International Blog

International Perspectives on Education Reform

Leading global education researchers from 15 countries across six continents discuss their visions for driving meaningful, positive educational change in this time-limited blog. Stemming from the their essays in the recently published Leading Educational Change: Global Issues, Challenges, and Lessons on Whole-System Reform (Teachers College Press, 2013), the book’s editor Helen Janc Malone and her fellow contributors address improving practice, equity and educational justice, accountability and assessment, and whole-system change. (International Perspectives on Education Reform ceased publishing in November 2013.)

Accountability Opinion Leading Educational Change: International Perspectives
Helen Janc Malone closes the International Perspectives on Education Reform Blog with a call for collective action and a comprehensive approach to educational change.
International Perspectives on Education Reform Group, November 1, 2013
5 min read
Accountability Opinion The Finnish Paradox
Pasi Sahlberg explores a central role play has inside and outside the school context as a foundation for positive child development.
International Perspectives on Education Reform Group, October 31, 2013
3 min read
Accountability Opinion Tensions and Paradoxes in Singapore's Education System
Pak Tee Ng discusses how two secondary education admission policy changes are raising questions about fair assessments and holistic education. As Ng states, "On one hand, we send signals to broaden the definition of success. On the other hand, we may have inadvertently set up more areas for competition." As he further explains, "education reform is seldom, if ever, merely an education issue. It is deeply entwined with societal culture... The debate is a process of national soul searching about what education really means to us as a society."
International Perspectives on Education Reform Group, October 30, 2013
4 min read
School & District Management Opinion The Challenges of Brazilian Secondary Education
Maria Helena Guimarães de Castro discusses key challenges facing secondary education in Brazil.
International Perspectives on Education Reform Group, October 29, 2013
3 min read
Professional Development Opinion Consolidation, Not Innovation: Successful Educational Reform at Scale
Alma Harris opens the last blog week with a discussion about what it takes to scale up system-wide reform. She writes, "Looking at those countries that have achieved successful reform at scale, the two success criteria are firstly, adequate time and secondly, fidelity of implementation." As she concludes, "Scaling up has to involve more than the spread of new materials, new ideas, or new strategies; it must also involve the spread of underlying beliefs, norms, and principles. This takes time, resilience, determination, and persistence."
International Perspectives on Education Reform Group, October 28, 2013
3 min read
Accountability Opinion Whole System Change
Helen Janc Malone introduces the final blog week with a theme "whole system change."
International Perspectives on Education Reform Group, October 27, 2013
2 min read
School & District Management Opinion Assessment as a Collective Professional Responsibility
Lorna Earl argues for collective professional accountability in the teaching profession, whereby educators feel a sense of moral purpose to make a positive difference in students' lives.
International Perspectives on Education Reform Group, October 25, 2013
3 min read
Assessment Opinion From Schooling to Learning in India: How Can We Take Everyone Along?
Rukmini Banerji and Madhav Chavan offer a compelling case for the use of literacy and numeracy assessments as tools to understand progress and gaps in student learning in India.
International Perspectives on Education Reform Group, October 24, 2013
5 min read
Assessment Opinion The Price of Standardized Testing in Russia
Elena Lenskaya offers a sobering lesson in the unintended consequences of standardized testing--teaching to the test and learning to the test.
International Perspectives on Education Reform Group, October 23, 2013
2 min read
Accountability Opinion It's Not What You Know, It's How You Learn
Patrick Griffin makes a case for 21st century skills as a necessary component in student learning. He argues that technology has fundamentally changed how students learn and interact with information, and that education systems needs to transform to meet the demands of today's society.
International Perspectives on Education Reform Group, October 22, 2013
3 min read
Professional Development Opinion Using Fair Comparisons to Stimulate School Improvement in Australia
Barry McGaw discusses the implementation of a national curriculum, customized student testing, and an online school assessment tool designed to stimulate system-wide improvement in Australia.
International Perspectives on Education Reform Group, October 21, 2013
4 min read
Assessment Opinion Accountability and Assessment Systems
Helen Janc Malone introduces this week's blog theme, "accountability and assessment systems." She writes that at the heart of the current accountability debate is a fundamental question, What is the purpose of all the collected assessment data? Are they an end game or a starting point to educational change? And, should the focus be on external accountability or, should we refocus attention on professional responsibility and internal accountability? How do we have both?
International Perspectives on Education Reform Group, October 20, 2013
2 min read
Equity & Diversity Opinion How Can We Build Good Educational Systems in Latin America?
Silvina Gvirtz and Esteban Torre offer an overview of the state of the Latin American educational systems and the countries' efforts to improve education as a vehicle for educational justice.
International Perspectives on Education Reform Group, October 18, 2013
4 min read
Equity & Diversity Opinion Breaking the Cycle of Poverty In South Africa
In this must-read post, Jonathan D. Jansen describes the contours of the University of the Free State's "first generation students" (1G) academic program designed to uplift students out of poverty through college preparatory education.
International Perspectives on Education Reform Group, October 17, 2013
3 min read