses some of the implications this might have for students’ learning opportunities within comprehensive schools in future years. And, while considerations of this sort raise a plethora of political, institutional and epistemological questions; the focus of this article is on the role of the policy entrepreneur in shaping policy discussion. This is a relatively new consideration in policy analysis terms, but a critical one in PE at present, given the rise of charitable foundations like the Youth Sport Trust and The Winning Scotland Foundation, and the influence these organisations have of government thinking and action plans.

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